Gays in America: Unprecedented Progress in One Generation

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Footage of Mike Wallace, the late, renowned broadcaster, and his son Chris Wallace, also a newsman, on the subject of homosexuality


Above is most of a 1967 CBS News report titled "The Homosexuals," the first attempt by network news to deal with the subject. It broke taboos in its time and is now impossible to watch without cringing. The footage has been sent around as commentators look back on the renowned career of Mike Wallace, who anchored the report, in the aftermath of his death at age 93. For a full perspective on his career, which should not be judged by the clip above, see here

His son, Chris Wallace, is also a network newsman. It's heartening to juxtapose his treatment of homosexuality today, on America's most conservative news network, with its treatment just a generation before on what was arguably the most liberal network of its day. Here is the younger anchor:


What a remarkable shift. 

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Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

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