CBS newsman Mike Wallace dies

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CBS newsman Mike Wallace dies

Postby 2012 Countdown » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:24 pm

CBS newsman Mike Wallace dies
by The Canadian Press - Story: 73581
Apr 8, 2012 / 7:56 am

CBS newsman Mike Wallace, the dogged, merciless reporter and interviewer who took on politicians, celebrities and other public figures in a 60-year career highlighted by the on-air confrontations that helped make "60 Minutes" the most successful primetime television news program ever, has died. He was 93.

Wallace died Saturday night, CBS spokesman Kevin Tedesco said.

Until he was slowed by heart surgery as he neared his 90th birthday in 2008, Wallace continued making news, doing "60 Minutes" interviews with such subjects as Jack Kevorkian and Roger Clemens. He had promised to still do occasional reports when he announced his retirement as a regular correspondent in March 2006.

Wallace said then that he had long vowed to retire "when my toes turn up" and "they're just beginning to curl a trifle. ... It's become apparent to me that my eyes and ears, among other appurtenances, aren't quite what they used to be."

--

Wallace was the first man hired when late CBS news producer Don Hewitt put together the staff of "60 Minutes" at its inception in 1968. The show wasn't a hit at first, but it worked its way up to the top 10 in the 1977-78 season and remained there, season after season, with Wallace as one of its mainstays. Among other things, it proved there could be big profits in TV journalism.

--

The show pioneered the use of "ambush interviews," with reporter and camera crew corralling alleged wrongdoers in parking lots, hallways, wherever a comment, or at least a stricken expression, might be harvested from someone dodging the reporters' phone calls.

Such tactics were phased out over time, Wallace said they provided drama but not much good information.

And his style never was all about surprise, anyway. Wallace was a master of the skeptical follow-up question, coaxing his prey with a "forgive me, but ..." or a simple, "come on." He was known as one who did his homework, spending hours preparing for interviews, and alongside the exposes, "60 Minutes" featured insightful talks with celebrities and world leaders.

He was equally tough on public and private behaviour. In 1973, with the Watergate scandal growing, he sat with top Nixon aide John Ehrlichman and read a long list of alleged crimes, from money laundering to obstructing justice. "All of this, Wallace noted, "by the law and order administration of Richard Nixon."

The surly Ehrlichman could only respond: "Is there a question in there somewhere?"

In the early 1990s, Wallace reduced Barbra Streisand to tears as he scolded her for being "totally self-absorbed" when she was young and mocked her decades of psychoanalysis. "What is it she is trying to find out that takes 20 years?" Wallace said he wondered.

"I'm a slow learner," Streisand told him.

His late colleague Harry Reasoner once said, "There is one thing that Mike can do better than anybody else: With an angelic smile, he can ask a question that would get anyone else smashed in the face."

Wallace said he didn't think he had an unfair advantage over his interview subjects: "The person I'm interviewing has not been subpoenaed. He's in charge of himself, and he lives with his subject matter every day. All I'm armed with is research."

Wallace himself became a dramatic character in several projects, from the stage version of "Frost/Nixon," when he was played by Stephen Rowe, to the 1999 film "The Insider," based in part on a 1995 "60 Minutes" story about tobacco industry whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand, who accused Brown & Williamson of intentionally adding nicotine to cigarettes. Christopher Plummer starred as Wallace and Russell Crowe as Wigand. Wallace was unhappy with the film, in which he was portrayed as caving to pressure to kill a story about Wigand.

Operating on a tip, The New York Times reported that "60 Minutes" planned to excise Wigand's interview from its tobacco expose. CBS said Wigand had signed a nondisclosure agreement with his former company, and the network feared that by airing what he had to say, "60 Minutes" could be sued along with him.

The day the Times story appeared, Wallace downplayed the gutted story as "a momentary setback." He soon sharpened his tone. Leading into the revised report when it aired, he made no bones that "we cannot broadcast what critical information about tobacco, addiction and public health (Wigand) might be able to offer." Then, in a "personal note," he told viewers that he and his "60 Minutes" colleagues were "dismayed that the management at CBS had seen fit to give in to perceived threats of legal action."

The full report eventually was broadcast.

Wallace maintained a hectic pace after CBS waived its long-standing rule requiring broadcasters to retire at 65. In early 1999, at age 80, he added another line to his resume by appearing on the network's spinoff, "60 Minutes II." (A similar concession was granted Wallace's longtime colleague, Don Hewitt, who in 2004, at age 81, relinquished his reins as executive producer; he died in 2009.)

Wallace amassed 21 Emmy awards during his career, as well as five DuPont-Columbia journalism and five Peabody awards.

In all, his television career spanned six decades, much of it spent at CBS. In 1949, he appeared as Myron Wallace in a show called "Majority Rules." In the early 1950s, he was an announcer and game show host for programs such as "What's in a Word?" He also found time to act in a 1954 Broadway play, "Reclining Figure," directed by Abe Burrows.

In the mid-1950s came his smoke-wreathed "Night Beat," a series of one-on-one interviews with everyone from an elderly Frank Lloyd Wright to a young Henry Kissinger that began on local TV in New York and then appeared on the ABC network. It was the show that first brought Wallace fame as a hard-boiled interviewer, a "Mike Malice" who rarely gave his subjects any slack.

Wrote Coronet magazine in 1957: "Wallace's interrogation had the intensity of a third degree, often the candour of a psychoanalytic session. Nothing like it had ever been known on TV. ... To Wallace, no guest is sacred, and he frankly dotes on controversy."

Sample "Night Beat" exchange, with colorful restaurateur Toots Shor. Wallace: "Toots, why do people call you a slob?" Shor: "Me? Jiminy crickets, they 'musta' been talking about Jackie Gleason."

In those days, Wallace said, "interviews by and large were virtual minuets. ... Nobody dogged, nobody pushed." He said that was why "Night Beat" ''got attention that hadn't been given to interview broadcasts before."

It was also around then that Wallace did a bit as a TV newsman in the 1957 Hollywood drama "A Face in the Crowd," which starred Andy Griffith as a small-town Southerner who becomes a political phenomenon through his folksy television appearances. Two years later, Wallace helped create "The Hate That Hate Produced," a highly charged program about the Nation of Islam that helped make a national celebrity out of Malcolm X and was later criticized as biased and inflammatory.

After holding a variety of other news and entertainment jobs, including serving as advertising pitchman for a cigarette brand, Wallace became a full-time newsman for CBS in 1963.

He said it was the death of his 19-year-old son, Peter, in an accident in 1962 that made him decide to stick to serious journalism from then on. (Another son, Chris, followed his father and became a broadcast journalist, most recently as a Fox News Channel anchor.)

Wallace had a short stint reporting from Vietnam, and took a sock in the jaw while covering the tumultuous 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. But he didn't fit the stereotype of the Eastern liberal journalist. He was a close friend of the Reagans and was once offered the job of Richard Nixon's press secretary. He called his politics moderate.

--
Wallace once said the case brought on depression that put him in the hospital for more than a week. "Imagine sitting day after day in the courtroom hearing yourself called every vile name imaginable," he said.

In 1996, he appeared before the Senate's Special Committee on Aging to urge more federal funds for depression research, saying that he had felt "lower, lower, lower than a snake's belly" but had recovered through psychiatry and antidepressant drugs. He later disclosed that he once tried to commit suicide during that dark period. Wallace, columnist Art Buchwald and author William Styron were friends who commiserated often enough about depression to call themselves "The Blues Brothers," according to a 2011 memoir by Styron's daughter, Alexandra.
--
Among those interviewing him about the book was son Chris, for "Fox News Sunday." His son asked: Does he understand why people feel a disaffection from the mainstream media?

"They think they're wide-eyed commies. Liberals," the elder Wallace replied, a notion he dismissed as "damned foolishness."


Wallace was born Myron Wallace on May 9, 1918, in Brookline, Mass. He began his news career in Chicago in the 1940s, first as radio news writer for the Chicago Sun and then as reporter for WMAQ. He started at CBS in 1951.

He was married four times. In 1986, he wed Mary Yates Wallace, the widow of his close friend and colleague, Ted Yates, who had died in 1967. Besides his wife, Wallace is survived by his son, Chris, a stepdaughter, Pauline Dora, and stepson Eames Yates.

--

http://www.castanet.net/news/World/7358 ... llace-dies
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Re: CBS newsman Mike Wallace dies

Postby AlicetheKurious » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:40 pm

I haven't watched Wallace in nearly twenty years, but his interviews set a very high standard that few have met after him. He was a real pro, and that's a lot. God rest his soul.
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Re: CBS newsman Mike Wallace dies

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:53 pm

The Manatee would have had a Hughgasm, if he heard the NPR coverage. After some intro blah-blah, the first Wallace audio out of the gate (as a sample of his inquisitor's prowess) was a fairly recent interview with Clint Hill, the Secret Service man who wept as he fantasized that he could have taken the "third bullet" before it hit JFK. You have to be impressed by the frequency and the variety of contexts with which NPR constantly reinforces this foundational American myth. Out of Wallace's 65-year career, they honed right in on it.
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Re: CBS newsman Mike Wallace dies

Postby Project Willow » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:03 pm

^ Perhaps it was by his own request. What stands out in my mind is of course his work on depression and mental illness, and his 60 Minutes interview with Paul McHugh, who took the opportunity to try to discredit Dissociative Identity Disorder and bashed survivors of extreme abuse.

I never thought of Wallace the same way after that interview.

Wallace: “Dr. Paul McHugh is chief of the psychiatry department at Johns Hopkins University. He says that he has never seen a case of multiple personality disorder that was not induced by the therapist.”

McHugh: “I wouldn’t be doing this at all if I didn’t feel that this huge misdirection in psychiatric practice hasn’t hurt thousands of families in our country.”

Wallace: “Fact is, the psychiatric profession may never take action on this issue because, says Dr. McHugh, they are hoping the multiple personality disorder diagnosis simply fades away.”

McHugh: ”I believe that we have seen here in psychiatry, like we’ve seen in other-other aspects of our society in history, a craze. And now, like all crazes, the damage that’s-that it did is becoming evident. And the diagnosis, the approach, the very ideas themselves are waning. It’s gonna be like the Hula-Hoop, it’ll be gone.”


It struck me that Wallace, who long suffered from depression, was either personally invested in disavowing its relationship to trauma or he succumbed to or was hoodwinked by other forces.
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Re: CBS newsman Mike Wallace dies

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:53 pm

CBS was the flagship CIA TV channel back when there were only 3 channels.
Mike Wallace toed the CIA line his whole career, just like Walter Cronkite.

The '60 Minutes' effect served to promote the myth of a 'liberal watch dog press' every Sunday night since 1968, even more than the Myth of Watergate' morality theater used to throw scapegoat Nixon under the Joint Chief of Staff's bus for Vietnam closure.
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My name's Mike Wallace, the cigarette is Philip Morris.

Postby IanEye » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:17 am

"The Mike Wallace Interview" aired on ABC.

WALLACE:  Dr. Niebuhr, the first question I'd like to put to you is perhaps a very obvious one, but I would like a kind of a capsulized answer, if I may.   We hear about the necessity for a separation between church and state.  If religion is good, why should our society be based upon a separation between the church and the state?

NIEBUHR:  Your "if" is a very big one -- if religion is good, it may be very good and it may be bad.   The separation of church and state is necessary partly because if religion is good then the state shouldn't interfere with the religious vision or with the religious prophet.
There must be a realm of truth beyond political competence, that's why there must be a separation of churches,  but if religion is bad and a bad religion is one that gives an ultimate sanctity to some particular cause.  Then religion mustn't interfere with the state  -- so one of the basic Democratic principles as we know it in America is the separation of church and state.
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Re: CBS newsman Mike Wallace dies

Postby Laodicean » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:30 pm

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Re: CBS newsman Mike Wallace dies

Postby 2012 Countdown » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:40 pm

Just posting an interesting interview of his...

Salvador Dali - Mike Wallace interview 1958
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhyHlKHIeZY

btw, Wallace does a major pitch for 'Parlament' cigs before the interview. Given some of the details in the OP article, ironic.

Ayn Rand Mike Wallace Interview 1959
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ukJiBZ8 ... 8500414BE7

==

I looked for a Wallace interview of Jim Garrison. Surely there would be one. I didn't find one.
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Re: CBS newsman Mike Wallace dies

Postby MinM » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:32 pm

2012 Countdown wrote:I looked for a Wallace interview of Jim Garrison. Surely there would be one. I didn't find one.

Mike Wallace wasn't stupid. Anyone in the media that interviewed or in other ways tried to portray Jim Garrison sympathetically (Jim Barbour, Roger Feinman, Oliver Stone, Mort Sahl et al.) had the tendency to lose work. :offair:

As far as corporate media went though Wallace especially when he was teamed with producer Lowell Bergman (not to be confused with Lowell Thomas or Lowell Weicker) were very good. BTW -- Lowell Bergman just had an excellent episode of Frontline on Rupert Murdoch.
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Re: CBS newsman Mike Wallace dies

Postby 2012 Countdown » Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:49 am

A case of a dog that did not bark on JFK, Wallace.

Okay, here's one for the RI crowd-

Mike Wallace Interviews Aldous Huxley - May 18, 1958

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Re: CBS newsman Mike Wallace dies

Postby Nordic » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:07 am

http://mondoweiss.net/2008/09/report-60 ... stine.html

Report: ’60 Minutes’ Cut Ahmadinejad’s Statement, ‘Solution Is Democracy’ in Israel/Palestine

by Philip Weiss on September 7, 2008

The interview that Mike Wallace did of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 2 years ago was aired on C-Span recently, and a diligent blogger has reported on what "60 Minutes" cut out of the interview when it aired. When Wallace confronted Ahmadinejad with the "wipe Israel off the map" threats, Ahmadinejad said that "the solution is democracy" in Israel and Palestine, a suggestion that he favors a one-state solution. I agree with blogger Tom Murphy that "60"'s edits misrepresent Ahmadinejad's thrust, making him out to be far more confrontational than he is, especially after Wallace promised Ahmadinejad that he would listen to his complete answers to questions. And yes, that this amounts to "suppression of basic facts concerning Israel and the Palestinians."

Here's Murphy's data:

The text in red was edited out of the 60 Minutes broadcast:

MR. WALLACE:
You are very good at filibustering. You still have not answered the
question. You still have not answered the question. Israel must be
wiped off the map. Why?

PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Well, don't be hasty, sir. I'm going to get to that.

MR. WALLACE: I'm not hasty.

PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: I think that the Israeli government is a fabricated government and
I have talked about the solution. The solution is democracy. We have
said allow Palestinian people to participate in a free and fair
referendum to express their views. What we are saying only serves the
cause of durable peace. We want durable peace in that part of the
world. A durable peace will only come about with once the views of the
people are met.


So we said that allow the people of Palestine to participate in a
referendum to choose their desired government, and of course, for the
war to come an end as well. Why are they refusing to allow this to go
ahead? Even the Palestinian administration and government which has
been elected by the people is being attacked on a daily basis, and its
high-ranking officials are assassinated and arrested. Yesterday, the
speaker of the Palestinian parliament was arrested, elected by the
people, mind you. So how long can this go on?


We believe that this problem has to be dealt with fundamentally. I
believe that the American government is blindly supporting this
government of occupation. It should lift its support, allow the people
to participate in free and fair elections. Whatever happens let it be.
We will accept and go along. The result will be as you said earlier,
sir.

MR.
WALLACE: Look, I mean no disrespect. Let's make a deal. I will listen
to your complete answers if you'll stay for all of my questions. My
concern is that we might run out of time.

PRESIDENT
AHMADINEJAD: Well, you're free to ask me any questions you please, and
I am hoping that I'm free to be able to say whatever is on my mind. You
are free to put any question you want to me, and of course, please give
me the right to respond fully to your questions to say what is on my
mind.

Do you perhaps want me to say what you want me to say? Am I to understand –

MR. WALLACE: No.

PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: So if that is the case, then I ask you to please be patient.

MR. WALLACE: I said I'll be very patient.

PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Maybe these are words that you don't like to hear, Mr. Wallace.

MR. WALLACE: Why? What words do I not like to hear? [the words highlighted in red and edited out of the interview]

PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Because I think that you're getting angry.

MR. WALLACE: No, I couldn't be happier for the privilege of sitting down with the president of Iran.
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Re: CBS newsman Mike Wallace dies

Postby AlicetheKurious » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:23 am

Nordic wrote:http://mondoweiss.net/2008/09/report-60-minutes-cut-ahmadinejads-statement-solution-is-democracy-in-israelpalestine.html

Report: ’60 Minutes’ Cut Ahmadinejad’s Statement, ‘Solution Is Democracy’ in Israel/Palestine


Disgusting, but typical. I wish there were a Mike Wallace-type reporter who could corner Mike Wallace in an interview and ask him about this, on camera.
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Mike Wallace v. Jim Garrison

Postby MinM » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:36 pm

2012 Countdown wrote:I looked for a Wallace interview of Jim Garrison. Surely there would be one. I didn't find one.

Mike Wallace wasn't stupid. Anyone in the media that interviewed or in other ways tried to portray Jim Garrison sympathetically (Jim Barbour, Roger Feinman, Oliver Stone, Mort Sahl et al.) had the tendency to lose work. :offair:

As far as corporate media went though Wallace especially when he was teamed with producer Lowell Bergman (not to be confused with Lowell Thomas or Lowell Weicker) were very good. BTW -- Lowell Bergman just had an excellent episode of Frontline on Rupert Murdoch.

Mike Wallace was more than just unsympathetic with Jim Garrison. As evidenced by this hit piece on Garrison...

Mike Wallace of CBS News Dead at 93. A "One Man Truth Squad" Or... A Predictable, Establishment Gatekeeper
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Postby MinM » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:03 pm

It's interesting that towards the end of that clip above Mike Wallace suggests to Jim Garrison that...

-- "the CIA could hardly stand in your way..." --

Bill O'Reilly of all people knew better than that...

"The CIA planted 9 agents inside the Garrison Investigation..." Bill O'Reilly (Inside Edition)

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IANEYE Reinhold_Niebuhr

Postby Allegro » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:43 pm

Introducing the Wallace interview of theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, IanEye wrote:"The Mike Wallace Interview" aired on ABC. [REFER.]
In the interview, Niebuhr said, “…How do I know about God’s judgment? One of the fundamental points about religious humility is you say you don’t know about the ultimate judgment. It’s beyond your judgment. And if you equate God’s judgment with your judgment, you have a wrong religion.…”

Thanks, IanEye. The interview was breath of fresh air after much of last week hearing and reading the harrowing prerequisites of Christian fanatics who imbue their predisposed exclusionary points of view in a way that seemingly measure long term tragedies, if not genocides.

MinM’s thread titled White Savior Industrial Complex contains several posts wrt the Christian fanatics I speak of, and whose characteristics of extreme Christian evangelism Niebuhr might’ve been referencing.
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