Miles Davis: 60 Minutes
60 Minutes' producer Don Hewitt made a terrible mistake when he assigned Harry Reasoner to interview Miles Davis in 1989. Reasoner had little understanding of Davis the combative jazz artist. Reasoner also asked a large proportion of dumb questions that unfairly tried to cast Davis as a rotten piece of work and an unentitled freak.
As a result, we witness an increasingly annoyed Davis to out of his way to intimidate Reasoner and make him look weak and inept. For whatever reason, Reasoner thought Davis, the musician, was just another Malibu celebrity who cared about what viewers thought about him. The more Reasoner turned the interview into a combative and judgmental black-white showdown, the more Davis politely put him on and hung him out to dry.
By the end, Davis was ignoring Reasoner entirely, with Reasoner positioning the TV-watching Davis as doing what he pleased. Reasoner seemed to have completely missed the point that Davis had tuned him out, ending the interview some time earlier without officially asking Reasoner to leave.
Yet for reasons that have little to do with Reasoner, this 60 Minutes segment remains fascinating from the artist's perspective and how the artist handled gotcha-TV's attempts to trip him up and put him in the mainstream box: