Myron Wallik

Who was Myron Wallik? He was Mike Wallace, the famed aggressive interviewer of “60 Minutes”, the long-running CBS news analysis show, who died at the age of 93 this week. Question, could Myron Wallik have been able to build a career as Mike Wallace did? The answer is almost certainly “no.” Not only would he have probably been denied access to such a job, but his brazen tactics in interviewing people would have been ascribed to his Jewish “pushiness.” The fact is that Mike Wallace carefully avoided any comment regarding his Jewishness and certainly came over as not being Jewish.

As often happens with certain Jews in the public eye, Wallace bent over backwards against showing any sympathy to Jewish causes and particularly to Israel. When he interviewed Yasir Arafat in 1989 he allowed him to spew anti-Israel nonsense, without even a challenge. He would certainly not have let most of his interviewees get away with such easy treatment. He visited Syria several times and he obviously knew that in order to go back he had to treat Syrian dictator Hafez Assad, the father of current President Bashar Assad who is now murdering his own people, with kid gloves. Assad allowed Wallace to roam the streets of the Jewish Ghetto in Damascus interviewing people, although he was with an official Syrian Government minder. He asked Jews how they were treated in Syria and of course they all said “very well.” What would you expect them to say? But Wallace insouciantly concluded that Jews were treated well in Assad’s Syria! At the time people asked if he would have done the same thing in Hitler’s Germany.

I have little sympathy for people like Myron Wallick, who ditched his Jewish origins for fame and success in the wider world of the American media. He did a good job in introducing the aggressive, Jewish-style digging for the truth in his interviews, but he could never redeem himself.

About the Author
Jack Cohen was born in London and has a PhD in Chemistry from Cambridge University. He moved to the US and worked at the National Cancer Inst. and then Georgetown Medical School. In 1996, he Moved to Israel and became Chief Scientist of the Sheba Medical Center. He retired in 2001 and worked as a Visiting Professor at Hebrew University Medical School for 5 years.