Mark Zuckerberg’s Media Training Will Make Your Head Explode

Mark Zuckerberg appeared on “60 Minutes” last night, much to his chagrin.

Society’s overarching impression of Zuckerberg: He’s rich as shit, somewhat evil, and terrible in public. Yesterday’s “60 Minutes” appearance was orchestrated to assuage the latter sentiment. Did it?

His bright-eyed interlocuter, Lesley Stahl (who looks great for her age), barraged Zuckerberg with questions, from Facebook’s rivalry with Google to his personal life to his impressions of Aaron Sorkin’s “The Social Network.”

Publicly, Zuckerberg vacillates between poles: arrogant CEO and sweaty mess. When it comes to privacy and competition, Zuckerberg begins to melt, contorting his face to an expression somewhere between a deer in headlights and the embarrassed visage of a bedwetter the morning after.

Yet, when it comes to his public persona, Zuckerberg has become a masterful spinster. Throughout the interview he insists Facebook is “not that big,” and continually downplays its success. When questioned about the movie, he joked that they got his apparel right, but just about everything else wrong.

After Stahl pressed him about the personal effects of the film, he goes on to detail the hundreds of emails he’s received from people who were inspired by his story to start companies, get educations, and major in math. This is when I gave up on the interview—when it became glaringly obvious that he has a prepared remark for just about everything and probably will for the rest of his long career.

The CEOs we really admire are the ones that make great products, aren’t always humble about their brilliance, and pathologically ignore what the plebes are saying about them. Until Zuckberg embraces this, he’ll always be a heel.