Mike Wallace: A year since we lost him

  • Mike Wallace: A year since we lost him

    1970s: Talking back to the Ayatollah Khomeini

    In 1979, when Mike Wallace arrived in Iran to interview the Ayatollah Khomeini, he was the first reporter the Iranian leader had agreed to talk to since the Iran hostage crisis had begun two weeks earlier. Mike was required to submit his interview questions to Khomeini's aides in advance. Several questions were rejected as unacceptable.

    Throughout their hour-long interview, Khomeini refused to look at Mike-- except when Mike launched into this next question, which clearly hadn't been submitted in advance:

    WALLACE: Imam, President Sadat of Egypt, a devoutly 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..."

    "The Ayatollah" aired on November, 18, 1979. (Producer: Barry Lando)