INDIANAPOLIS – Right now, the Jewish Community Center is hosting its 23rd annual “Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts.”
The monthlong event highlights authors, award-winning films and performing arts events. This year, the festival is virtual because of the ongoing pandemic. For people planning to see multiple events, the JCC is offering a festival pass for $30.
On Thursday, Oct. 28, CBS4 This Morning anchor Angela Brauer will moderate one of the discussions. She will interview former 60 Minutes producer Ira Rosen, who recently authored a book titled Ticking Clock. Throughout it, Rosen details his relationships with famous correspondents like Mike Wallace, Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric.
“This book is really about journalism in its golden age, in many ways. It’s a period from 1980 to 2020,” Rosen said. “A lot of the journalists’ memoirs, from the big stars, sugarcoat a lot of things. They aren’t self-reflective about their own mistakes. They’re not honest about their colleagues.”
In his book, Rosen doesn’t hold back.
“The pressure involved in ascending that award stage and creating epic TV was insane and unreal. The verbal harassment I experienced from Mike Wallace and other TV big shots was, in a word, criminal,” he wrote. “But I endured all the abuse, in part out of fear, but mostly out of ambition. I loved being a 60 Minutes producer, and if that meant getting scolded or demeaned, I took the treatment as part of the job description.”
Rosen also explained how he and his colleagues secured exclusive stories for the network. He talked about his travels worldwide and how he was nearly kidnapped in Pakistan. There was an entire chapter on how he courted John Gotti and other infamous gangsters. At one point, Rosen details his interviews with Tom Brady, lawmakers accused of cheating the tax system and his relationship with Steve Bannon.
“We used to do something called airport roulette where I would go to the airport, throw my credit card down and say, ‘Next flight out.’ I’d go to a city and check out the newspapers. If there was an interesting story, I would stay. If there wasn’t, I’d get back to the counter and say, ‘Next flight out,’” he told CBS4.
Lev Rotherberg, the JCC’s director of arts and education, previewed some of the other events, including Oct. 30’s showing of several Heartland Film Festival shorts. People will be able to watch Your Street, which won the grand prize for the Best Documentary Short.
On Nov. 1, those attending the festival will be able to participate in a Q&A with Leah Garrett, author of X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War II.
There are events throughout the month of November. Then, for the festival’s final feature, the JCC will host an in-person and virtual event with Joshua Jay. Jay is a magician and former illusion consultant for Game of Thrones. He has performed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with James Corden.
Rotherberg hopes people enjoy this year’s festival.
“If you’re not entertained, you’re not open to the other things. But I also want them to be educated. I want them to be inspired,” he said.