Nick Leshi

Nick Leshi
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Bronx, New York, United States of America
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December 13
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Writer, actor, media professional, fan of entertainment, pop culture, and speculative fiction. Contact nickleshi@aol.com for more info.

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APRIL 9, 2012 10:07PM

Remembering Mike Wallace

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The old guard of 60 Minutes has started to leave this mortal coil while the show just keeps on ticking and continues to generate great ratings after all these decades. First Andy Rooney passed away a few months ago at 92 and now Mike Wallace has died at the age of 93

He was one of the original correspondents on the long-lasting 60 Minutes, and despite some controversies (such as being sued for libel by General William Westmoreland after an interview for the CBS special The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception) his work has inspired many journalists, broadcasters, and media professionals. 

He was brave enough to finally talk about his long battle with depression, and that's one of my strongest memories of him. So many people suffer from that dark torment, often in solitude, and it's a positive thing any time a public figure steps forward and shares what they went through -- and most importantly, how they survived.

Christopher Plummer portrayed Wallace in the movie The Insider, and did a fine job, even though it wasn't a very flattering depiction. Wallace himself apparently disliked it and argued that the Vanity Fair article on which it was based wasn't an accurate account of his role in the whistleblowing incident that it chronicled.

Wallace used his investigative reporting skills to expose social and political demons while battling personal ones. As he once said, "Shake it off and get back in there." May he rest in peace.

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He was most of all the consummate journalist, asking the tough questions with dogged determination not to be denied the opportunity to report the truth. If only we had that today, instead of carnival fakers finding outrageous stories and "reporting" them as News.
There is a well written article about Wallace by someone who worked with him at http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/09/my-25-years-with-mike-wallace/
Sally, you're right. We can really see the difference in "journalism" by looking at something like Nightline, for example, during the golden years with Ted Koppel at the helm and what it has become now. I wonder what will happen to 60 Minutes now that the old guard is giving way to the new.

Jan, thanks for the link!
What Sally said. I'm not sure if anyone else on OS has written about Wallace's passing, so I'm glad you did.