Appearing on Thursday’s "Colbert Report," former "60 Minutes" anchor Mike Wallace mostly discussed innocuous subjects such as the joys of smoking. However, after being prompted by host Stephen Colbert to share his "doubts about our system of government," Wallace segued into an odd digression about how a parliamentary system would give Americans an easier way to get rid of its leaders. In other words, don't wait for Bush to go back to Crawford, kick him out now:
Stephen Colbert: "Now, you say you, you have some doubts about our system of government. I agree with you. Should we get rid of the Congress or the judiciary first? What, what do you mean by that?"
Mike Wallace: " I'm not kidding."
Colbert: "Okay. I know you’re not."
Wallace: "Forget– Forget impeachment. What you– Forget impeachment? Good luck. The– The– A representative government in which you can vote no confidence in a president or the leader and get rid of him."
Colbert: "Well, that's Canada, sir. That's Canada!"
[Cheers and applause]
Wallace: "The audience understands."
(The segment aired at 11:54pm on January 26) First off, there’s something funny about an 88-year-old journalist deriding the difficulty in getting someone to leave. Secondly, bashing American-style governance is nothing new to Wallace. As noted in the MRC’s Profiles in Bias, he dismissed the 1994 Republican Revolution as a "temper tantrum":
Wallace: "There was a temper tantrum that did take place in the American electorate last November. No doubt about it. They were mad at the Democrats, they were mad at the President. They were frustrated because, there's all kinds of reasons to be frustrated, and talk radio -- in my estimation, I think the President is right about that -- focuses on that."
Mike Wallace- interview with Arianna Huffington, CNBC's Talk Live, May 6, 1995.
And five years earlier, the "60 Minutes" anchor touted another, slightly more authoritarian style of government:
"Many Soviets viewing the current chaos and nationalist unrest under Gorbachev look back almost longingly to the era of brutal order under Stalin."
-- Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes, February 11, 1990.
Considering these examples, Wallace’s longing for parliamentary votes of no confidence seems down right mild. Go here for more MRC Profiles in Bias, a complete accounting of the spin flowing from America’s high profile journalists.