Chris Wallace, the disgraced ex-Fox News Channel host, took a number of cheap shots at his former place of employment during an exclusive interview with The New York Times.
“I just no longer felt comfortable with the programming at Fox,” said Wallace, the notorious never-Trumper.
Mr. Wallace left Fox News after nearly two decades to take a low-level job hosting a digital program on CNN, the fledgling leftwing news channel.
He castigated both the network and Tucker Carlson, the top-rated host in all of cable television.
“I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion,” Mr. Wallace said in his first extensive interview about his decision to leave. “But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”
Mr. Wallace told The Times he spent “a lot of 2021 looking to see if there was a different place for me to do my job.”
He told the newspaper that he was “so alarmed by Mr. Carlson’s documentary ‘Patriot Purge’ — which falsely suggested the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was a ‘false flag’ operation intended to demonize conservatives — that he complained directly to Fox News management.”
“Before, I found it was an environment in which I could do my job and feel good about my involvement at Fox,” Mr. Wallace said. “And since November of 2020, that just became unsustainable, increasingly unsustainable as time went on.”
Still, he acknowledged that some viewers may wonder why he did not leave earlier.
“Some people might have drawn the line earlier, or at a different point,” he said, adding: “I think Fox has changed over the course of the last year and a half. But I can certainly understand where somebody would say, ‘Gee, you were a slow learner, Chris.’”
It wasn’t that Mr. Wallace was a slow learner. It’s that he needed the paycheck and Fox News Channel compensated him very well. Very well.
And just like a true liberal, he put money ahead of principle.
Mr. Wallace said he was happy to leave the world of politics behind. His new show will feature long-form conversations with aging cultural icons.
“I wanted to get out of politics,” Mr. Wallace said, adding, “Doing a Sunday show on the incremental change from week to week in the Build Back Better plan began to lose its attraction.”
The Times reports one of his first guests will be Judy Collins, of “Send in the Clowns” fame – a song Stephen Sondheim wrote circa 1975.
“Send in the Clowns.” How appropriate.
Far be it from me to question Mr. Wallace’s motives for leaving the number one cable television network in the nation, but I wonder if the real reason was something a bit more personal? Could it be that he could not bear the fact that he hosted one of the lowest-rated programs on Fox? Is it possible that he was so envious of Mr. Carlson’s success, that he simply lost his mind?
That could explain why Mr. Wallace abandoned a network where he was given the opportunity to query some of the world’s most prominent power players to take a job interviewing washed-up stars of yesteryear in a sparse, low-budget studio. I suspect Mr. Wallace will feel quite at home.