In a New York Times interview, former Fox News star Chris Wallace — who left for CNN last year — confirmed what many thought about his exit.
Wallace, 74, told the Times he felt his tenure at the network was “unsustainable” after conservative hosts continued to raise questions about the 2020 election.
“I just no longer felt comfortable with the programming at Fox,” Wallace told the Times.
“A down-the-middle outlier at Fox News who often confounded conservatives by contradicting the network’s right-wing stars, Mr. Wallace was also one of the channel’s fiercest defenders, disappointing liberals who hoped he might denounce colleagues like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson,” the Times noted in their piece.
“But in December, Mr. Wallace, 74, issued a final verdict: He was done. In a surprise move, he declined to renew his contract as host of ‘Fox News Sunday’ and jumped to archrival CNN.”
Wallace didn’t mention his reason for leaving at the time.
However, in the first interview about his departure, he made it clear he had an issue with Fox News’ programming.
“I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion,” Wallace said.
“But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”
Most notably, he confirmed the rumor that he’d complained directly to Fox News brass about “Patriot Purge,” Tucker Carlson’s documentary about the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.
“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 added that “I spent a lot of 2021 looking to see if there was a different place for me to do my job.”
“Some people might have drawn the line earlier, or at a different point. … I think Fox has changed over the course of the last year and a half,” he said. “But I can certainly understand where somebody would say, ‘Gee, you were a slow learner, Chris.’”
Several Fox News insiders mocked Wallace for the interview in comments to the U.K.’s Daily Mail.
“Clearly he’s launching a new show, so he needs eyeballs and bashing Fox is an easy way to try and get viewers to find him at his new home,” one insider said. “Take note CNN, your new hire will only ever be loyal to himself and not the company that is sending a Brinks truck full of cash to his personal bank.”
“Chris Wallace’s ‘Fox News Sunday’ was fourth in a four-horse race and never got out of 4th place throughout his entire 18 years of hosting the show. He was the only anchor at Fox not to helm a number one show,” another insider said.
“This story really isn’t surprising. What’s shocking is it took Chris 18 years to leave but I suppose when you’re earning millions upon millions of dollars every year, you’re happy to stay and amass great wealth and a personal fortune that his viewers could only ever dream of.”