In case you missed it---The scandal over NBC’s abridgement of the 911 call preceding the Trayvon Martin killing continues to launder itself through additional news cycles. Why didn’t NBC speak more fully from the start?
*Mike Wallace has died at the age of 93, and WaPo’s Adam Bernstein uses few words to sum up an important guy:
From an early career as an actor, cigarette pitchman and game-show host, he transitioned to what he called a more substantial career in hard news. “60 Minutes” made him rich, famous and one of the most commanding and imitated fixtures of TV journalism for more than two generations.
*One commonality to the Wallace look-backs: A great deal of them execute one variation or another on the saw that the scariest words in the language are “Mike Wallace is here to see you.”
*Journo remembers fondly the time that Mike Wallace left a phone message for him when he was in college.
*The New York Times isolates the moment that Mike Wallace became the TV personality we came to know:
Mr. Wallace invented his hard-boiled persona on a program called “Night Beat.” Television was black and white, and so was the discourse, when the show went on the air in 1956, weeknights at 11, on the New York affiliate of the short-lived DuMont television network.
“We had lighting that was warts-and-all close-ups,” he remembered. The camera closed in tighter and tighter on the guests. The smoke from Mr. Wallace’s cigarette swirled between him and his quarry. Sweat beaded on his subject’s brows.
“I was asking tough questions,” he said. “And I had found my bliss.” He had become Mike Wallace.
*There was at least one thing that could get Mike Wallace to choke up.
“There is one thing that Mike can do better than anybody else: With an angelic smile, he can ask a question that would get anyone else smashed in the face.”--- the late Harry Reasoner
A lowlight that adds nothing to our understanding of this guy:
“A true original. What an amazing career and remarkable man.”-- CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper
*Morley Safer writes:
There are those who think that, thanks to his wife Mary, Mike mellowed a bit in recent years. But as the specter of retirement bore down, Mike fought it with customary defiance.
When asked whether it was time for him to “pack it in” and reflect, he replied, “Reflect about what? Give me a break. Reflect. What am I going to reflect about?”
*Now for some non-Mike Wallace content: David Carr of the New York Times heralds the return of the newspaper baron:
If you pull back a few thousand feet, you can see newspapers coming full circle. Before World War II, newspapers were mostly owned by political and business interests who used them to push an agenda. People like William Randolph Hearst and Robert McCormick wielded their newspapers as cudgels to get their way. It was only when newspapers began making all kinds of money in the postwar era that they were professionalized and infused with editorial standards.
*National Review severs its ties with John Derbyshire after the columnist pens a racist column (though not for the National Review).