Ten Minutes With Don Cheadle: Guess What? He’s Not a Fan of Social Media or McPaper

CBS’ Bill Plante interviewed him today’s for CBS’ Washington Unplugged

Actor Don Cheadle was offering 10-minute interviews in the Algonquin Room of the Four Seasons Hotel Wednesday morning in Georgetown. The interviews were kept to a strict time limit, with a PR person politely calling “Time” at the 10-minute mark.

Cheadle is in town for two days to help Congress promote the Global Conservation Act, which he will introduce on Capitol Hill Thursday with Jane Goodall, and the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.). “A vast number of our medicines come from nature,” the actor/activist said. “They need to be protected. It’s in our own self interest to get on top of this.”

At the beginning of the interview, a rep from Pew Charitable Trust (the group that invited Cheadle to D.C. to help with the bill) dipped into my time. This was fortunate, as Cheadle chatted on about an incident with the swimming pool at his LA home in which it drained, turned into a wild geyser and flooded part of his home. He says BP stands for “Busted Pipes”.

So what does the actor have to say in the remaining eight minutes?

For starters, he does not read Washington, D.C. newspapers or any blogs and has turned down an opportunity to blog for HuffPost. He’s not interested in doing that type of writing – he has scripts and books to read.

He has met President Obama. “He plays a regular poker game at my house,” Cheadle deadpanned. But seriously, he has met the President and found him “very charming, very smart” and “taller than I thought he would be.”

Cheadle’s news diet consists of LAT and the NYT and whatever they stick in his hotel room. He points to a USA TODAY on the table and calls it McPaper. He says it’s good for a quick read. “People are reading and writing more because of these gadgets, but if the quality of what they’re reading isn’t good, then that isn’t good,” he says. “There’s no putting the genie back in the bottle.”

He reads his two teenage daughters’ e-mail and doesn’t feel badly about it because he wants to keep them safe. He says he may read their e-mails until they’re 21, because he’s “curious” and “wants to know what the hell is going on.” The girls know the drill. “I tell them to be very careful and don’t think anything you put online is going to be private because I’m going to read it,” he says, mentioning a new Web site he has heard about as of late. “There’s some scary stuff out there,” he says. “The majority of people [on it] are masturbating.”

As for Social Media, Cheadle’s not a fan. He has no use for Twitter. “I have a love-hate relationship with the CrackBerry,” he admits.

That’s it. Time’s up.