Remembering Mike Wallace


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Channel surfing the other night, I ran across All the President’s Men for what felt like the thousandth time.  I came in about twenty minutes before the end, and – not for the first time – I felt compelled to watch it to the end.  What a splendidly written, brilliantly directed, terrifically acted movie!  What a stirring story!  What a beautiful piece of filmmaking, from the cinematography to the lighting design!  And what a crock!

All the President’s Men converted a generation of innocent, impressionable, pre-Internet Americans – myself included – into unthinking fans of the mainstream news media.  Some people in the government might be out to screw us over, and certainly every last man and woman in corporate America was up to no good, but the knights in shining armor at the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the network news divisions were there to come to our rescue – to save our freedoms and preserve our Constitution, wielding the truth like a shining sword.

As I watched Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, in the last shot of the film, taking down Richard M. Nixon one typewriter keystroke at a time, my thoughts naturally turned to Mike Wallace, who since his death the other day at the age of 285 – sorry, 93 – has been celebrated by many commentators as the quintessential embodiment of the crusading, principled, virtuous mainstream news media in its now-bygone, widely lamented heyday.  His death, indeed, has provided his colleagues in the traditional media with a magnificent opportunity – which many of them, of course, have seized upon – to try to resurrect the heroic myth perpetrated by All the President’s Men and many other films(Remember, for example, another Redford film from 1976, Three Days of the Condor, in which he’s betrayed and hunted down by the CIA and ends up, incriminating evidence finally in hand, at the entrance to the New York Times building, the logo of that newspaper symbolizing his, and justice’s, salvation?)  A typical posthumous tribute to Wallace in the Washington Post began as follows: “Mike Wallace had a glorious career at CBS, racking up 21 Emmy awards and an endless reel of great interviewing moments. And to think that this fantastic career….”  Check, please!

Admittedly, Wallace was a gifted showman.  Every cheesy TV show that has ever made use of ambush interviews owes him a huge debt of gratitude.  But too often his antics left a vaguely – or not so vaguely – bad taste in one’s mouth.  Yes, the used-car salesman in Cowpie, Oklahoma, who turned back odometers deserved to get nabbed for it – but did he deserve to be nabbed in front a nationwide audience?  Did this pathetic petty swindler deserve to be cast as this week’s dastardly villain opposite the golden champion of American fair play and hero of the common man – portrayed, as always, by Wallace, this moneyed member of the Manhattan media elite?

What was especially unpalatable about Wallace’s work on 60 Minutes is that one week he’d self-righteously bring down some small-time crook in some shabby little office in flyover America – killing a fly with a cannon – and the next week he’d turn out an unctuous, nauseating puff piece on some insufferable celebrity or other.  I’ll never forget the image of him laughing it up with real-estate magnates Harry and Leona Helmsley on the roof of one of their New York hotels.  One had the impression (and perhaps he even said something to this effect; I don’t remember) that he and the Helmsleys were chums, or at least went to some of the same parties or had mutual friends among the bicoastal glitterati.  The Helmsleys were ripe for exposé treatment (she ended up behind bars; he escaped prosecution only because of physical and mental incompetence), but their profile by Mike Wallace, investigative journalist extraordinaire, was framed as a portrait of a husband and wife of a certain age who, though high-powered and successful businesspeople, were, far more importantly, still just as deeply in love with each other as ever.

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  • Wally

    Nasty red diaper doper baby fake Jew and dirty shxtter – good riddance to his ilk, the dinosaurs are dying off – thank goodness for Fox news, CNSNews, NewsMax, worldnetdaily, israelnationalnews, prisonplanet, biggovernment and other real news sources.

    • jenifer

      good to see such an informative stuff… thanks for posting..

      android 4.0 tablets

    • jenifer

      Researchers have found that the mind can rearrange itself when encountered with new difficulties, even through maturity. Based on this research, Lumosity's workouts are designed to practice a range of intellectual features, from working memory to liquid intellect.

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  • Amused

    Oh What a _CROC OF SHIIIT Bruce …….and just look at the P.O.S. [the above Wally ] that the article just brought out from under the dung heap .
    My apologies Wally if that was a dark sarcasm …..if not then you are a true repocon sycophant and most definitely an undisputable P.O.S.

    • JakeTobias

      Mr. Amused, you certainly have a lot of energy and tenacity. Good job.

      But I can only agree with a few of your points. I also think it was a good idea for Sixty Minutes to act as consumer advocate. Even if the guy was small time. A bad guy is a bad guy. I remember Johnny Carson once showed a soft side about this one guy who sold fake college degrees. I was disappointed Carson felt sorry for him. Though, the con man did attempt suicide. It was the first time I understood such a thing was a play for sympathy. And I always did want to know if he went to jail or not.

      I am not sure what the comment about Harry going to prison is about. The way I read Bruce's piece, it says Harry did not go to prison for health reasons. And I still think Nixon was a crook too. Someone here said he was impeached, but he was not. But the rest, I can not agree.

      This site is not one of Nazis, or the closed minded. Though I find they can be as snide, and smug, as the liberals on TV. To my mind though, that is new, and only happens sometimes. I know I have made comments I shouldn't have. Sometimes I delete them. I use to think I was liberal. I had no idea most my life, to conservatives, that only means socialist, or communist. Unfortunately, Obama is a socialist, and is going to bankrupt the country if he is not stopped. And I think both Bush administrations, helped get us here too.

      I am sorry Mr. Amused, it is very important President Obama loses his re-election bid.

  • Amused

    UInlike the author , Wallace , like hjim or not , was not a liar . BTW Bruce , Harry did not go to jail . You were probably not born yet as "The Queen of Mean " was building her reputation. An Ultra-Rich tax evader ,Leona was also generous with Charities and wa the driving force behind Harry .
    Do try to get your facts straight Bruce , even if you do hate Wallace .One thing's clear …you couldn't shine his shoes .
    BTW , yea , Myself as well as anyone else who eve WORKED for a living and bought a ued car ,APPRECIATED Wallace busting a guy turning back speedometers . But I guessed you missed the real story , of course you just saw a "poor little entrepenuer " getting trampled by the big bad "crusader ", but what was exposed was a growing practice and BUISINESS among car dealers , in fact Bruce , CHRYSLER got caught doing it with their new car demos . And when Westmoreland got outted for LYING to the country about whast was really happening in Vietnam , and consequently the lives that were possobly lost due to it ……you must have cried huh Bruce ?
    Nothing new here though Bruce , TRUTH becomes the victim …again at good Ole' FPM .

    • http://www.facebook.com/michel.richy.7 Michel Richy

      Researchers have found that the mind can rearrange itself when encountered with new difficulties, even through maturity. Based on this research, Lumosity's workouts are designed to practice a range of intellectual features, from working memory to liquid intellect.

      fun for brain

  • Amused

    If Wallace was alive , you guys here at FPM , might be expecting a visit .

    • Looking4Sanity

      And if you were dead we wouldn't have to read your crap any longer. That isn't happening either, is it? Mike Wallace was a smarmy POS. I'm glad he's off the radar.

      • Amused

        Hey man as far as listening to me , you got two very good choices 1 ) crawl up your assss and disappear and 2 ) [this one's right up your alley ] G-F-Y . Looking4Sanity ? don't look in the mirror chump .

        • KarshiKhanabad

          Amused, if you don't like this site, then quit your pottymouth tirades and take it down. Right now.

  • Amused

    In case my 2nd post gets deleted , let me CORRECT you Bruce …Harry NEVER went to Jail , he was deemed unfit to stand trial . Both however were guilty of tax evasion . And Leona , the Queen of Mean , did infact donate millions to charities in NY , as well as CHEAT on her income tax . and lied to evade sales tax whenever he could . And ANYONE who's ever worked for a living and bought a used car APPRECIATED Wallace busting that "poor little ole' entrepenuer who was turning odometers back , in fact exposing a cottage industry ….but that must of made you cry huh Bruce ? Especially whe Chrysler got busted trying it on their "New " Demo-cars.
    Pathetic article Bruce .

    • Gary from Jersey

      What the article doesn't say and apparently you don't know is that Wallace and 60 Minutes were (and are) the least ethical and most disingenuous people in media. I know first-hand about this because it happened to a friend: The story was about welfare reform in New Jersey and the reporter, Ed something, asked my friend and his boss a series of questions. Just to ensure they got it right, Ed repeated the questions but with small, telling changes. Then Ed did it again. When the show aired, 60 Minutes spliced the answers to one group of questions to another group to completely distort what my friend and his boss had been saying. IOW, 60 Minutes had an agenda and swapped the questions and answers to fit the narrative. Wallace, 60 Minutes and their ilk are the very definition of lying, manipulative MSM.

      • KarshiKhanabad

        Look up the name of Kimberly Bergalis, a young woman who contracted AIDS from her HIV-positive dentist who concealed his condition and later tried to blame his patients. Less than two years later she was dead but before dying managed to testify before Congress about the medical dangers of AIDS proliferation. 60 Minutes did a hit piece on this poor woman that was so skewed that Mike Wallace was forced to issue an on-air apology. Wish I'd taped it, his eyes were blazing with fury as he made his nonapology apology, it was like he wanted to say, "you malicious ignorant peasants, how DARE you question my motives!!?"

        Might also google his use of the term "tacos and watermelons". And after he & Peter Jennings affirmed their status as impartial journalists even if that cost American soldiers their lives, Wallace told a senior officer that if he and his newsies were ambushed by the enemy, he expected to be rescued "because after all, I'm still a citizen."

        Wallace will not be missed. I hope he is right now interviewing Hitler & Pol Pot.

  • Amused

    And IMAGINE !!! Outting Gen. Westmoreland for LYING to the American People about the true staus of the war in Vietnam for all those years …..Gee , I wonder how many lives that may have cost ?

    You guys here are beginning to sound more like the Goebbels Propaganda machine ,with each passing day .

    • KarshiKhanabad

      Amused, you sound like the one with the clubfoot.

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Jaundiced

    Thanks for the reminder. I was being induced into a trance of sentimentality over Mike Wallace and forgetting all the reasons I despised him.

  • Chezwick

    Watch Morgan Freeman put Mike Wallace in his place.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeixtYS-P3s

    • Sage on the Stage

      Morgan Freeman should take his own advice, and stop calling the Tea Party racist.

  • Zionista

    It was obvious that the geezer's depends were on too tight when he interviewed achmadeniJIHAD and coddled him so – I'm surprised the old creep didn't offer the smelly iranian bum a massage.

  • Amused

    LOL….you fools would pissss on Mother Theresa if you thought it would give you political traction …….that's why I am greatly amused at the circus act that goes on here . . …lol…and what ? Morgan Freeman !! Oh this is too much , what hilarity , what hypocrisy ….FPM and it's little minions were pisssing all over him just a few weeks ago . Oh brother what a sorry lot ! Keep it coming guys , I've told my buddies to tune in and catch the comedy .They didn't believe me when I told them , I found an enclave of right wing morons . Breibart's big "Govmint " aint got nothin' on you people .

  • Amused

    oh well , another day another strawman , by psuedo-journalists and authors . Gonna go now and check out your fellow mirror image morons over at KOS and AntiWar , and ruffle some feathers ……next stop Islamic Forum , you guys have no idea of the similarity in mentalities that exists amongst these blogs . Highly opinionated , narrowminded , ignorant , denial of facts , propaganda , false accusations ,animosity towards all who do not follow lock step or disagree ,and the usual memes and rhetoric parrots .

  • Schlomotion

    It is weird seeing someone so smug, who did so much work to pillory the Nation of Islam and to glad-hand civil rights out of existence get thrown under the bus because he wasn't as rabid a supporter of Israel as Kach was. It's part of the same spectacle as watching aspies webwar over whether 60 references to homophobia and Martha's Vineyard and Palestine will or will not be added to Mike Wallace's Wikipedia page, or whether the Jewish community of Brookline is a "suburb." People are so fast to write epitaphs. The patting down of the grave dirt turns into stomping.

  • Jaundiced

    Is anyone else as amused by "Amused" as I am?

    • Wideband

      You mean our idiot neighbor, Shrill? Amused might be too strong a word. I've noticed most people here have taken to ignoring him.

      • Amused

        Yes I see that …lol….including you huh wideband …..lololol…

    • Zionista

      he's just a bore – a nobody and a crashing bore

    • Stephen_Brady

      Refer to him as "Helen". He doesn't seem to be very amused with that.

  • Amused

    Hey Bruce , don't you really mean " Pooping on Mike Wallace " lol…..all your little sycophants are ….lol…and you didn't intend that , now did ya Bruce ?

    • Western Spirit

      my,my, such anger and sarcasm toward those who criticize your idol wallace whose clay feet are crumbled by this article.

      i've asked this before and i repeat, what's so amusing about the truth? oh, that's right, the truth makes you angry and amused isn't amused afterall.

  • Brujo Blanco

    This was one of the iocons of news that believed he was exxempt from criticism.

  • Reason_For_Life

    My biggest problem is with toads like Bill O'Reilly who said that Mike Wallace was the greatest interviewer of all time. Wallace's interviews were about Wallace, his subject was merely a means to making himself look good. By comparison Edwin Newman was much better, so good in fact that you hardly knew he was there when he interviewed someone. Newman understood that the purpose of an interview is for viewers to see the person being interviewed.

    • Bluehawk

      Well said. Journalism has always attracted a certain number like Wallace, whose legacy today might as well be identified as MSNBC, who deem themselves by reason of their profession the fourth branch of government.

  • Judenlieber

    At least Peter Jennings could defend himself by citing his non-American status.(he was a Canadian citizen until 2003) Andy Rooney was a correspondent during the Normandy Invasion. I'd love to hear the three of them respond to the question "What would you have done if you knew the Germans were preparing to American troops?", and then the three of them would have had to defend their actions, and explain what the difference was. (Of course Nazis are number one on the Left's official list of approved enemies, but I'd like to hear them explain the difference.)

  • Judenlieber

    ambush

    • Amused

      Judenlieber , not only can't you compose a coherent sentence , but you've got a pretty warped view of reality , you know , like the rest of the dimbulbs here , uttering your kind of nonsense . Go take a smart pill , it may help .

      • Zionista

        and you are one of the dimmest!!!!!!!!!

  • SweetBillM

    The "blue ribbon" of malicious reporting was of the disposal of Richard Nixon. Do go to "Five Watergate Conspiracies" Geoff Shepard. Read also his "The Real Watergate Conspiracy-The Secret Plot to Make Ted Kennedy President." This book has a poor title and is reads too much like a legal brief. One fact in that book: When Nixon resigned, both the House Impeachment committee and the Ervin committee sealed their records for 50 years.

    I believe a better title for Watergate is " A Confederacy of Castrati." Mu guess that at least 50 to 100 lawyers knew that Nixon was essentially innocent. But of the group, not one has be courage to contact a reputable reporter to "blow the lid on the Castrati.

    • Amused

      I can tell you don' know what you're talking about . LOL…were you infact out of your diapers during Watergate ? Nixon disposed of himself , he would have won the election , there was no sane reason [ other than Tricky Dick's paranioa ] to have his hacks break into the DNC at Watergate / Your theory is like a drug-indiuced fractured fairey-tale . lol….maybe you should make a movie eh ?

      • Western Spirit

        and you are probably in your diapers old man in florida with nothing to do but write insulting posts.

    • John

      I am not sure about Nixon one way or the other in terms of his governance. He was nothing great but we have had and have worse. I think what got Nixon impeached was that after a while you just got tired of him. For a politician he was surprisingly not likeable, and he handled the blow back from Watergate really badly. He seemed like a crook, actually. And like the author, I have cooled a lot over the years on the press. If they are on my side it is only an accident.

  • Ray Olson

    Wallace deserves this excavation. I always found him repulsive–narcissistic and condescending. What with his departure and that of Christopher Hitchens (of whom see Tom Piatak's fine flaying, "hitch Is Not Great", in the February 2012 Chronicles), 2012 has been morbidly rewarding, indeed.

  • Amused

    yea we need some ethical journalists like Breibart and his weasel O'Keefe .Wallace never walked in on anyone icognito , nor was it an ambush , If you accepted an interview with Wallace you knew what you were gonna get , and they did . Imagine that Wallace , asking question you thought he wouldn't , or asking a question he already knew the amswer to , and giving you the choice to tell the truth or LIE .
    The NERVE !! THOU HYPOCRITES !

    • WilliamJamesWard

      Musi is your 500th birthday coming up soon?……………………Regards………………..William

    • Lady_Dr

      Amused – you are such a smuck. While Breibart and O'Keefe have made a few mistakes, both were comparative novices. Whereas Wallace has a vast body of work and ALL of it provides evidence of a jumped-up, smarmy, narcissist who was ahead of his times in that everything he did was about himself.

    • Amused

      Yoi're a BIGGER SCHMUCK Lady_DR ,and thats because they weren't mistakes .It would take an imbecile to see it otherwise .And as for the weasel O'Keefe go check out what he attempted with one of his female proteges . A great story on the workings of the mind of a total asssshole .
      http://nadianaffe.com/part-ii-the-barn-incident/#… …but dont take my word for it . And BTW , I see you're just another little parrot , after all what are the odd that there are two asssholes on the same Blog /same thread who would use that term "smarmey narcissist " ….go get a room with O'keefe .

      • Amused

        You've heard the term " biting the hand that feeds you " ? Well all you repocon sycophants remind of " licking the boot that kicks you " LOL……dont hurt yourself thinking Lady_Dr …and I hope to hell for the sake of,mankind , that the Dr in your tag doesn't mean DOCTOR .

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Only the good die young, 285 years, that's going some………………..William

  • Amused

    That;s over rated

  • Long Ben

    Mike Wallace absolutedly did smear Christopher Ruddy , at the request of one of Wallaces' cruddy buddys who was a cog in the filthy Clinton machine .

  • mrbean

    Mile "Malice" was a grenade thrower who would cover up for the Kennedys, Carter, and the Clintons and would attempt to destroy anyone who didn't tow the liberal line. Like his buddy Walter Cronkite he had talent, but both of them were experts at presenting their liberal world view by dishonestly editing their interviews and take partial quotes out of context. Both Wallace and Cronkite aided and abetted the enemy during the Vietnam War and glorified the New Left pro-NVA and VC protests. Now that both of them are worm food, may they rest in pi$$ and be regulated insignificant footnotes in history.

    • KarshiKhanabad

      As a Vietnam vet who had to listen to being called a warmonger & babykiller in the US media while I was there, I couldn't agree more. Thanks for providing the additional words. Jane Fonda wasn't the only traitor, just the loudest & meanest. These two managed to cling to "respectability" all their rotten lives.

  • philfromboston

    The point is wellmade in the CAMERA extract in the author's article that Wallace was very easy, indeed respectful towards that bearded frog called Arafat. Interestingly, when he interviewed Abba Eban, Israel's very intellectual foreign minister (who coined the phrase "Auschwitz borders" to denote Israel's vulnerable pre-1967 borders), Wallace was an angry tiger who didn't give Eban breathing space, let alone basic courtesy. See the video on elderofzion.org. Wallace changed his name from Myron to Mike,has a son named Chris, his last name was also changed (by his father) to be less Jewish, more American. He came from Brookline, Mass., always a p.c. town much like neighboring Cambridge. So much for his "Jewish" roots…

  • Jim

    So they couldn't say he was liberal or conservative do they? I would like to see a tally of how many conservatives he attacked on his show as compared to how many leftists or liberals he attacked.

    Any one can do in your face questioning with the same facial expressions he mastered. Even Leslie Stahl could do that.

    The only time I ever saw him grill a leftist was when he attacked "God Box" officers. The Chief just laughed off his questions and his facial expressions,

  • Amused

    If "they " can't determine his politics ? THEN HE'S GOT TO BE A BLOODY, DAMNED, LEFTIST, LIBERAL SELF HATING JEW ,MARXIST, COMMIE ,BAD AMERICAN .
    IF HE DONT THINK OR TALK LIKE BREIBART ,BECK OR LIMBAUGH , THEN HE AIN'T NO GOOD ….DAMN ROTTEN WALLACE >

  • Amused

    In Fact , I hear tell that Wallace was a CARD CARRYING COMMIE , bent on exposing and smearing CONSERVATIVES !! IN FACT HE WAS ON ALLEN WEST"S LIST ….YUP , IT MUST BE TRUE >
    Good thing he's dead , this way he can't destroy America any more .

    • mrbean

      Repeat for you – Mike "Malice" like his buddy Walter Cronkite had talent, but both of them were experts at presenting their liberal world view dishonestly by editing their interviews and take partial quotes out of context. Both Wallace and Cronkite aided and abetted the Communist enemy during the Vietnam War and glorified the New Left pro-NVA and VC protests. Not my opinion either, but the opinion of General Võ Nguyên Giáp, who was the commander of the North Vietnamese army, in his published his memoirs. Now that both of them are worm food, may they rest in their own pi$$ and be regulated insignificant footnotes in history.

  • Amused

    LOL….htey reported the War honestly , unlike Gen. Westmoreland,the CIA ,and our leaders who lied and lied and lied , quite possibly indirectly responsible for thousand of lost lives and wounded GI …..you can believe what a communist General says if you want , but unlike YOU , I was there Plieku , during the TET Offensive , when in reality , Westmoreland got bit in the arse by hiis lies , the Ho Chi Min Trail was not eliminated , the enemy's stregnth was NOT diminished , we had not won the hearts and mind of the people , bombing Hanoi did not diminish the resolve of the enemy . Next time try NOT talking out of your rear end .

    • Stephen_Brady

      I was there, also.

      DELTA/2/501/101st 1968-69. I'm always interested in how Vietnam vets on the Left saw the war completely different from the way I saw it. have you, by any chance, bought into the myth of the "invincibility" of the VC? I took a Winchester Model 70 into the bush and hunted them like deer.

      At the very least, assuming you're telling the truth about your service, you put your ass in the grass, unlike the Lefties back in the world …

  • Redwood509

    For those who want a fresher look at the Wodward/Burnstein myth:
    The Outing of Deep Throat
    Patrick J. Buchanan April 9th, 2012
    As the 40th anniversary of Watergate impends, we are to be bathed again in the great myth and morality play about the finest hour in all of American journalism.
    The myth? http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/2012/

  • Stephen_Brady

    I realize that Mike Wallace was Chris Wallace's father, and there's always the need to praise your father … except on the Left, where fathers are "bad guys". But Chris did his second tribute to Mike Wallace on FOX News Sunday, tonight. I'm really getting tired of them. I hope this is the last one.

    As National Review and Rush Limbaugh were the only "equal time" for conservatives, once upon a time, FOX News came along and became about the only place you could hear the conservative side of an argument, in the news.. Mike Wallace was the very picture of the "equal time" that the Left gave conservatism .. which was very little, unless it was an attack.

    Chris is starting to sound an awful lot like his father, recently. Bucking for 60 Minutes, perhaps?