Renowned 60 Minutes cast member and respected journalist Mike Wallace passed away this past Saturday at the age of 93, after over 50 years as a TV journalist.
Though TV journalism is now a respected career and one much sought-after among college communications majors, if we look back into the profession’s remote past (say, the ’50s and ’60s) we find that not only did journalists have to ferret out the hard-hitting stories — they also were required to act as shills.
Such is the case with Wallace in 1955, when he had to (or maybe chose to) flog a long-forgotten product with the hilarious name of Golden Fluffo. This Crisco cognate doubtlessly was dripping with trans fats, which means it much have made one hell of a light pie crust. As with his colleagues, Wallace also shilled for cigarettes. In retrospect, it was a blot on his career, but at the time, perfectly acceptable by journalistic canons. Or maybe not.