Chris Wallace: Media shouldn’t get drawn into Trump fights
Fox’s Chris Wallace ended his program on Sunday by referring to the media as “umpires” serving as “objective witnesses” to events, and cautioned that journalists “shouldn’t be drawn into the fight” as it pertains to President Trump’s attacks on the press.
Wallace concluded his Sunday program by showing video of an appearance he made at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. last week.
The veteran reporter, who has repeatedly made headlines for tough interviews with Republican office-holders, noted that his remarks about how President Trump has engaged in the “most direct, sustained assault on freedom of the press in our history” had won attention.
But he said that his remarks on the media had received demonstrably less press, before he played a clip showing them.
“We are not participants in what we cover,” Wallace said in the remarks from the Newseum. “We are umpires or observers trying to be objective witnesses to what is going on. If the president or anyone we’re covering says something untrue or does something questionable, we can and should report it.
“But we shouldn’t be drawn into the fight. We shouldn’t be drawn into taking sides, as tempting as that is. We’re not as good at it as they are and we’re abandoning the special role the founders gave us in this democracy,” the 51-year news veteran added.
President Trump regularly refers to the press as “fake news” on Twitter and campaign rallies. He also has recently gone after Wallace for the anchor’s criticism of the president on impeachment.
Somebody please explain to Chris Wallace of Fox, who will never be his father (and my friend), Mike Wallace, that the Phone Conversation I had with the President of Ukraine was a congenial & good one. It was only Schiff’s made up version of that conversation that was bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2019
The most recent Gallup poll in trust in media shows that only 13 percent of U.S. adults trust the media “a great deal” and 28 percent “a fair amount.”
For context, Gallup’s poll on the same subject conducted in 1976 showed that 72 percent of Americans trusted the media at that time.
Wallace made more headlines on Sunday with an interview on his program with former FBI Director James Comey that drew raves from some political show observers.
Chris Wallace tactfully and gracefully filleting James Comey on the FISA warrants is a master class in how it’s done.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) December 15, 2019