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For over fifty years, 60 Minutes' fearsome newsman Mike Wallace went head-to-head with the 20th century's most influential figures. Relying exclusively on archival footage, Mike Wallace Is Here interrogates the interrogator, tracking Mike's storied career and troubled personal life while unpacking how broadcast journalism evolved to today's precarious tipping point.
Fascinating historical review and a gut-punching trajectory
Mike Wallace's career peak coincided with my lifetime. So this look at his life and his work, and the context of the times, was breathtaking for me in many ways. I learned new details of his backstory, and followed the arc of his work, with great interest and new perspective.
I wonder, though, if people younger than I am will recognize and understand the influence and sway that the 60 Minutes stories held for all of us back in the day. In these days of fractured and siloed media strategies, I worry that will be lost on new viewers.
There were a number of instances where the protagonists of the stories were not identified, and even I was searching my memory files for some of their names. But I know they were key figures in their times. Others, though, will be obvious, for sure.
That said, I think the news media ecosystem that we follow with this story is crucial to understanding where we are today. The infotainment pablum combined with cautious corporate legal teams we have now makes you yearn for the hard-driving precursors that Wallace represented.
I came out of this film thinking hard about the past and the future. Definitely worth a watch.
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