“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace declared that “truth is truth” but dodged any criticism of his employer — and his colleague, conspiracy peddler Tucker Carlson — in an interview with the Financial Times published Friday.
Truth is “non-negotiable,” he told FT. “There’s no spin to truth. Truth is truth.”
Wallace, the newspaper noted, isn’t a typical Fox media personality. He’s “cut from different cloth;” for “starters, he’s a journalist and not a ranting commentator ... and he’s known for putting tough questions to politicians whatever their political stripe.”
But Wallace carefully avoided taking any shots at Carlson, even though the two men have shared opposing views on COVID-19 precautions.
Wallace last year told The Washington Post that he was “pissed off” when then-President Donald Trump’s family removed their masks — ignoring preestablished rules — when they arrived at the presidential debates in Cleveland, where Wallace was the moderator.
“I mean, did they think that the rules that applied to everybody else didn’t apply to them? I was upset when it turned out I’d been on the stage in a uniquely vulnerable position, and we found out 48 hours after the fact that the president [and the first lady] had tested positive for the coronavirus,” he told the Post.
“Wear the damn mask,” Wallace later told his viewers. “Follow the science. If I could say one thing to all of the people out there watching: Forget the politics. This is a public safety health issue.”
Carlson, on the other hand, ignores the science, dismisses the efficacy of masks and vaccines, and has even urged viewers to “call the police” to report “abuse” when they see children wearing masks outdoors.
Wallace refused to discuss Carlson when pressed in the interview.
“I am only responsible for and only have control over my piece of real estate,” he said. “I’m proud of what we do . . . I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to my audience and to the truth.”
As for criticizing Fox News more broadly, Wallace compared his situation to the time he asked William Casey, then head of Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, about something controversial. Casey responded: “Why on earth would I answer that question?” Wallace recalled.
Fox News “has employed me for 18 years,” Wallace told the FT. “They’ve never interfered with a question, with a guest I’ve brought on, or a question I’ve asked. They have changed my life. They’ve changed my career. So to paraphrase William Casey: ‘Why on earth would I share any concerns I have about Fox News with the readers of the Financial Times?’”
Check out the full interview here.