That’s how Mike Wallace described himself.
Part of Wallace’s legacy, though you won’t see it cited many places today, remains his role in the Phillip Morris – Jeffrey Wigand scandal that rocked “60 Minutes” and became unlocked in Michael Mann’s great film “The Insider,” with Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, and Christopher Plummer as Wallace. A film that reportedly distressed the venerable CBS man greatly, with Wallace finding the film unfair on his role. That CBS unpacked their reputation in this disaster is unquestionable.
Wallace battled deep depression, which he admitted in a conversation with Bob Costas. It was so debilitating at one point he attempted suicide.
Gen. Westmoreland sued Wallace for defamation, with a clarification saving CBS and Wallace.
Wallace was in the Navy, was a game show host, had four marriages, the strongest relationship to his career as a reporter, and became the most fearsome interviewer in television history. It’s my belief he gave birth to the type of interviewing we saw from Tim Russert, known as gotcha journalism, though he shouldn’t be blamed for it.
Mike Wallace had a giant life. He drained his glass empty.
This post has been updated with reader “mawm’s” link of the “Homosexuals” video above.