Eleanor Roosevelt

Remembering Mike Wallace 1918-2012

I was a Mike Wallace fan and have missed his unique style of reporting and his bold journeys into territory few other newscasters and journalists would dare venture into.

On March 14, 2006, Wallace announced his retirement from 60 Minutes after 37 years with the program.

CBS

Video compilation of Mr. Wallace’s career…

For half a century, he took on corrupt politicians, scam artists and bureaucratic bumblers. His visits were preceded by the four dreaded words: Mike Wallace is here.

Wallace took to heart the old reporter’s pledge to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. He characterized himself as “nosy and insistent.”

So insistent, there were very few 20th century icons who didn’t submit to a Mike Wallace interview. He lectured Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, on corruption. He lectured Yassir Arafat on violence.

He asked the Ayatollah Khoumeini if he were crazy.

He traveled with Martin Luther King (whom Wallace called his hero). He grappled with Louis Farrakhan.

And he interviewed Malcolm X shortly before his assassination.

He was no stranger to the White House, interviewing his friends the Reagans . . . John F. Kennedy . . . Lyndon Johnson . . . Jimmy Carter. Even Eleanor Roosevelt.

Plus all those remarkable characters: Leonard Bernstein, Johnny Carson, Luciano Pavarotti, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Salvador Dali, Barbra Streisand. His take-no-prisoners style became so famous he even spoofed it with comedian Jack Benny.

It’s hard to believe, but when Wallace was born in 1918 there wasn’t even a radio in most American homes, much less a TV.

As a youth, Wallace said, he was “an overachiever. I worked pretty hard. Played a hell of a fiddle.”

At the University of Michigan, where his parents hoped he’d become a doctor or lawyer, he got hooked instead on radio. And by 1941, Mike was the announcer on “The Green Hornet.”

“My family didn’t know what to make of it – an announcer?” he recalled.

He was soon the hardest-working announcer in broadcasting.

When television arrived in the 1950s, Wallace was everywhere . . . variety shows, game shows, dramas, commercials.

But it was an interview show called “Nightbeat,” first broadcast in 1956, that Wallace remembered fit him like custom-made brass knuckles. “We decided to ask the irreverent question, the abrasive question, the who-gives-a-damn question.”

Some, like labor leader Mike Quill, had never been spoken to that way. “Go ahead and ask your stupid questions,” he retorted.

Neither had mobster Mickey Cohen, whom Wallace asked, “How many men have you killed, Mickey?”

Continue here…

Hannity Pretends Christine O’Donnell Never Said She Dabbled In Witchcraft

Seanhannitykingofprussia

Image via Wikipedia

Here is an excellent analysis by “Ellen” over at News Hounds, regarding Sean Hannity’s hypocrisy.  Hannity and his guests constantly bash Democrats for things that may have happened over 40 years ago.  Yet, he’s bitchin’ and moanin’ that the Dems are running a smear campaign on Christine O’Donnell…

News Hounds

Sean Hannity may have broken the record for most disingenuousness and hypocrisy in one Fox News segment last night (9/20/10). It started with Hannity whining about those meanie Democrats “orchestrating a smear campaign” against Christine O’Donnell. As if Hannity ever does anything but smear anyone he considers a political opponent. But then Hannity added dishonesty to disingenuousness by saying that Bill Maher “led the charge” for Democrats by “trying to suggest that she (O’Donnell) dabbled in witchcraft as a high schooler.” In fact, as Hannity must surely know, Maher did not suggest anything. O’Donnell said it herself, plain as day, that she had dabbled in witchcraft.

Hannity’s suggestion that Maher “led the charge” is also blatantly false. Maher is no Democratic operative. He describes himself as a libertarian who endorsed Bob Dole. Maher released the video – and promises more – because O’Donnell has refused to come on his show (video below).

O’Donnell did nothing to help herself over the weekend by canceling two appearances on Sunday talk shows with dubious excuses. In fact, I’d argue that it’s really not about the witchcraft but O’Donnell’s cowardly response to the revelations. But somehow, neither Hannity nor his guest, deadbeat Dick Morris, seemed to think of that.

Instead, Hannity “defended” O’Donnell by whining that nobody paid any attention to President Obama’s past. Right, nobody EVER discussed Rev. Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers (with whom Obama had at most a casual friendship long after Ayers had become an upstanding citizen) during the 2008 campaign.       Continue reading…