Interview with Mike Wallace

OK, tell me first of all how that 1959 documentary came about.


Lou Lomax, a reporter I'd never heard of, came to my office, told me about something called the Black Muslims. I'd never heard of them. Ah, we went next door to Sardi's restaurant to have lunch, and he told me at great length about an organization called the Black Muslims. He didn't tell me how many people they were or how strong they were. What he suggested to me was that they were not a particularly well-known organization. They had never been written about in the White press. That there was very little can[SIC] of them in the White community. Would we be interested in doing a broadcast, a documentary about them? Ah, I suggested that, "Yeah, we might. Let's learn more about them." One of the conditions of our doing the broadcast, he said, was that they will not talk to a White reporter**, therefore who was going to be the reporter. It was obvious that Lomax wanted the job. Lomax had, ah, good contacts with the Muslims. With Malcolm X, with Elijah Muhammad, and people around them. So Ted Yates, who was the producer with whom I worked, and I, finally made a deal for Lomax to go to work on that documentary for us. The reporter on that documentary was Louis Lomax. The producer was Ted Yates. I was the narrator. But I never met Elijah Muhammad at that time. As a matter of fact have never, never did meet Elijah Muhammad. And did not meet Malcolm X at that time. All that I did was voice over, anchor the work done by Lomax and camera crew. And after that, and we called it "The Hate That Hate Produced." And after that went on the air we put it on five minutes a night on local news, and it attracted some attention, we decided to make an hour of it. And following that there were various people from the Black community who participated in a forum about it.