Sunday, April 15, 2012

"60 Minutes" on April 15, 1012: remembering Mike Wallace

Steve Kroft hosted a remembrance of Mike Wallace on April 15. Looking back at some of the highlights. Kroft sat down with Mike back in 2006, in the context of Mike's "retirement." Mike with Putin: Corruption is every place in Russia. Kroft to Wallace: I've never seen an interview in which you did not dominate. Wallace: confident in the material I have. When I ask a question, there's a reason. With the leader of China, "father knows best." Wallace identified "Nightbeat" as his best transition. Wallace with labor leader Mike Quill. Abrasive questions. In 1957, Mike with mobster Mickey Cohen. Mobster Jimmy Fratiano in 1981 on "60 Minutes." Mike: try to establish a chemistry of confidentiality. The interviewee thinks: look I'm here and they forget about the cameras. They answer comfortably. Steve to Mike: You ride up like the Lone Ranger, saving the day. Mike's special short hand vocabulary: Come on. Look. Forgive me.

Wallace to John Ehrlichman in 1973. List of crimes. John to Mike: "Is there a question in there, somewhere."

Mike with Charlton Heston. Right wing nut case zealot.

Kroft to Wallace: some people say you're a grandstander. You think you are more important than the story.

Wallace to Ed Bradley: Let's ask the questions that the people in the audience want to hear.

Wallace to Noriega: how much do you make?

Wallace to Louis Farrakhan. Corruption in Nigeria.

Mike did over 800 reports on "60 Minutes." Interview with former Secret Service agent Clint Hill. Mike: you showed bravery and presence of mind. Clint: Mike, I don't care about that. If I could have reacted just a little bit quicker.

Mike interviewed the Reagans. Mike interviewed Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1950s. In 1960s, Mike interviewed MLK, JFK, and Malcolm X. Malcolm X: I'm probably a dead man already. Mike did Yasir Arafat 7 times. Mike with Jose Canseco on steroid use in major league baseball. Roger Clemens. Jack Kevorkian.

Paul Medlowe on 60 Minutes in 1969 about My Lai massacre. "Just one of them things." Thompson and Colborn put a stop to massacre.

Mike hung out with Johnny Carson in 1979. Never mentioned people's drinking problems. Johnny: I don't handle alcohol real well. Mike first met Barbra Streisand in the 1960s. Interview with Shirley Maclain in 1984. With actress Hillary Swenk.

Mike's favorite interview was with Vladimir Horowitz in 1977. Stars and Stripes Forever in 1945. Brilliant, tempermental.

Morley to Mike: time to pack it all in and reflect? Morley: reflection was never Mike's strong suit. Mike to Morley: we are colleagues and competitors. Morley: talked about Myron (Mike) being targeted to be a lawyer. In 1941, Mike was announcer on the Green Hornet. No lawyer for the Wallaces. Mike doing Fluffo. In 1962, Mike's 19 year old son Peter was killed in Greece. Mike did news on CBS News. Mike passed out on a plane. He had a pacemaker which was monitored. Interview with Jeffrey Wigand: a delivery device for nicotine. General William Westmoreland sued Mike Wallace about allegation of falsification of troop strngths. Suicide attempt more than 25 years ago. Morley: you've become a poster boy for treating depression.

Mike about retirement: "I work." Yitzhak Perlman talked to Mike on playing the violin.

A lack of confidence made Mike Wallace work harder. University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), class of 1939. "Mike and Mary Wallace Place." Cheeky kid from Brookline, MA.


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