About Mike, I have only one more tale to tell, and it happened by pure coincidence. Mike Wallace was always a ladies man.
His hard-hitting approach to investigative journalism and take-no-prisoners interviewing style helped define the program in its early years. And Mike conducted his interviews, legends, movie stars and crooks, with the same intensity. He would say, "I'm just nosy."
Despite that I truly like and admire Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill independent of this show, I think someone behind the scenes is going to have to try quite a bit harder.
Here's my own brief look at some of the more notable celebrity deaths of 2009. As always, they fall into two categories: "The Good Riddance List" and "The Folks We'll Miss List."
Yesterday, Don Hewitt was remembered as a true pioneer of broadcast news in a touching ceremony at the Rose Hall in New York's Time Warner Center.
Rule number one for current talk radio success seems to be to demonize a person, his or her belief system, or an entire political party.
Sunday nights have been sacred television time in my house for years now. That's thanks to David Chase and, especially, to Don Hewitt and the cast, producers and staff of 60 Minutes.
I knew Don Hewitt when he was up and down, mostly up, and those who participated in Hewitt's shadow were grateful for the opportunity to be one of the lucky ones.
In 60 Minutes, Don Hewitt created a salon for the nation, an oasis in the midst of a saccharine, pop culture desert. It is one hour of much needed sophistication, every week.
The legacies for The Don are far more than just 60 Minutes. Big event television news? Hewitt birthed it. The anchor on location for the big story? Hewitt birthed that too. And then there was the "big get." Hewitt pioneered that concept.
So sad today to read of the death of Don Hewitt, 86, the brains behind 60 Minutes. I talked to him at length in 2006 and he was one of the most entertaining and sweet people I've interviewed.
Now that everybody's got their own mic, you have to fact check everybody. You need to know their motivations and who's paying them. You have to be your own Walter.
It has never been confirmed that Mr. Cronkite and Frank Sinatra engaged in a drunken, floor-clearing brawl over Ava Gardner at Mike Romanoff's Beverly Hills restaurant.
At the funeral today, Andy Rooney recounted how they met during World War II, when the Air Force would arrange to take them on bombing missions. Rooney became too upset to go on and stepped down.
I can't help but wonder what that solid, creative titan of a man would have thought of 21st century broadcast media (and some print media) before he passed on.
People suggested to Walter that he should run for President himself. "I think we'll wait and see how many uncommitteds there are after New Hampshire," he said. "And then maybe we'll go after them."