For decades, television news legend Mike Wallace battled both stonewalling subjects and crippling depression.
And he’s got plenty to say about both.
“I interviewed Tom Cruise, sat down with him,” Wallace told Access’ Billy Bush. He is against psychiatry, thinks the whole thing is a scam.”
“Ever considered interviewing Tom?” Billy asked.
“I’ve thought about it,” Wallace said. “Tom simply does not know what he’s talking about. Scientology is a different thing, and god bless him. But he doesn’t know his tail from third base about depression, simple as that.”
Straight talk from the man considered by many to be the toughest interviewer in broadcast journalism.
But only recently has Wallace begun to open up about his decades-long battle with depression.
In a tribute Sunday to his remarkable 57-year career, his “60 Minutes” colleagues turn the tables, and one question — from old friend Morley Safer — simply floored Wallace.
“Did you try to commit suicide at one point,” Morley asked.
“Um, I’ve never said this before,” Wallace said. “I had never come clean about the suicide business. And I thought to myself, what’s wrong with going, look, I’ve had 20 extraordinary years since that episode and because I’ve become kind of a poster boy for treatment of depression. And I can’t think of anybody who goes through that, who doesn’t contemplate, I mean the pain, the dislocation, the hopelesssness of clinical depression.”
“You’d have to go through it yourself to be able to understand it,” Billy confirmed.
“That’s right,” Wallace said.
“Who hates you?” Billy asked.
“Anybody who knows me doesn’t hate me,” Wallace said.
“Are there subjects out there that you’ve interviewed who hate Mike Wallace?” Billy asked.
“Umm…I don’t, well, maybe Barbra Streisand,” Wallace laughed.
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