RIP Mike Wallace

Mike Wallace, the hard-edged interviewer of 60 Minutes fame died this morning at the age of 93. I will miss the early Wallace that interviewed MLK, Malcolm X, and others. See YouTube for some of his best work in black and white. He was very good, and very fearless.

I was not a fan of the later Wallace, but I recognize that he had a huge impact on journalism, and did manage to get some of the most iconic people of the 20th century to go on record.

But Mike Wallace also ushered in the age of celebrity journalists, and also celebrity reporting. Did we really need to have another interview with [x, y, z] pop figures? Did the news really need to turn into infotainment? Just because you apply some good research does not make an interview with Barbra Streisand essential. His relationships with some of his subjects (Nancy Reagan, for instance) made me skeptical of all of his interviews.

Regardless, he will be missed by millions.

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6 Responses to RIP Mike Wallace

  1. And then there’s Chris Wallace, who makes the later Mike Wallace look like the earlier Mike Wallace (and then some).


  2. Tengrain says:

    I’m critical of the media because I think that they are the 4th Branch of Government that is supposed to keep the other three branches honest. I still maintain that Media Reform is more important than campaign finance reform (and also essential to CFR–what are the pols using the money for, hmmm?) because if you cannot get your message out all the rest doesn’t matter.

    I expect more of journalists than I do of almost any other profession, and when they fail it makes me really depressed.




  3. It’s the same problem, though.

    The plutocrats bought our politicians AND our media.


    • Tengrain says:

      Thunder –

      Yes, but the media (the electronic media, anyway) uses the public airwaves under license from US. We can (allegedly) fix it. We can regulate how many outlets can be owned by one conglomerate, we can make rules… and I’m a dreamer.




  4. it was a two-for one deal.


  5. dk says:

    He coulda’ left fewer progeny, as far as I’m concerned….



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