Fox News’ Chris Wallace debate moderation stint during the 2020 election was a fiasco. He was criticized for not reining in President Trump on one hand and seemingly helping Joe Biden remember his talking points on the other. Trump was overly aggressive with Biden, who would have hung himself with his own words. We would have had clear declarations that he isn’t for things like defunding the police and Medicare for All. I mean, he might backtrack, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he did, but at that moment—Biden threw mud on progressive action items. It was drowned out by Trump’s interruptions.
Now, as Joe Biden is inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States, Wallace appears to have been caught on a hot mic moment mocking his colleague Brit Hume who was analyzing the president’s address. Biden spoke of unity, the end of the “uncivil war” we’ve been waging against one another, and other stuff that will never happen. Politics is the organization of our animosities, so it is Democratic vs. Republican, urban vs. rural, left vs right, and that’s okay.
Hume was in the middle of his analysis when his audio cut out and you can hear Wallace’s take on the matter that was probably not meant to air. The Daily Caller picked up on it. Is it a hot mic or do we need more context? The publication noted that the US did pass the grim milestone of 400,000 deaths recently, but Hume added that we now have a vaccine to help turn things around. When it was previously announced by Trump, Operation Warp Speed was derided by the experts as being unrealistic in creating a vaccine by year’s end. They were wrong (via Daily Caller):
Wallace and Hume were participating in a panel on Fox’s coverage of the inauguration when Hume was asked to give his take on the speech.
“To the extent that this speech could do it, [inaudible], he laid off any partisan stuff … I think this speech will be very well received,” Hume said. “I would point out a couple of things. The president did talk about what a crisis we’re in. We’ve got the crisis in the environment, and we’ve got the COVID crisis and all the rest of that.”
“That is what we’ve hoped for from the beginning. That there would be a vaccine. We never thought we’d have one as soon as now. We thought it would be way into next year, maybe beyond, before we got one,” Hume continued. “So that’s one big problem that is well on the way to solution that he faces. Look around the world. We’ve seen some kinda baby steps but important ones toward a new way–”
Hume’s mic abruptly cut out mid-sentence and Wallace can be heard at a low volume saying, “Really? 100,000 people dying?” before host Bret Baier jumped in to say that they were losing Hume’s audio. The context of Wallace’s hot mic question was not immediately clear.
Look, you can debate about this exchange. The more damning Wallace audio is him declaring that Joe Biden’s inauguration speech was “the best he’d ever heard.” Yeah, for those who thought Wallace was biased in the debates, well—here’s more proof (via The Wrap):
As of noon on January 29, 2020, Joseph R. Biden has officially been sworn in as President of the United States. The historic event, which included Biden’s inaugural address and his first official comments as the 46th President, was a much-needed balm after four years of Trump’s usual nonsensical rants. Even Fox News anchor Chris Wallace thought so.
“I’ve been listening to these inaugural addresses since 1961, John F. Kennedy…I thought this was the best inaugural address I ever heard,” said Wallace, commenting on the speech.
Beth has more here.
The speech was very much geared to Biden and his delivery for sure, but have we double-checked to see if his writers didn’t plagiarize it from other past world leaders.