Friday, March 22, 2019

60 Minutes 3/24 on CBS

PEGASUS – Lesley Stahl investigates a cutting-edge cyber espionage tool called Pegasus that governments acquire to fight crime and terror. But can it also be used to crush political dissent? Shachar Bar-On is the producer.
ALL BETS ARE ON – Legal sports betting opens up new possibilities for fan engagement, increased revenues for sports leagues, betting during games and, according to critics, more opportunity for gamblers to corrupt unpaid college athletes. Jon Wertheim reports. Rome Hartman is the producer.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON – Steve Kroft profiles the highly successful actor whose career didn’t take off until middle age. Michael Karzis is the producer.
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The next time you are watching a Samuel L. Jackson film and you see someone in the theater who looks like the actor, it just might be the one and only. Jackson tells Steve Kroft that he’s not one of those actors who claim they can’t watch their own films. He likes watching himself on the big screen. So do a lot of people: Jackson is currently the highest-grossing actor in Hollywood history. The movie star talks to Kroft for a 60 MINUTES profile to be broadcast Sunday, March 24 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Jackson thinks it’s a tad disingenuous to say you can’t watch yourself in films. “I always think that, ‘Oh, I can’t stand to watch myself’ is like some bulls--t,” he tells Kroft. “Really? And if you can’t watch it, why should people pay $13.50 to watch you do it?”
For the former stage actor, watching his film performances is a privilege. “When I was doing theater in New York, I always wanted to see the play I was in with me in it,” he says with a grin. “Yeah, it is very difficult. So this is perfect for me. I get to watch my performances.”
A record number of people have watched Jackson in over 100 movies, making him the highest-grossing Hollywood film actor. The fact that the prolific movie star has never won an Oscar doesn’t seem to bother him in the least. “Like I tell people…winning or losing an Academy Award doesn’t do a lot toward moving the comma on your check,” he says. What moves the comma? “Butts in seats. Selling tickets.”
Kroft also speaks to Jackson’s wife of 48 years, the actor LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and accompanies Jackson to his childhood neighborhood in Chattanooga, Tenn.
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NBA Commissioner Says Legal Gambling Will Help Thwart Corruption in Sports
Will more sports betting lead to more attempts to fix games? It could, warns a Division I athletic director. Marshall University AD Mike Hamrick worries that with an increasing number of states with legalized sports betting – including West Virginia, where Marshall is located – the odds of gamblers trying to corrupt unpaid college athletes will increase as well. Jon Wertheim reports on the state of legal sports gambling in America on the next edition of 60 MINUTES, Sunday, March 24 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Betting on sports is as old as sport itself, but the new climate created by legal sports books worries Hamrick and others. “There’s people that will do what they have to do to make a buck at the expense of an 18 or 19-year-old kid,” says Hamrick. And with more than half of the 50 states predicted to have some kind of legal sports betting by next year, Hamrick is nervous.
West Virginia was one of the first to institute sports betting after the Supreme Court decided legalized sports betting was up to the individual states. “It’s right in front of my face, Jon,” he tells Wertheim. “It’s legal. And most athletic directors I’ve spoken with feel the same way…And as more states legalize sports gambling, it’ll affect more and more athletic directors.”
Hamrick thinks that with legalized gambling offering so many different ways to wager on a game, including more and more bets placed during games, it may be easier to convince an unpaid athlete to influence a game. “It’s very tempting. It’s very tempting,” he says. “They can be compromised. And our job is to make sure they’re not compromised,” says Hamrick, who says educating them about potential schemes is crucial.
You also have to be vigilant, he says. “You see a key player on your team driving a brand new car – you’ve got to find out where that car came from.”
Most professional sports leagues have lined up behind legalizing betting, believing it creates more engagement and more fans, because bettors are very likely to watch the contests they wager on. Many also argue, including NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, that legal gambling provides a record of all the bets made, revealing patterns and shining light on a previously shadowy and illegal business. Silver believes it would actually thwart corrupt gamblers who may fear they’re more likely to get caught. “I think it decreases risk dramatically because we have access to the betting information. I think when you have an underground business operating in the shadows, you have no idea what people are betting on your own events.”
Still, Hamrick remains skeptical. “It’s gambling. It can be handled to a certain extent. But nobody can sit here and tell you that they can deal with this and be 100 percent clean.... They can’t.”
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