For nearly two decades, Chris Wallace was one of the few voices of reason at Fox News. Unlike most right-leaning hosts, he wasn’t openly partisan. He asked tough questions of figures others treated with kid gloves. He regularly enraged Donald Trump and his followers. Still, it was a bit of a shock late last year when he announced he was leaving the network, decamping for the forthcoming streamer CNN+. Now, nearly three months later, he’s finally opening up about why he split.
“I just no longer felt comfortable with the programming at Fox,” Wallace told The New York Times. “I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion,” he added. “But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”
Last year it was reported that Wallace had complained to Fox News brass about Tucker Carlson, who has used his popular shows to spread misinformation about the pandemic, the 2020 election, the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and more. Wallace confirmed to NYT that that was true.
“Before, I found it was an environment in which I could do my job and feel good about my involvement at Fox,” Wallace said. “And since November of 2020, that just became unsustainable, increasingly unsustainable as time went on.”
He admitted to being a bit of a “slow learner” when it comes to Fox News’ turn into, shall we say, more explosive content, but he maintains that it’s “changed over the course of the last year and a half.” So he “spent a lot of 2021 looking to see if there was a different place for me to do my job.” Now, at CNN+, he’ll host a daily interview show, where he’ll do less politics, chatting with the likes of William Shatner, former Disney honcho Bob Iger, even singing with folk legend Judy Collins.
Even though he was disturbed by the sudden exit of former CNN head Jeff Zucker, who hired him, he also says of his Fox News exit that “there has not been a moment when I have second-guessed myself about that decision.”