Since his passing at 93 on Saturday, everything that can be written about Mike Wallace, seems to have been written.
Even from a distance watching him on CBS ground-breaking pioneering magazine program, 60 Minutes – you knew he was charming, audacious, irreverent, had a sense of humor and … was knowledgeable – very knowledgeable.
While 60 Minutes has lost much of its luster in this new age of American journalists who take themselves too seriously because of the tons of money they get paid, you knew Mike Wallace was a star who seemed to have never lost his journalistic [what the Americans would call [aw shucks] innocence/ordinariness. The stories he brought in his segment made the show a not-to-be-missed weekly magazine program. Although Merv Griffin was in entertainment, I always thought he and Mike Wallace were a bit alike. Both were always able to [sort of] lure the people they interviewed into complacency using their different personalities for the very different types of interviewing they did and before you knew it, both got what info they needed!
I remember a story Mike had on Nigeria – doesn’t everything seem to have a Nigerian angle – several years ago in which he regaled tv viewers with how he obtained a Nigerian passport, being assisted with more than winks and nods with conniving local government officials for a birth certificate (I think he was a “Lagosian”) and subsequently, passport officials. Of course, money changed hands, or, in Nigerian-ese – “money EXchanged hands!
Sixty  Minutes has long become a shadow of itself and while I still find myself tuning in NOT with the same sense of anticipation I used to have, I also find myself tuning out a lot of times before the show’s end whenever I’m in the States. Lovable whinny Andy Rooney is gone, and so now is equally-lovable combative Mike Wallace.
One by one, the departures of these journalism icons make anybody who watched them for four decades or more – feel very old.
May his gentle soul – I bet – find peace with the Lord.