Mike Wallace

Anchor/ Correspondent


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour interview, Mike Wallace (1918-2012) talks about his early life and his first jobs in radio. He recalls his early television shows, including Mike and Buff, Night Beat, and The Mike Wallace Interview. He discusses various shows he was involved in in the early 1960s, including News Beat, The Race for Space, and making a guest appearance on The Jack Benny Program. He reveals his time at 60 Minutes, including some memorable stories, and working with Harry Reasoner and Morley Safer. He details some of the more controversial episodes in his career, including the libel lawsuit brought against him by General William Westmoreland, and his 60 Minutes piece about Brown & Williamson tobacco. He chronicles his years-long struggle with depression, as well as how the news industry has changed since he started. Steve McClellan conducted the interview on April 17, 1998 in New York, NY.

All views expressed by interviewees are theirs alone and not necessarily those of the Television Academy.

"In the best of all possible worlds, everybody would be honorable, but that's not the way the world works. Reputations for reporters are made by discovering things underneath that rock."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Mike Wallace on Night Beat producer Ted Yates, and on The Mike Wallace Interview
02:24
Mike Wallace on ABC News president John Charles Daly not wanting The Mike Wallace Interview or Mike Wallace to be part of ABC News
02:50
Mike Wallace on his 60 Minutes piece on Brown & Williamson tobacco, produced by Lowell Bergman
03:40
Mike Wallace on his 60 Minutes interview with Ayatollah Khomeini
04:34
Mike Wallace on his controversials Mickey Cohen and Drew Pearson interview on The Mike Wallace Interview
03:54
Mike Wallace on what makes a good interview
01:02
Full Interview

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Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on radio he listened to growing up, and on movies he liked
On his first job in radio after college, and on aspiring to be a radio announcer; on his first, big time radio announcing jobs; on his earliest experiences with television at WBKB in Michigan, and on the early days of television in Chicago

Chapter 2

On his first impressions of television; on his first shows Mike and Buff and Night Beat

Chapter 3

On his work on TV's Newsbeat, Race for Space, and covering the 1960 Presidential election

Chapter 4

On anchoring The CBS Morning News; on covering Richard Nixon's presidential campaign in 1967-68; on joining 60 Minutes at the behest of Don Hewitt
On the first episode of 60 Minutes, and Harry Reasoner leaving the show; on what he expected from 60 Minutes when he started on it, and on how stories are selected; on working with Harry Reasoner on 60 Minutes
On working with Morley Safer on 60 Minutes; on his 60 Minutes piece on Brown & Williamson tobacco, produced by Lowell Bergman

Chapter 5

On 60 Minutes' coverage of the Vietnam War; on 60 Minutes' coverage of Watergate; Mike Wallace on being sued for libel by William Westmoreland after he interviewed him for his special The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception
On being hospitalized for exhaustion, and on dealing with depression; on interviewing President Lyndon B. Johnson; on how the industry has changed since he started and what makes a good interview

Chapter 6

on his 60 Minutes interview with Ayatollah Khomeini; on how his notoriety impacted his interviews, and on 60 Minutes legacy with the American public; on a journalist's code of ethics
On people he's worked with in his career
Shows

60 Minutes

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Mike Wallace on joining 60 Minutes at the behest of Don Hewitt
02:08
Mike Wallace on the first episode of 60 Minutes, and Harry Reasoner leaving the show
02:27
Mike Wallace on what he expected from 60 Minutes when he started on it, and on how stories are selected
04:58
Mike Wallace on working with Harry Reasoner on 60 Minutes
03:01
Mike Wallace on working with Morley Safer on 60 Minutes
04:07
Mike Wallace on his 60 Minutes piece on Brown & Williamson tobacco, produced by Lowell Bergman, and on Don Hewitt's objections to it
02:35
Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes' coverage of the Vietnam War
10:32
Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes' coverage of Watergate
01:40
Mike Wallace on his 60 Minutes interview with Ayatollah Khomeini
04:34
Mike Wallace on how his notoriety impacted his interviews, and on 60 Minutes legacy with the American public
03:48

CBS News

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Mike Wallace on anchoring The CBS Morning News
03:14

Jack Benny Program, The

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Mike Wallace on appearing on The Jack Benny Program
01:26

Mike and Buff

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Mike Wallace on his interview show with Buff Cobb Mike and Buff
10:28

Night Beat

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Mike Wallace on the creation of Night Beat
04:31
Mike Wallace on Night Beat producer Ted Yates, and on The Mike Wallace Interview
02:24
Mike Wallace on Night Beat adapting print journalist techniques for television
00:42

Race for Space, The

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Mike Wallace on hosting The Race for Space for producer David Wolper
04:03

Stand By for Crime

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Mike Wallace on his early impressions of television, and on appearing on Stand By for Crime
03:17
Topics

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes' coverage of the Vietnam War
10:32
Mike Wallace on being sued for libel (and beginning his battle with depression) by William Westmoreland after he interviewed him for his special The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception
04:39
Mike Wallace on his 60 Minutes interview with Ayatollah Khomeini
04:34

Hollywood Blacklist

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Mike Wallace on the era of the Hollywood Blacklist
03:08

Industry Crossroads

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Mike Wallace on the era of the Hollywood Blacklist
03:08

Iran Hostage Crisis

View Topic
Mike Wallace on his 60 Minutes interview with Ayatollah Khomeini
04:34

Lyndon B. Johnson

View Topic
Mike Wallace on interviewing President Lyndon B. Johnson
04:32

Overcoming Adversity

View Topic
Mike Wallace on being hospitalized for exhaustion, and on dealing with depression
03:51

Pivotal Career Moments

View Topic
Mike Wallace on being hospitalized for exhaustion, and on dealing with depression
03:48

Richard M. Nixon

View Topic
Mike Wallace on covering Richard Nixon's presidential campaign in 1967-68
06:17
Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes' coverage of Watergate
01:40

Television Industry

View Topic
Mike Wallace on the era of the Hollywood Blacklist
03:08
Mike Wallace on how the industry has changed since he started
02:26
Mike Wallace on how the public perception of network news changed during his time
03:52

Television and the Presidency

View Topic
Mike Wallace on covering the 1960 presidential election for Westinghouse
05:10
Mike Wallace on covering Richard Nixon's presidential campaign in 1967-68
06:17
Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes' coverage of Watergate
01:40
Mike Wallace on interviewing President Lyndon B. Johnson
04:32

Vietnam War

View Topic
Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes' coverage of the Vietnam War
10:32
Mike Wallace on being sued for libel (and beginning his battle with depression) by William Westmoreland after he interviewed him for his special The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception
04:39

War

View Topic
Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes' coverage of the Vietnam War
10:32
Mike Wallace on being sued for libel (and beginning his battle with depression) by William Westmoreland after he interviewed him for his special The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception
04:39
Professions

Correspondent

View Profession
Mike Wallace on his early interview style, and on early reporting jobs he had in television
Mike Wallace on a journalist's code of ethics
01:37

Hosts

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Mike Wallace on what makes a great interview
01:07

Interviewer

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Mike Wallace on what makes a great interview
01:07

Journalists & News Producers

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Mike Wallace on his early interview style
Mike Wallace on a journalist's code of ethics
01:37
Genres

Comedy Series

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Mike Wallace on appearing on The Jack Benny Program
01:26

Commercials

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Mike Wallace on being a pitch man for Peter Pan peanut butter on Super Circus, and on a mishap on the show
04:05

News and Documentary

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Mike Wallace on The Mike Wallace Interview
06:24
Mike Wallace on hosting The Race for Space for producer David Wolper
04:03
Mike Wallace on working on 60 Minutes
12:12
People

Lowell Bergman

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Mike Wallace on his 60 Minutes piece on Brown & Williamson tobacco, produced by Lowell Bergman, and on Don Hewitt's objections to it
03:40

Buff Cobb

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Mike Wallace on his interview show with Buff Cobb Mike and Buff
10:28

John Daly

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Mike Wallace on ABC News president John Charles Daly not wanting The Mike Wallace Interview or Mike Wallace to be part of ABC News
02:50

Don Hewitt

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Mike Wallace on joining 60 Minutes at the behest of Don Hewitt
02:08
Mike Wallace on his 60 Minutes piece on Brown & Williamson tobacco, produced by Lowell Bergman, and on Don Hewitt's objections to it
03:40

Lyndon B. Johnson

View Person Page
Mike Wallace on interviewing President Lyndon B. Johnson
04:32

Richard M. Nixon

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Mike Wallace on covering Richard Nixon's presidential campaign in 1967-68
06:16

Harry Reasoner

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Mike Wallace on working with Harry Reasoner on 60 Minutes
03:01

Morley Safer

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Mike Wallace on working with Morley Safer on 60 Minutes
04:07

Ted Yates

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Mike Wallace on Night Beat producer Ted Yates, and on The Mike Wallace Interview
02:24

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