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CNN Larry King Live

Encore Presentation: Interview with Mike Wallace

Aired March 26, 2006 - 21:00   ET



MIKE WALLACE, HOST "60 MINUTES": I'm Mike Wallace.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your last name?

WALLACE: Wallace, Mike Wallace.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How dare you put yourself in that position as a moral judge?

WALLACE: Now you're being unpleasant Wallace is what you're saying?

SHIRLEY MACLAINE: Yes, this is what I was a little afraid of.

NANCY REAGAN, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, you really didn't need that question.

MIKE QUILL, TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION: I'm ready anytime you want to repeat the stupid question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't mean to be so far gone.

WALLACE: No, that's good, that's good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do I have to put shoes on?

WALLACE: Leave the shoes off Paul.


WALLACE: And start the interview please.


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, Mike Wallace, the broadcast news legend on his just announced retirement and a lot more with a man who made "60 Minutes" tick, tick, tick. We'll take your calls too next on LARRY KING LIVE. A couple of notes, Mike's son Chris will be joining us in a little while, father and son act tonight. We'll also meet one of Mike's all-time favorite guests. Laura Bush will be our special guest on Friday night. Why are you leaving?

WALLACE: Oh, leaving "60 Minutes" because the time had come. Come on, when you're going to 88, which is next month or virtually and you don't want to get on airplanes anymore and you take off your belt and you take off your shoes. You want to be at the top of your game and the fact of the matter is for that kind of work I was no longer at the top of my game. I'm not retiring. I'm going to be working. I'm going to be competing with you for certain individuals that you'd like to interview before I get to them.

KING: If you're not retiring what are you?

WALLACE: That's the point. That's -- we were talking earlier and you said or I said to you how long are you going to keep doing it? And you told me 2009?

KING: Yes, but I don't know if I'll leave.

WALLACE: That's right and I don't know that I'm going to leave either.

KING: So then this announcement amounted to what?

WALLACE: I'm not going to be on "60 Minutes" very much anymore.

KING: Like four, five times a year?

WALLACE: Come on is that...

KING: I mean is...

WALLACE: It's a perfectly sensible question but under those circumstances what's the point? I'm trying to figure out, maybe four or five times a year.

KING: So when you go to the -- are you still keeping your office right?


KING: You go to the office every day.


KING: What do you do?

WALLACE: Play with my computer. I got to tell you I have gotten more mail from people who watched for the last 35 years, 37 years, on "60 Minutes" and before and so I answer some of that. And people call and I love the people I work with. I mean come on. When I came to CBS it was the mother church. I mean that was -- everybody wanted to go to work for CBS News, CBS News. KING: Sure did.

WALLACE: And I barely knew Murrow but Cronkite and...

KING: Severide.

WALLACE: Exactly, Charlie Collingwood, Rather, Alex Kendrick (ph).

KING: Mudd.

WALLACE: Huh? Roger Mudd, exactly, and everybody took such pride in working for the mother church. Can you imagine the most trusted man in America? Cronkite deserved it too. And to get the opportunity, Larry, you know, I was a radio announcer. It took me a little time to find out what I really wanted to do.

And local news, what happened was back in 1956 my pal, my partner, Ted Yates to whose widow I am not married and have been for the last 22 years, Ted Yates said "Hey, look, let's do a half hour news show on Channel 5 local and then after that we'll do an interview show from 11:30 to 12:00 or whatever."

And, he said, "There are all kinds of question we could ask that have never been asked." It's not and then I wrote and then I sang and so forth, we'll do research and he devised the whole thing.

KING: Which was called?

WALLACE: "Nightbeat."

KING: "Nightbeat."

WALLACE: Perfect name. He called it "Nightbeat," close-ups I used to...

KING: Black and white.


KING: Black and white of course.


KING: Smoked.

WALLACE: And that added to the picture because the smoke would be coming up over the face of the interviewee. I'll tell you we had such a good time.

KING: Did you enjoy it like when Mike Quill (ph) walked off?

WALLACE: He didn't -- he didn't (INAUDIBLE). He said something about "Yes, I'm a Catholic and you want to ask this stupid question again. I'll give you another answer." I mean I remember it so well.

KING: But did you revel in that?

WALLACE: Oh, yes, yes I did.

KING: So, a lot of it was show business.

WALLACE: I don't know what you mean by show business.

KING: It was done for -- a lot of it was effect.

WALLACE: For dramatic effect?

KING: Yes.

WALLACE: Yes, but we got to talk to all kinds of people.

KING: You sure did.

WALLACE: We really did and you were down there in Florida doing radio.

KING: I started first watching it here in New York and then when I went down to Florida I watched you every night. You were my symbol.

WALLACE: Yes, well...

KING: Is that how you discovered interviewing?

WALLACE: Basically yes. My then wife used to -- she used to write my questions.

KING: You're kidding?

WALLACE: I'm not kidding. I'm not kidding. Cathy Wallace and I had never been an interviewer before. I didn't know what the dickens I was doing to begin with.

KING: But you sure took to it.

WALLACE: Yes. I was always nosy and can you imagine a better 60 years, 40 of which or 37 of which traveling any place in the world. Oh there's Salvador Dali on the picture, Eleanor Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt.

KING: I interviewed her also.

WALLACE: Did you?

KING: I was 22 and a half years old. Her son was mayor of Miami Beach.

WALLACE: Elliott?

KING: He was mayor of Miami Beach and he got me her.

WALLACE: He did?

KING: Yes, oh he said "I'll get you my mother" and he did.

WALLACE: Wonderful woman, eyes, ears and legs of FDR and FDR of course in my household, both my parents came from Russia and suddenly they wound up in Boston, Massachusetts, Brookline, Massachusetts and they felt the sun rose and set on Franklin Delano Roosevelt's backside because he meant so much to them. This was freedom. This was something totally different from the Russia they had left. We're two lucky guys.

KING: That's right. As Paul Newman once said, any successful person who doesn't use the word luck in describing his career is a liar.

WALLACE: Right, absolutely right.

KING: Had to be in the right place right time right?

WALLACE: Exactly.

KING: But then you had to measure up to it.

WALLACE: Yes, but it wasn't work. This isn't work for you, although...

KING: Not work.

WALLACE: Still not work?

KING: No, it's not work to you is it?

WALLACE: No, not work like what you -- no. The joy of getting the story, the joy of talking to somebody that...

KING: Sure.

WALLACE: And you're so damn good at it.

KING: And this is my joy talking to you. And we'll be back with Mike Wallace. Don't go away.


QUILL: You raised the religious question. I don't like that question to be raised. I have told you on more than one occasion that I am a Catholic.


QUILL: But I don't beat my breasts and say that I'm the best Catholic in the world and you have no right to sit in judgment on me.

WALLACE: I'm not sitting in judgment. I'm simply asking a question. We are doing a profile of Mike Quill.

QUILL: And I'm answering the questions. How many more times must I answer it? WALLACE: All right, all right.

QUILL: You want another answer on it?

WALLACE: I think that we've done it pretty well.

QUILL: I'm ready anytime you want to repeat the stupid question.

WALLACE: All right, Mike.




WALLACE: What are your days like? What do you do all day?

REAGAN: Well, I see friends, not every day but I do. I stick pretty close to home really.

WALLACE: Lonely?

REAGAN: Yes, it's lonely.


REAGAN: Because really, you know, when you come right down to it you're in it alone and there's nothing that anybody can do for you.


KING: Good lady.

WALLACE: Wonderful lady, good friend of yours, good friend of mine.

KING: Yes.

WALLACE: I adore her.

KING: How's Bob Schieffer doing in your opinion?

WALLACE: In my opinion Schieffer is doing superbly, superbly and I feel to this degree responsible for it in a sense.

KING: Why?

WALLACE: Les Moonves, who runs CBS, after when Rather left he had to figure out what to do about the "CBS Evening News" and I said -- he asked me about it and I said, "You know something, Les, you've told me that you like Schieffer. Why don't you take this summer, two, three months this summer, put him on there? That will give you time to make up your mind what you want to do about the "CBS Evening News" and so forth.

KING: The rest is history.

WALLACE: That's right.

KING: Do you think, and by the way I saw her today Katie Couric...


KING: you think Katie will take that job?

WALLACE: I don't know but I gather she will take that job and she's going to be on "60 Minutes" I understand.

KING: Oh, would "60 Minutes" be included too?

WALLACE: Yes that's -- look...

KING: Schieffer says he hopes she comes.

WALLACE: I know it. You mean to take his job?

KING: Yes.

WALLACE: Is it a good idea?

KING: I think it is a good idea.


KING: Because she looks great. She's smart. She did news, did news on the Today Show before she got that post.

WALLACE: Of course she did.

KING: And she did news on Channel 4 in Washington.

WALLACE: Does she have the gravitas that is necessary? That's the only...

KING: She'll learn that.


KING: You think it will be a boom for CBS to get her?

WALLACE: Everybody at CBS will have to take a cut in pay in order to.

KING: Dan Rather's where does he go at the end of the year?

WALLACE: I don't know. I don't know.

KING: ABC's anchor situation, tragedy with that Woodruff thing.

WALLACE: Yes. Charlie Gibson, I have great respect for and apparently he's going to be the guy depending, of course, upon Woodruff's health. I think that Vargas is very good but Charlie, when you talk about gravitas this is a guy who understands the news. He's covered so much of it and been so many places.

Actually, you know, when you think about it, Jennings, nobody better, smart, savvy, devoted; Brokaw, the same, the same. You never felt, you never felt that they -- they kept the news at arm's length if you know what I mean. In other words, they -- you didn't know what they felt. They were genuinely dispassionate, objective reporters.

KING: But they weren't up on some mountaintop.

WALLACE: That's right. That's right. But that, do you watch news still at 6:30?

KING: Not a lot.


KING: Do you?

WALLACE: Not a lot.

KING: I know you said you met Murrow slightly. Did you see "Goodnight and Good Luck"?

WALLACE: Oh, what a film. That is, well you know this -- that was the way it was. Murrow he taught all of us. It wasn't just that he taught all of us. He was a dead honest man who said "I'm going to tell it the way it is no matter what it costs me" and of course he got into a situation.

KING: Where he had to go.

WALLACE: That's correct.

KING: But he stood up for his people too didn't he?

WALLACE: Damn right. What do you think of the news business today?

KING: It's my show. What do you think of the news business?

WALLACE: There's an awful lot of entertainment. There's a lot of that.

KING: Damn right.

WALLACE: There's a lot of shouting. There's a lot of -- I mean it's a -- it's circulation. You want to get somebody watching and...

KING: But.


KING: But.

WALLACE: Yes but...

KING: At what cost do you get someone watching?

WALLACE: Well that's correct. That is correct. You know something, you know who I like, Lou Dobbs.

KING: Oh, gutsy.

WALLACE: Absolutely and, you know, it wouldn't have happened years ago. You were not to express your opinions if you were an anchor.

KING: What would you be doing in cable news today assuming you were starting?

WALLACE: Interview show.

KING: You bet. We'll be right back with Mike Wallace and one of his all-time favorite guests. Don't go away.


WALLACE: Can I take you back to November 22, 1963? You were on the fender of the Secret Service car right behind President Kennedy's car. Was there anything that the Secret Service or that Clint Hill could have done to keep that from happening?


WALLACE: Clint Hill, yes? What do you mean?

HILL: If he had reacted about five-tenths of a second faster, maybe a second faster, I wouldn't be here today.

WALLACE: You mean you would have gotten there and you would have taken the shot?

HILL: The third shot, yes sir.

WALLACE: And that would have been all right with you?

HILL: That would have been fine with me.



KING: We love to surprise our guests but Mike told us that one of his favorite guests was Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent who rode on the back of the limo carrying John F. Kennedy to his death. Here's a clip to watch and then we'll meet Clint in person. Watch.


HILL: Had I turned in a different direction I'd have made it. It's my fault. WALLACE: Oh. No one has ever suggested that for an instant. What you did was show great bravery and great presence of mind. What was on the citation that was given you for your work on November 22, 1963?

HILL: I don't care about that.

WALLACE: Extraordinary courage and heroic effort in the face of maximum danger.

HILL: Mike, I don't care about that. If I had reacted just a little bit quicker and I could have I guess and I'll live with that to my grave.


KING: Mike didn't know we were going to get him here but we got him in Washington.

WALLACE: Oh, the dickens, I've tried.

KING: Clint Hill.

WALLACE: He didn't want to talk about it.

KING: Clint, in fact you turned down Mike in 2003 right?

HILL: That's correct.

KING: Why?

HILL: I just don't like to be interviewed about the assassination anymore.

KING: Why did you do the first one?

HILL: At that time I never thought it would turn out the way it did obviously. I only accepted the interview because I thought it would be interesting and I had seen "60 Minutes" and knew what they were doing and I thought it would be very much an interesting project so I did it, little did I know that it would turn out the way it turned out.

KING: Do you regret it?

HILL: Not at all. I have to thank Mike for asking me to do that interview and then thank him more because he's what caused me to finally come to terms with things and bring the emotions out where they were surfaced. It was because of his questions and the things he asked that I started to recover.

KING: Mike, what a...

WALLACE: Clint, I have, I continue to have so much admiration for you, your wife. And you remember I tried to get you to come on the 40th anniversary. HILL: Yes.

WALLACE: 2003 and you didn't want to and people ask me how you are and I say well the last time I talked he lives someplace close to Washington and he's -- the monkey, if you will, is off his back. He realizes that he wasn't in any sense responsible for the death of JFK. But for a Secret Service man who, I mean come on these guys they're superb and they work so hard and they're so brave and he felt that he had let down the Secret Service. Oh, what a joy to see you again, sir.

HILL: Well it's good to see you Mike.

WALLACE: Thank you, sir.

KING: What are you doing Clint?

HILL: I am completely retired. I'm a homebody, my wife and I and our kids and grandkids.

KING: Did you finish service with the Secret Service?

HILL: I retired in '75.

KING: So you did another 12 years. Were you assigned to presidents?

HILL: Oh, I was assigned to -- when I left -- after the assassination they had me stay with Mrs. Kennedy and the kids for a year and after the presidential election in '64 they returned me to the White House on the detail. I was a shift agent.

I don't think President Johnson was too happy I was there. In fact, I know he wasn't. But some of the agents that knew him, worked with him, convinced him that I was a pro and that I was going to do a good job.

I ended up being the agent in charge of presidential protection in '67 when Johnson was still in office and I was -- when Nixon came in they moved me over to the vice president, SAIC job. Then they moved me to headquarters and I became an assistant director for all protection. That's the job I retired from.

KING: Glad of that service?

HILL: Oh, very much so, very proud of the Secret Service. I was very lucky to be a member of the Secret Service. When I came in there were about 275 agents worldwide total. It was very, very hard to get in. You only got in when somebody died or retired.

KING: Mike, what's history going to say about Clint Hill?

WALLACE: Oh, my. Particularly with this, particularly with this he -- this conversation that you're having with him going with the first conversation that I had with him, I mean come on, bravery, anguish, love of country, character. KING: You should feel so proud that you helped him get over that stigma.

WALLACE: I do. I do. I do.

HILL: You really helped me. If it hadn't been for that interview, I don't know what would have happened.

WALLACE: Oh, thank you Clint.

KING: Were you suffering from depression then?

WALLACE: I was suffering for -- when did we do this in?

HILL: Seventy-five.

WALLACE: No, not yet.

KING: Clint, I thank you very much. I salute you for your service.

HILL: Thank you, Larry.

KING: And I thank you for coming here tonight on this special occasion for Mike Wallace.

HILL: Thank you very much. Good luck Mike.

WALLACE: Same to you Clint.

HILL: My wife says hello.

KING: As we go to break another one of Mike's favorites. We'll be right back.


WALLACE: Which is true what the tobacco men at Brown and Williamson say about their former research director, Dr. Jeffrey Weigand (ph)...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His life has been a pattern of lying.

WALLACE: ...or, what the attorney general of Mississippi says about him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The information that Jeffrey has I think is the most important information that has ever come out against the tobacco industry.

WALLACE: Tonight, Jeffrey Weigand, the scientist whose insistence on defying his former employer has led him to tell what he believes to be the truth about cigarettes. What is it that he believes to be the truth about cigarettes? And what is it that Brown and Williamson believes to be the truth about him?




WALLACE: Let us meet Professor Ludwig Von Integrity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't start in with the emblem (ph) you know what mean.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't start with the snarls (ph) in there. Don't start in with the rehmlins (ph). You know what I mean. Ask about what size shoes I take. You know -- you know I'm a gentleman of big -- and ask about the pajamas but don't ever treat me uncomfortable (ph).

WALLACE: Yes, professor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But don't give the shtup (ph).

WALLACE: No. Professor in 1923 --


WALLACE: Is that a picture of you, professor?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks a lot like me, will say that.

WALLACE: And you are with a chorus girl. You're supposed to have sold over $450,000 worth of stock.

You say you weren't fixing a fight. You haven't said what you did with the gold mine money?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you keep schtuchin (ph) in --

WALLACE: 1935 income tax.


KING: Karl Reiner and Sid Caesar.

WALLACE: That's correct. We had only been on the air locally about a month or two. And all of a sudden we find ourselves, this little local television show on Saturday night on show of shows with Sid Caesar and Karl Reiner playing me. Can you imagine?

KING: Still one of the classic bits of all time. Milwaukee, hello?

CALLER: Hi. Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure. CALLER: Mr. Wallace, I would like to know, what do you think about this Bush administration? And do you think the press has been handling questions to this administration, you know, not -- kind of easing up on them? And if so, why are they playing softball with their questions?

WALLACE: This is tough.

KING: Helen Thomas didn't do that the other day.

WALLACE: No, and I don't think they did him softball. Look it's the most secret administration in my lifetime. It's impossible. MARCHINI:, I have never even gotten a chance to shake hands -- not when he was governor of Texas, and not since he's been president. I have never met the man.

Now I have no idea what that's all about. Karl Rove has told me, you're not -- when he was governor, we were doing a piece about tort reform. We know what you're doing. We don't think it's going to be good for us. So you're not going to talk to the governor. And since that time, I've been back to Karl Rove time and again and again. Forget it.

KING: To Yearington, Nevada. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Thank you for taking my call. I'm wondering, Mr. Wallace, out of all of the interviews you've completed, is there still someone you would like to interview and haven't had a chance, thank you.

WALLACE: There were two people that I wanted to interview. At this moment -- I'm hoping about one person and I'm not going to tell you because don't want to jinx it. But the two people that I've really wanted to interview were Patricia Nixon and John Paul. The pope.

KING: Me too. John Paul. Patricia Nixon, no one ever interviewed her.

WALLACE: No. And I traveled with him. He offered me a job as his press secretary.

KING: I know. Not many people know that.

WALLACE: Yes. And on the one occasion when I interviewed her on the floor of the convention, she grabbed my hand with the microphone in it and it was shaking. She was not petrified but -- in traveling with the family, she was warm, vulnerable smart as the dickens. A wonderful mother.

I think it was Gloria Steinem who called her a Plastic Pat. The least plastic woman imaginable. Just a lovely woman. But we tried and tried.

Then with John Paul, I thought that we had it. The condition was Tad Schultz and I were going to do it simultaneously. We don't want to talk to you about the church. We want to talk to you about acting, skiing, politics, celibacy. Stuff like -- man to man. And it looked as though it was going to happen for the two of us. Tad Schultz and me. And then he really got ill.

KING: We got a maybe once. It was like --

WALLACE: From the Pope.

KING: Yes, a maybe. Nothing ever happened.

Springdale, Arkansas, hello?

CALLER: Hello. This is -- Mr. Wallace, do you think that Dan Rather was unjustly booted by Les Moonves, the head of CBS?

WALLACE: This is a sensitive subject obviously. Look, Rather is a friend first of all. Good friend. Man I respect. Brave, courageous, first-rate reporter. He and the people that he was working with took on the piece about the president's military service.

The people who were fired as a result of that, were the people who helped him. I know that you work with a crew. I collaborate, too. I felt that Dan, when these people who worked so hard with him on that piece, when they were fired that he -- and I told him so.

Dan, I think you should -- think you probably still should. You should have resigned. Because if your people were fired because of that piece, then -- hell, if they go, I go. We had a difference of opinion. We've didn't have any fights about it.

I remain, he's a hell of a reporter. He'd be a hell of a reporter for CNN if he -- if he wanted to do that kind of thing.

KING: And you would recommend him?

WALLACE: Oh, you're damn right. He's a superb reporter. Look, he let his heart show. Remember the hassle he had with George W. Bush's father on the air? While Brokaw and Jennings kept it at arm's length, Rather showed the way he felt. Big deal.

KING: We'll take a break and when we come back, Mike Wallace's very talented son Chris Wallace, who is the host of FOX News Sunday. He worked at ABC and NBC. Chris Wallace joins us right after this.


RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If do win this election, I think I will conduct the presidency in a way that I will command the respect of the American people. That may not be the same style of some of my predecessors. But it will enable me to lead.

Let me make this one point. Some public men are destined to be loved and other public men are destined to be disliked. But the most important thing about a public man is not whether he's loved or disliked, but whether he is respected. And I hope to restore respect to the presidency at all levels. (END VIDEO CLIP)



WALLACE: How many blacks are there on your top campaign staff, Governor?

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT: I couldn't honestly answer you now.

WALLACE: That speaks for itself.


WALLACE: I said that speaks for itself.

REAGAN: No, because I can't tell you how many people are on the staff.

WALLACE: But you can tell black from white?

REAGAN: Oh, yes.


KING: Our guest is Mike Wallace and joining us now in Washington is Chris Wallace, Mike's son, the host of "FOX News Sunday," a veteran himself. Chris is 57-year-sold. My gosh, you're old. We're old. Chris, what did you think of your father's decision to say good-bye?

MIKE WALLACE, JOURNALIST: Well, you know, the interesting thing Larry, watching this show from the beginning as you asked him some very good questions at the beginning, and I don't think he's going to say good-bye.

I thought he answered your -- well, what is does this retirement amount to, with a lot of nothing? So I firmly believe for a long period of time that six months from now, the real story will be not how little he's working, but how much he's working. So this is going to be like Marie Shevalie (ph), a long and repeated retirement tour.

KING: What do you think of his career? Is he go on Mt. Rushmore?

C. WALLACE: Well in fact, I said exactly that the day that he left. I mean, when you think about it, and you know, I haven't grown up in the business. I think I'm a student of it.

He invented, as you pointed out so well, the hard news interview, the tough interview. Not the, what are you in town for and tell us about your latest movie. HE along with a bunch of other people invented the news magazine. I think -- not only for television news, but maybe in the history of television. Absolutely he goes on Mt. Rushmore. KING: What do you think, Mike, of Chris's decision to go into the same business?

M. WALLACE: He's not talking -- he had a stepfather in addition to his father, fellow by the name of Bill Leonard. Did you ever know Bill?

KING: Knew him and loved him, head of CBS.

M. WALLACE: He was the head of CBS and because I had -- his mother and I had been divorced, Bill Leonard could have turned me down when I wanted to come to work at CBS. Bill Leonard was a superb man. Gave him an extraordinary background because they were very, very close. And then after he passed -- and he does a hell of a good job.

KING: Are you grad -- glad he went into the business?

M. WALLACE: Yes, yes, absolutely. And he is, too.

KING: Do you think you were affected a lot by your father, Chris, in going in?

C. WALLACE: Yes, but not in the way, Larry, that I think a lot of people might think. Neither he nor my stepfather Bill Leonard, were staged to our fathers who were, "Oh, you've got to do this."

It was just that I was exposed to stuff, amazing stuff at such an early age. At age 16, I was a gopher for Walter Cronkite at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco. When I say gopher, go for coffee, go for pencils. And I was in the anchor booth with Walter Cronkite as Barry Goldwater was being nominated.

I remember when I was in high school, my father was doing the "CBS Morning News," and I was on vacation from school and he told me that he was going to have Malcolm X on the "CBS Morning News" that day and I remember getting up early and going down to West 57th Street, because even then in the early '60s, I knew Malcolm X was somebody that I would want to have met.

And so, just being exposed to that as a kid and thinking you get paid to go around the world and interview the most interesting people, it always seemed like a pretty good way to make a living.

KING: Chris, your father has been very open about depression. We had an incredible show one night with him and Art Buchwald and -- do you ever fear that there might be genes involved?

C. WALLACE: Well, yes, as a matter of fact. You know, you do wonder about that. I am fortunate enough, knock on wood, to say that I haven't had it. But I don't know that -- I'm 58, actually, thank you for saying I was 57.

I don't know that my dad had had it when he was 57 and you know, thankfully because of people like him and because of medical progress, it's a lot more treatable illness than it was when he first got it in the early '80s. But sure, I suppose it's a possibility. Thank you for bringing that up, Larry.

KING: You looked a little concerned. That's why.

We'll be back with Mike and Chris, don't go away.


MALCOLM X, DECEASED ACTIVIST: He made six sisters pregnant, they all had children. Two of those six had two children. One of those two is having a child right now. I am told that there is a seventh sister who is supposed to be in Mexico right now. And she's supposed to be having a child by him.

M. WALLACE: Do you feel perhaps that you should now take over the leadership of the Black Muslims?

MALCOLM X: No, I have no desire to take over the leadership of the Black Muslims and I have never had that desire. But I do have this desire. I have a desire to see the Afro American in this country get the human rights that are his due, to make a complete human being.

M. WALLACE: Are you the least bit afraid of what might happen to you as a result of making these revelations?

MALCOLM X: Oh yes, I probably am a dead man already.




M. WALLACE: Why are you doing this now?


M. WALLACE: This -- you walked out on us once before. Didn't walk out on us.

CARSON: Well, I understood that you're paying a large amount of money for this.

M. WALLACE: You're wrong.

CARSON: Why are you doing this now? I'm not running a boiler- room operation, I have no phony real estate scam, I'm not taking any kick backs. I did steal a ring from Woolworth's once when I was 12- years-old. And I think that's why you're here.

M. WALLACE: We're doing this because you are a national treasure. That's what they tell me, you're a national treasure.

CARSON: And you know what the dollar is worth nowadays.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: We can say you are a national treasurer, Mike. Chris, your father has not met, even shaken hands with the president of the United States. Have you met him or interviewed him?

C. WALLACE: I have not interviewed him, although I certainly hope to. But I think this public complaining and whining is rather unattractive. you know, the fact is, he's a busy man. He decides who he wants to talk to.

I have actually met the president, and several times, and been to a State of the Union briefing where he had lunch with us and discussed things.

And I'm happy to pass my father's best wishes onto the president the next time I see him.

KING: You want to respond to that blast, Mike?

C. WALLACE: That's my boy.

KING: No complaints?

M. WALLACE: Works for FOX.

KING: Oh, he works for FOX. Oh, that's right you work for FOX.

C. WALLACE: Larry, can I just say, that this is a real tribute to my father because I know before you could invite me as a host, an anchor at FOX, onto CNN, you had to go to the very top of CNN to invite me. And then I had to go to the very top of FOX to get permission to come on. So this is like television diplomacy all over again.

KING: Do you have a favorite interview of your dad's?

C. WALLACE: You know, there are so many. I have to say that I think for the pure -- both the news making and the theatrics of it, the interview with the Ayatollah. When he says, and I can always quote it verbatim, when he says, about Anwar Sadat. He calls you, Imam, his words, not mine, forgive me, a lunatic. There is the holy city of Qom to the Ayatollah. I mean, for sheer moxie, that probably take the cake.

KING: Did you have any hesitancy about asking that?

M. WALLACE: No, not at all. You remember Faye Emerson?

KING: Very well.

M. WALLACE: Wonderful, first lady of television.

KING: Married to Roosevelt, Elliott.

M. WALLACE: Yes, and Skitch. But what she once said to me and she's right, there is no such thing as an indiscreet question. There's no such thing as an indiscreet question. And that was a perfectly sensible -- it got the attention of the Ayatollah Khomeini when I told them that Anwar Sadat had said he wasn't much of a Muslim and that besides that he was a lunatic and the translator looked at me as though I was the lunatic if I thought that he, the translator, was going to translate it for the Ayatollah.

And of course he said, Sadat is not a good Muslim and I don't predict that he has much of a future. And of course, you know what happened to Anwar Sadat.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with our remaining moments with Mike Wallace and Chris Wallace on this edition of "LARRY KING LIVE." Don't go away.


M. WALLACE: Imam President Sadat of Egypt, a devotedly religious man, a Muslim, says that what you are doing now is, quote, "a disgrace to Islam." And he calls you Imam, forgive me, his words, not mine, a lunatic. I know that you have heard that comment.

Yes, that's what I heard President Sadat say on American television.


M. WALLACE: That the Imam is a disgrace to Islam and he used the word, a lunatic.

AYATOLLAH KHOMEINI, MUSLIM CLERIC (through translator): Sadat states he is a Muslim. And we are not. He is not, for he compromises with the enemies of Islam. Sadat has united with our enemies.




JOHN NASH, MATHEMATICIAN: You don't realize that you've been into the mental illness until you're coming out of the mental illness. It's like the movie. You see, at first, the signals in the newspaper, the codes, and all this is the true reality, which has been discovered.

M. WALLACE: I see. But when you are in that reality, you are in that reality and you don't realize that your are schizophrenic.

NASH: You're not mentally ill. You're a rather alerted -- your extra normally alerted to hidden truths. And you're exceptionally enlightened.


KING: Nashville, Tennessee, hello.

CALLER: Yes, Mr. Wallace, back in the '50s you interviewed mob boss Mickey Cohen. And I wanted to you ask you about...

M. WALLACE: Your boss?

CALLER: Yes, wouldn't you say?

KING: You worked for him?

M. WALLACE: The florist?

KING: Oh, mob boss. I thought you said your boss.

CALLER: No, the mob boss.

KING: What's the question?

CALLER: Well I wondered about his fear levels during that interview. He was quite young back then and I wondered if he was frightened at all.

KING: Do you have any fear of Mickey Cohen?

M. WALLACE: No. He was a mild-mannered florist at the time. No, not at all.

Of course the chief of policy of the city of Los Angeles, Parker, Chief Parker sued us and got something like 45. Because he, Mickey Cohen called the chief of police of the city of Los Angeles a sadistic degenerate, an alcoholic, sadistic degenerate.

KING: And he won a lawsuit against?

M. WALLACE: ABC settled, $44,000.

KING: Chris, would you ever want to go on "60 Minutes" and want to replace your dad?

C. WALLACE: I'm very happy at FOX News, I will tell you, Larry.

KING: So the answer is, no, no, no?

C. WALLACE: No. Or as Dick Cheney says, no and hell no. But let me just say, in addition, nobody's asking.

KING: We only got 30 seconds. You must be awfully proud, Chris.

C. WALLACE: I couldn't be prouder and it's interesting, you know, we have talked about the possibility of him retiring or in this case, perhaps not retiring for some period of time.

And I didn't know that it was going to strike me as much as it has. But I am so proud of him and since you've only got a few seconds left, let me say I'll call you after the show, pops and I love you.

M. WALLACE: I love you, my friend.

KING: Thank you, Chris. C. WALLACE: Thank you, Larry.

KING: And Mike, what can we say? Thank you.

M. WALLACE: Thank you.

KING: Thank you for being you.