Chris Wallace, in an interview with the New York Times that was just released, finally announced what it was that made him leave Fox for CNN.
Speaking on that and hitting Fox for his rightward drift in recent years, Wallace said:
“I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion. But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable. I spent a lot of 2021 looking to see if there was a different place for me to do my job.”
Then, continuing that line of talk about what he saw as wrong with Fox, he attacked the network for publishing programming like Tucker Carlson’s “Patriot Purge.”
Describing why he was so against such programming, he said that, in his view, that documentary and other shows being put out by Fox encouraged those who were and are convinced that the election was stolen from Trump, playing to the base in an “unsustainable” way. Speaking on that, he said:
“Before, I found it was an environment in which I could do my job and feel good about my involvement at Fox. And since November of 2020, that just became unsustainable, increasingly unsustainable as time went on.”
“One of the reasons that I left Fox was because I wanted to put all of that behind me. There has not been a moment when I have second-guessed myself about that decision.”
That comment on wanting to get out of politics was likely true, as it’s much the same reasoning he gave on Fox when announcing his departure. Speaking then, he said:
I’ve gotten to spend Sunday mornings with you. It may sound corny, but I feel we’ve built a community here. There’s a lot you can do on Sunday mornings. The fact that you’ve chosen to spend this hour with us is something I cherish. But after 18 years, I have decided to leave FOX. I want to try something new, to go beyond politics, to all of the things I’m interested in.”
What was unclear from the interview is why he thought CNN would be a better fit than Fox if he’s interested in the truth.
While he hit Tucker and others for pushing narratives about the election, he studiously ignored the narratives pushed by CNN. “Patriot Purge” was attacked, of course, but not Brian Stelter’s pearl-clutching about the Russia hoax or the network’s constant lies and half-truths about President Trump. Fox is certainly partisan, but so is CNN.
Perhaps its leftward partisan slant is just more amenable to Wallace than Fox’s increasingly conservative point of view and Tucker’s populist streak.