RIP Mike Wallace, father of Fox News host Chris Wallace, and a gold standard for broadcast journalism. My interest in news and media traces directly back to Wallace and 60 Minutes. It's no accident that he won 21 Emmies, the last in 2008, at age 89 (for an interview with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad).
Wallace did not lead a charmed life. He suffered from devastating depression, he had a nervous breakdown, he lost his eldest son and he was married numerous times. He was also not the nicest of people. In a fascinating obituary, the New York Times wrote:
“There would be blood on the floor,” Mr. Wallace said in the interview. He said he developed the “not necessarily undeserved reputation” of being prickly — he used a stronger word — and “of stealing stories from my colleagues,” who came to include Morley Safer, Ed Bradley, Dan Rather and Diane Sawyer in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Whatever his personal shortcomings, his professional accomplishments were pioneering and now iconic.
Our sympathies go to his family, including Fox News' Chris Wallace.
There use to be an old joke that the most feared words a corporate CEO or a politician could hear was Mike Wallace is here and wants to talk to you.
Thank you Mr. Wallace, and happy Easter to all of you at News Hounds.