A prominently tough 60 Minutes interviewer is the subject of an intriguing, if not too probing documentary.
Mike Wallace Is Here comes from Avi Belkin and the late co-host of the long-running (over half a century) hour long program with the signature stopwatch would probably approve of the portrait. Even the part when CBS was sued during Wallace’s coverage by former Gen. Westmoreland for libel.
The contentious, on-the-ball candor of Wallace (born in 1918) would have as a ‘son’ one Bill O’Reilly being interviewed during the curious opening. The former Fox News host applauds and faults the tactics that compelled him to an illustrious career while shaping his network in the process.
Archival footage is dominant in the examination of a pointed audacious manner in broadcasting to get his subjects like Bette Davis, Arthur Miller, Barbra Streisand, Jeffrey Wigand (remember The Insider), as well as infamous Iranian ruler Ayatollah Khomeini to open up. Many responded of his prickly ways, especially Streisand. Yet, in his field he was a pioneer (a more brash disciple of CBS’s Edward R. Murrow), for better or worse as Wallace noted “the press’s health reflects the country’s”. And, it’s currently clear that both aren’t very sound with a schism in each.
Wallace gets asked questions too that he would ask and is like a physician in that respect in not being very outward in feeling grilled. In Mike Wallace Is Here the ability to provoke, to raise an argument elicits much fascination even through the hemming and hawing. He was compelled to find the truth in every matter he doggedly pursued without any ulterior political motives. Belkin doesn’t feel it necessary to really get to the heart of what made Wallace the formidable figure he was. Even though he had he share of tribulations including the death of his eldest son in Greece and nearly calamitous depression. Ironically, son Chris (of Fox News) didn’t know of his biological father until his teens.