With the right amount of looks and talent, who wouldn’t flee the life of a lawyer to talk on camera for money? We previously unveiled our picks for the four hottest female lawyers working on television. This time, we’re giving the guys their due. But we’re not judging them on hotness because, let’s face it, Us Weekly we ain’t.
Instead, we’re giving you the four coolest male lawyers working in television news. We went looking for the most admirable, distinctive, enviable guys—someone with whom we’d most like to share a beer and story. For lack of a better term: Cool.
As we did for the ladies, we’ve cooked up our own methodology for judging it. We’re still using six ten-point categories to find the top men on a 60-point scale, but we made some minor tweaks. And, just like last time, if you don’t like it or agree, start your own damn website.
Law School: Top-14 law schools are flooded with smart guys. And while smarts are always cool (and we all know one Harvard lawyer who’s got cool perfected), a T14 man usually isn’t. On the other hand, we’re not feeling TTT guys’ cool factor either. So here’s the rundown (according to U.S. News’ current rankings): T14 graduates are awarded 4 points; Tier-1 graduates of schools ranked 15-50 receive 8 points; Tier-2 graduates are awarded 6 points; TTT graduates get 2 points; Those from Tier-4 or ABA-unaccredited schools get a perfect 10 because if you’ve risen like a phoenix from those ranks, you deserve the cool points.
Company He Keeps: Cool guys pull fantastic ladies. This should be obvious. So, we’re awarding points based on their companions’ sex appeal.
War Story: There’s a fine line between a cool guy and a total douchebag. A cool guy always has a good story to tell. You know, the kind of story that everyone wants to hear over and over again that doesn’t include the words “bottle service.” We’re awarding points to the guy who, based on life experience, likely has the best stories in his arsenal.
Controversy: You’re not a man unless you’ve made a few enemies. So it’s pretty simple: The bigger the controversy, the more points he gets—provided he doesn’t spin off into ridiculous land, which is what knocked Geraldo Rivera off the list.
Best In Breed: True, all of these men are accomplished TV newsmen. But being accomplished and accomplishing the title of “Bitter Lawyer’s Coolest TV News Lawyer” (yep, real title) is all about being the best. We’re awarding points for the most obvious of metrics: Quality of their work as a bona fide TV newsman.
Money: Money isn’t everything, but let’s be honest—we all care. So it’s one of the six factors here. While we don’t exactly have official tax returns, a little reading between the lines tells us if they’re rolling in dough or asking for seconds on the bread line. Points are awarded accordingly.
4. Bob Woodruff—ABC News Anchor
(Follow Bob on Twitter)
Law School: University of Michigan Law School (Rank 9 = T14)
Company He Keeps: Woodruff is a family man, and the only company he’s been keeping for the last twenty years is his beautiful wife, Lee, with whom he has four kids.
War Story: Have you been in the sh*t? Bob Woodruff has been in the sh*t. How’s this for a war story? After being named co-anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight in January 2005, Woodruff was reporting on security forces in Iraq when he and his cameraman were severely injured by a roadside bomb in January 2006. He returned to television a little more than a year later, having overcome traumatic brain injury, which led to a continued career as if he never missed a beat. He’s even since returned to Iraq. Whether the topic is the war in Iraq, North Korea, or witnessing a student revolution in China, Woodruff is completely engaging as an interviewee and certainly commands a room.
Controversy: We’re sure there are some, but Woodruff has been a public figure for more than two decades and hasn’t had many spats. While that’s admirable on one level, it’ll cost him here.
Best In Breed: Co-anchor for a network evening news show is one step below perfect, but Woodruff didn’t hold that post long (did we mention he was almost killed while on assignment in Iraq?), but we’ll give him some extra points for toughness. He’s even made the Earth his new bitch—with a sense of humor.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
Money: Woodruff made a six-figure salary as an associate at Shearman and Sterling, but he didn’t stick around long enough to make partner, opting instead to earn a paltry sum working his way up as a small-market journalist. True, he eventually made it all the way to the top as co-anchor of World News Tonight, but the network bucks were short lived and replaced by huge medical expenses. Sure, there has been a book deal, but it seems like he’s more a man of passion.
Total Score: 32.5
3. Carlos Watson—MSNBC Anchor
(Follow Carlos on Twitter)
Law School: Stanford University Law School (Rank 3 = T14)
Company He Keeps: Ladies, we’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that Watson is a bachelor and available. The bad news is that the competition for him is fierce. In 2004, People named him one of its “hottest bachelors.” Last year, Extra TV called him one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors. And we managed to find more than a few female bloggers who used adjectives like “delicious” and “hunk” when describing him. However, we can’t find any specific romantic links, and all we know from this interview is that he’s looking for an athletic chick with a big heart. Yawn.
War Story: Though a few riveting stories can certainly be traced back to his time as Stanford Law Review editor or student government president (not), Watson has met so many figureheads over the years, we’re sure he’s got a few good anecdotes. That said, it’s his past as a ramble-rousing kid (he got thrown out of Kindergarten) that leads us to believe Watson has some badass tales.
Controversy: By all accounts, Watson is a pretty polished guy. But he’s not afraid to mix it up and provoke debate, as evidenced by his question about whether the word “socialist” was becoming code for the “n-word.” The comment sparked a lot of criticism, but to his credit, Watson stuck to his guns. Also, Rush Limbaugh called Carlos an “Obama look-a-like” last month, so you know that adds a controversy point.
Best In Breed: Watson’s star is certainly on the rise, and he’s said to have “star power” as well as be “an anchor on the verge” enough to be groomed as “the new Oprah.” Plus, as a relatively young TV personality, he’s already landed interviews with the likes of Barack Obama, Shaq, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Heidi Klum. He also launched TheStimulist.com this year, which is a news and opinion site aimed at professionals between the ages of 25 and 49…who are cool.
Money: In 2002, Watson sold his education startup, Achieva, to Kaplan for an undisclosed sum, according to The Washington Business Journal. While we still don’t know what Watson made on the deal, we know that Kaplan pretty much owns test prep and startup sales can make serious buck for their founders.
Total Score: 36
2. Dan Abrams—MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent
(Follow Dan on Twitter)
Law School: Columbia University (Rank 4 = T14)
Company He Keeps: Rumored an item with A-list actress Renee Zellweger earlier this year, it’s been recently reported “the 43-year-old MSNBC legal correspondent is dating an aspiring actress 20 years his junior, who he met at a NYC bar.” (Woops.) Other hookups include supermodel Elle Macpherson and hot actress Jaime Murray and Elisabeth Rohm. Plus, he’s often pictured with hot chicks.
War Story: Abrams made his bones as a reporter by picking apart the Bush v. Gore post-election aftermath from the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. Along with colleague Pete Williams, Abrams was among the first network news correspondents to correctly interpret the ruling. Anyone who has ever slogged through dicta on the Dormant Commerce Clause knows that’s a tough feat. Add the cameras, the deadlines, and the competition, and you know Abrams has got to have some good stories about pressure-packed news situations. Also, he’s a testicular cancer survivor—a “the more you know” story about early detection every man needs to hear.
Controversy: May we present Abrams Research, a network of global media professionals available for consulting projects. Not sure what that means? Well, it’s spin doctor speak for a PR firm. And while there’s nothing wrong with public relations, a number of media types cried foul when Abrams started the firm and insisted that there was a conflict of interest with his day job as a journalist.
Best In Breed: Abrams may be a great reporter, but it’s the anchor desk where he’s set his sights, and we’re sad to say he hasn’t exactly made it. Live with Dan Abrams, his attempt at an evening news show on MSNBC, didn’t go well, and after being renamed Verdict with Dan Abrams, the show was eventually bumped for Rachel Maddow. This year, it was reported (and he may be a little sensitive about it) that he was exploring a down-market move to online—and he did it in June as publisher of Mediaite and co-founder of the site Gossip Cop. Blogs away.
Money: TV work probably keeps the lights on. But we’re betting that Abrams has made a sweet sum “double-dipping” with his startups like Abrams Research. Plus, anyone who’s ever heard of a journalist “going over to the dark side” knows that consulting pays. Second, Abrams’ online ventures into celebrity reporting require capital. Which could pay off because while he’s no Harvey Levin yet, there are big bucks in celebrity news. However, since both of these are relatively new, a lot of that money could be on paper.
Total Score: 40
1. Charlie Rose—Host of Charlie Rose on PBS
Law School: Duke Law School (Rank 10 = T14)
Company He Keeps: After Rose’s 12-year marriage to Mary King Rose, sister-in-law of Morgan Stanley CEO John J. Mack, ended in 1980 (though he’s still friends with his her, which will cost him points), he began dating New York socialite Amanda Burden, stepdaughter of CBS founder William S. Paley.
War Story: Have you noticed that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly have stopped trading barbs each night? Well, it turns out that Rose was instrumental in bringing about that truce. He arranged a meeting between G.E. boss Jeffrey Immelt and News Corp. head honcho Rupert Murdoch. That meeting eventually led to a cease-fire, according to The New York Times. As for Rose, going toe-to-toe with two titans of business must be one hell of a story, but that’s just one from his entire career as a journalist since 1974, which includes some war wounds along the way.
Controversy: Actor-director Christopher Guest once joked that Rose’s sometimes aggressive interview style was like McCarthyism. While Rose is sometimes rough with his guests, he rarely makes serious enemies. Unless you count the Teamsters who criticized Rose for hosting a Coca-Cola shareholders meeting where the union was staging a protest. That meeting even led to Coke being the lead sponsor of his PBS show.
Best In Breed: If you haven’t been on Charlie Rose, you’re still a nobody. Fact. It’s easier to put together a list of celebrities who Rose hasn’t interviewed (enough for his own YouTube channel). But what makes Rose best in breed is that he’s equally at home with world leaders, captains of industry, top-level entertainers and even lawyers like Bert Fields and David Boies. And how’s this for meta? Charlie Rose has interviewed fellow listers Dan Abrams and Bob Woodruff (while Carolos Watson loves being compared to him). Rose seems to be just missing an interview with himself. Or is he…?
Money: Rose didn’t practice law for very long, and his foray into the world of business ended a few years later when he discovered his passion for journalism. But, in addition to his PBS show, his work includes shows such as 60 Minutes and 60 Minutes II, and he has been willing to reject million-dollar contracts for projects he objected to. Said to be paid $5.5 million for serving as master of ceremonies at the Coca-Cola annual meeting in 2002, plus with a speaking fee of $50,000, for a TV journalist, Rose might be sitting on some coin.
Total Score: 40.5
Congratulations to Mr. Rose.
Check out other lists, tallies and scores to settle in Bitter by Numbers.