Virtually all the many news media tributes for Mike Wallace, veteran correspondent of CBS News' "60 Minutes," omitted a singular peculiarity: When it came to adversaries of Jews and Israel, this hard-hitting journalist went soft.
Mike Wallace is back with a special interview of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a prime sponsor of Hezbollah who has personally threatened Israel with destruction while his country races to build atom bombs. The despot's extreme policies might suggest Wallace will give him a grilling, but history suggests otherwise: Wallace has a soft spot for anti-Israel dictators.
As Mike Wallace nears retirement, virtually all the retrospectives so far on his 43-year career at CBS News recall his reputation for tough interviews and the ability to get the story. The reputation may be deserved, in general, but at least one subject has tripped up the "60 Minutes" veteran continually over the years — Israel.