Monday, April 09, 2012

Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes

I used to love watching Mike Wallace on Biography when I was a kid. And he definitely raised the bar with his many early years with 60 Minutes. But, alas, later in its life 60 Minutes began to exemplify the steady decline in the quality of journalism in America. These days, I would not watch 60 minutes for any reason. It is now basically the epitome of "trash journalism." Wallace had a talent for picking his targets carefully and crafting his questions just as carefully. He was always laser-focused and dead-on. Both the questions and the answer had great value. These days, none of that is the case. Maybe 60 Minutes is actually the cause of its own diminished stature in that maybe most people in power know enough to stay away for fear that something, anything that might be even remotely embarrassing might pop up in an interview and that even the phrasing of questions or a moment of hesitation will be misread. Mike Wallace knew how to do it right, but those who have followed him simply don't have a clue. Yes, Mike's results were frequently sensational, but mostly because of the quality of his work, but these days the goal seems to be sensationalism at any cost and with as little attention as possibly to the quality of the work other than an obsession with slickness and edginess that hides and distorts the truth more than uncovers it.
 
In any case, here's to the good old days, the days of Mike Wallace in Biography and his early years in 60 Minutes.

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