I first met him in the restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach in 1987. He was there with his producer, Marion Goldin, eating breakfast. He stood when I walked up, “Hi, I’m Mike Wallace.”
He met and interviewed almost everybody who made a difference in the last half of the Twentieth Century. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he didn’t soft peddle the issues. He was known for asking hard questions and for taking people on. For many on the planet, the definition of horror was to have Mike Wallace walk into your office with a CBS News film crew, camera rolling, and to ask you what the heck you’re up to. Yes, fifty million Americans will watch your answer on prime time, Sunday night.
During my life I’ve met and had long conversations with interesting people other than Mike Wallace. The late Archbishop Chistodulos, Patriarch of Athens, Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb and a long list of various politicians from many nations, cartel kingpins, spies, mercenaries, etc.
Mike Wallace, known as the Hitler of the media, is not loved by many. He was the sharp point of television journalism’s spear.
What one who met him as I did but didn’t know him intimately couldn’t know is that Mr. Wallace suffered from chronic depression. In an interview he revealed, “At first I couldn't sleep, then I couldn't eat. I felt hopeless and I just couldn't cope and then I just lost all perspective on things. You know, you become crazy. I had done a story for 60 Minutes on depression but I had no idea that I was now experiencing it. Finally, I collapsed and just went to bed” (Source: CBS interview).
I found him interesting because his perspective was based on FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE. He saw, he heard, and he was empowered by his position to question—anyone he wanted to. I first met him in 1987 and at the time asked about his interactions with Yasser Arafat. His insight was profound. I met Arafat some eleven years later in China and in an odd turn of events, had lunch with him. We were both staying at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing. I ran into Arafat there as we were staying in adjacent bungalows. The food was horrible and he invited me out to lunch. Armed with Mike Wallace’s insight, the lunch was far more interesting that it would have been otherwise.
He’s a private man, who loves what he does. I’m sure he’s a difficult man in many circumstances and situations. As for me, I found him to be profoundly interesting.
As of January 1, 2017 this blog began to receive anonymous posts. I try not to delete them, but if you want to be taken seriously here, you need to identify yourself, if only by some sort of cryptonym.
Welcome to Virtual Mirage
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the cat. "We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad," asked Alice?
"You must be," said the cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
Virtual Mirage - What's on the other side of the mirror? Ask Alice how deep the rabbit hole really goes.
This blog is an extension of MY JOURNEY because sometimes my journey needs more explanation, and sometimes there is more to be said than can be expressed on one ordinary blog.
Sometimes it's politics (very serious), sometimes I address the human condition with a dose of humor, and other times it may seem as if the track is headed in a unique direction. I can be a complicated guy at times.
There are a few things you'll find I consider:
* Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
* Sometimes the questions are complex but the answers are simple.
* Love is the only condition where the happiness of another person is essential to your own.
* Steers do not sign treaties with meat packers. (think on that)
* Taxes are NEVER levied for the benefit of the taxed.
* The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no victory possible in defense.
WHITE POWDER (Novel)
There is something intoxicating about a secret.
THE OLD WHORE (NOVEL)
In the peculiar culture of the Central Intelligence Agency, "old whores" are people who will do whatever it takes to get the job done, irrespective of the cost.
EXILES FROM EDEN (NOVEL)
Sparks fly as two star-crossed lovers meet. He runs toward trouble as she yearns for something missing. And it ends in a flight from and toward justice.
Today, I balance work and play as much as anyone can. All things remaining equal, play is more important. Life is short - it's important to make every day count for something, if only to yourself.
I'm a former tinker/tailor/soldier/sailor who has now decided that maybe it really wasn't all done for nothing.
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