OFFSTAGE: Taylor Swift Shuts Lesley Stahl Down

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Hey, Lesley Stahl. No means no. If you missed Taylor Swift on 60 Minutes Sunday night (Nov. 20), you didn’t miss much. It was all about her “meteoric rise” to fame , and the story behind it. All about her incessant begging to get her parents to take her to Nashville, her self-deprecating sense of humor and her non-stop charming of her fans. But the best part of the interview comes on the CBS website, where you can watch clips from 60 Overtime . That’s when you see Stahl ask Swift about the Kanye West incident, and that’s when it gets good. Swift tells her she’s been asked about it in every interview since it happened. “Since September 2009, I’ve just kind of made a choice not to talk about it,” she says to Stahl, who continues to ask about it. “Awk,” as the kids say. There’s this rule in journalism that silence is good because it forces the interviewee to fill the space with talk. But Swift does not. She takes a sip of water and says nothing. It’s pretty brilliant. Later, Stahl tells a camera, “When she shut me down, I felt a sort of gentle steeliness. She wasn’t going to talk about him. She threw a little bit of vulnerability at me.” Call it steeliness or vulnerability or whatever you want. She said she made a choice not to talk about it. And she didn’t.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.