ABC’s Sunday night tribute to Mike Wallace, who passed away Saturday night, highlighted several swipes at Ronald Reagan, thus, inadvertently or not, painting the “legendary” 60 Minutes correspondent as something less than an impartial journalist. Or maybe ABC News just enjoyed re-playing those hits on the late conservative President.
Anchor David Muir began with a clip of Wallace, from either 1976 or during the 1980 campaign, demanding of Reagan: “How many blacks are there on your top campaign staff, Governor?” Reagan replied: “I couldn’t honestly answer you now.” To which Wallace snapped: “That speaks for itself.” Unsaid: At the time, 60 Minutes didn’t have any non-white reporters.
Muir proceeded to assert “his interview subjects knew the tough questions would come and yet they would answer.” Viewers then saw Rosalynn Carter denouncing Reagan along the same lines Wallace had: “I think this President makes us comfortable with our prejudices.” Apparently the “tough question” from Wallace was his follow-up: “That’s not very nice, what you are saying.”
Next, Muir regurgitated “this tense back and forth with Nancy Reagan” in which Wallace demanded: “What was your husband’s role in Iran-Contra?” And: “You’re going to be in Japan and I’m told it’s a $2 million two weeks.”
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.