Saturday, May 18, 2024

No Surprise: Chris Wallace Escapes Fox News for CNN’s New Streaming Service, Last Voice of “Fair and Balanced”


Chris Wallace is leaving Fox News. Or rather, he’s escaping the far right network for CNN’s streaming services, CNN Plus.

The announcement came at the end of his show today on Fox. But the NY Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch, omits the CNN part of the story as does, which hides the news of Wallace’s departure on its website.

Wallace says in a statement from CNN: “I am thrilled to join CNN+. After decades in broadcast and cable news, I am excited to explore the world of streaming. I look forward to the new freedom and flexibility streaming affords in interviewing major figures across the news landscape—and finding new ways to tell stories,” said Wallace. “As I embark on this adventure, I am honored and delighted to join Jeff Zucker and his great team. I can’t wait to get started.”

Wallace’s departure is not a surprise. He’s been at odds with the Fox News philosophy for a long time. But losing him means that Rupert Murdoch’s “Fair and Balanced” is over. Wallace was the last reasonable voice in a fog of conservatism that often ditches truth for whatever agenda is at hand.

Going to CNN at this time is also interesting given that CNN has lost Chris Cuomo after his scandals involving defending his brother, former governor Andrew Cuomo, and possible sexual harassment. Right now Wallace is set for just CNN Plus it could turn into more. At 74, he’ll be the oldest news man at CNN, a year older than the network’s elder statesman, Wolf Blitzer.

At Fox, there is nothing left of journalistic balance. Wallace was often critical of the Trump administration and scored some of the best political interviews in the 2016 and 2020 campaigns. With him gone, there is no one willing to challenge the Fox News manifesto. If Trump runs again, and it looks like he may, he might as well be given his own show on the network.

Wallace has been with Fox News for two decades. His statement reads:

After 18 years — this is my final FOX News Sunday,” Wallace said. “It is the last time — and I say this with real sadness — we will meet like this. Eighteen years ago, the bosses here at Fox promised me they would never interfere with a guest I booked or a question I asked. And they kept that promise. I have been free to report to the best of my ability, to cover the stories I think are important, to hold our country’s leaders to account. It’s been a great ride. We’ve covered five presidential elections, interviewed every president since George H.W. Bush, travelled the world — sitting down with France’s Emanuel Macron and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. And 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 Sundays.  The fact 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 the things I’m interested in. I’m ready for a new adventure. And I hope you’ll check it out. And so —for the last time, dear friends — that’s it for today. Have a great week. And I hope you’ll keep watching FOX News Sunday.”

Fox responded with “Whatever.” They will rotate hosts until they find a proper puppet.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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