Mike Wallace, ‘The Insider’ and TV News: Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn Debate

Daily Download's Lauren Ashburn and Howard Kurtz take Lowell Bergman's interview about veteran newsman Mike Wallace as a lead-in to a deeper discussion of how TV news works 

Mike Wallace wasn’t a fan of “The Insider,” but was the veteran newsman too tough on Michael Mann’s movie?

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In this clip from Tuesday’s Daily Download, Editor in Chief Lauren Ashburn and her co-host, Newsweek/Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz, use TheWrap’s interview with former "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman as a jumping-off point for a broader discussion of Wallace and the role of the star anchor in TV news.

“Well, you can’t blame him for it,” Ashburn says of Wallace’s displeasure over how he and his “60 Minutes” team came off in the film. “I mean, it makes it look like Mike Wallace didn’t do all of the reporting behind it. That’s sort of the veiled curtain, that you don’t want to lift, of TV news, that the correspondent – the person out in the front – didn’t do all the work.”

Also read: Lowell Bergman on Why Mike Wallace Really Hated 'The Insider' (Exclusive) 

Kurtz offers another take, sticking up for Wallace and Mann. “But it’s the truth!” he says. “How could people be in seven different places at once — editing the piece, doing all the research, traveling to all of the places they did?”

But Ashburn and Kurtz agreed on one point, first voiced by Bergman about Wallace: “He had balls.”

Watch their full discussion below.