Dramatic Video of Wallace, Jennings, Gingrich, and 'North Kosan'

When I was writing Breaking the News back in the mid-1990s, and the associated "Why We Hate the Media" article for the Atlantic, the age of streaming video was not yet at hand. I had a hard time finding and getting to see the famous PBS "Ethics in America" program, from a few years earlier, in which Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings had their showdown about how reporters should behave in combat situations. Eventually I ordered bulky and costly video tapes from some archive house.

I mentioned the Jennings-Wallace encounter two days ago in an observance of Mike Wallace's death. Sincere thanks to reader E.H., of York University in the UK, who has written in with a link to streaming video of this program and the rest of the Ethics in America series. The series overview is here, from Annenberg Learner. The specific program I was talking about is #7, and while it's all interesting, the part I was describing begins 30 minutes in. I predict that if you start watching there you will find it worthwhile. The video player comes up as a pop-up window, which some browsers block. If you have trouble, try this link.

The "Ethics in America" series was shot in 1989. Among its fascinations now is a look at many still-prominent public figures at an earlier stage of their careers. Here, for instance, is Rep. Newt Gingrich on the show, in his mid-40s.

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Thanks to EH for the lead; thanks to the designers of the Ethics in America series and to Charles Ogletree for his excellent moderation of this discussion; and thanks to all at Annenberg and elsewhere for putting them on line.


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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.

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