Mike Wallace, “Forgive me …” (1918-2012)

April 12th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

Yes, “forgive me “were the two words the quintessential iconic investigative journalist would say just before he would clobber you with his boldly, searing question[s]. I am a fan of ‘60 minutes’ and in the past 6 months, we’ve lost 2 national treasures from the show – Andy Rooney and now Mike Wallace.
If you were scheduled to be interviewed by Mike Wallace, all I could honestly say is that you had better be ready and if you were not squeaky clean – look out! Mr. Wallace would summarily expose your evil machinations, force you to confess that you are a con man bilking millions from the innocent public, or just basically make you look foolish if front of millions of viewers but only if you were a bad man. Moreover, he would so diplomatically unload on you by uttering the ever so innocuous “Forgive me… how much money did you embezzle? ”
Mike Wallace was a great journalist and a great interviewer – he didn’t know what a puff question was. In his later years he actually felt guilty about hurting all those individuals. (I say why? they were all hiding some misdeed and Mike just yanked it out of them.) Mike had had some tragedy in his life i.e he lost his son Peter in a mountain climbing accident that galvanized his drive to become the serious investigative journalist he became. Later in 1982, Mr. Wallace became the defendant in a 120 million dollar libel suit filed by General Westmoreland at which time he had a nervous breakdown. Wallace never fully recovered from that incident and would have to stay on anti-depressants for the rest of his life.
There have been several obituaries covering his entire career this week and I don’t think it’s necessary to rehash his whole career. I would just like to reiterate that I will miss Mike Wallace and never forget “Forgive me….” RIP Mike Wallace (1918-2012)
So Whadayathink ? What do you think? Did you like Mike Wallace? Did you think that some of his tactics or really ’60 minutes” crossed the line when they set up phony clinics to set up corrupt doctors or when he represented himself as someone he wasn’t, etc.

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2 Responses to “Mike Wallace, “Forgive me …” (1918-2012)”

  1. le duke de fromage Says:

    Mr. Tabor, The end of an era and quite possibly the last of real hard nosed journalistic reporters. Who is left to carry the torch of such icons as Wallace? Sadly, we are assaulted with the likes of reality t.v.all flash and no substance. Mike Wallace will be missed by all who know what real reporting was.

  2. Michael Tabor Says:

    Le duke de fromage – these are sad times indeed and in 2 sentences you have summed up the state of affairs in journalism.

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