When you’re away from home, it’s hard to explain to your foreign friends in their native language just what an influence someone had been in your life. I sit here now in Italy and just learned that one of the new giants, Mike Wallace, is gone…..to join his other newsies in heaven.
As a kid, I watched “60 Minutes” every Sunday night. It was where we Americans got our first true taste of investigatuve journalism in the broadcast medium. I was bitten, smitten and overall hell-bent on joining that inner circle of newsmen, now women, who got to delve into the underbelly of everything from cigarettes causing cancer to Fidel Castro’s suffocating hold on Cuba. This was an adrenalin rush unlike any other and Mike Wallace lived on the edge with Morley, Don, Uncle Walt and Andy.
With typewriter and microphone in hand at age two, it was my destiny….I would make it to Black Rock. Just to be in the same building with these news icons would be satisfaction enough…..but to actually have them speak to you, well, ecstasy.
Today, we are left with press release journalists who cower to the powers thst be for risk of losing their well-paid jobs. Yesterday’s heroes are gone. Today we are left with tabloid journalism programs who sensationalize celebrity autopsies as if a metabolic post-mortem blood report is just as important and Pulitzer-worthy as the work done by these giants.
Rest in Peace, Mike, they don’t make them like you anymore.