Fox News anchor Bret Baier confirmed he has "concerns" about a documentary produced by the network's leading prime-time host, Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonThe Hill's 12:30 Report: More of Biden's agenda teeters on collapse The Hill's Morning Report: Biden takes it on the chin Tucker Carlson extends influence on GOP MORE, that focuses on the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“I didn’t get hurt by it. I didn’t get damaged by it. Were you bothered by it? Because that’s the reporting," Brian Kilmeade, who is a co-host of the "Fox & Friends" morning program, asked Baier on Monday afternoon during an appearance on Kilmeade's radio show.
“There’s a … Brian, I don’t want to go down this road,” Baier responded. “You know, I mean, there were concerns about it definitely ... I think that the news division did what we do, we do when we covered the story.”
Kilmeade was apparently referring to reporting from NPR this week that Baier and Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceAudie Cornish hired by CNN, will host show and podcast on streaming service The five biggest media stories of 2021 News networks see major viewership drop in 2021 MORE, the anchor of "Fox News Sunday," shared their objections to Carlson's "Patriot Purge" documentary series with Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and the company's president of news, Jay Wallace. NPR reported that the complaints from Baier and Wallace rose to Lachlan Murdoch, the chairman and CEO of the network's parent company, Fox Corp.
"Patriot Purge," purports to tell an alternative story of the Jan. 6 insurrection and features at least one subject who suggests the event may have been a "false flag" operation. It has been widely panned.
Wallace and Baier have both broadcast segments and had guests on their program debunking the so-called false flag conspiracy.
The reporting on Baier and Wallace's concerns about the series came as a pair of longtime Fox News contributors quit their roles at the network, saying the publication of "Patriot Purge" was a breaking point for them.
"Indeed, the news side of Fox routinely does what it is supposed to do: It reports the truth," Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg wrote in an announcement of their decision, noting it remains the case that "there are still responsible conservatives providing valuable opinion and analysis" at the network.
"But the voices of the responsible are being drowned out by the irresponsible," they added.
Fox News declined comment on the pair's resignation, but a Fox executive said the network had no intention of re-signing Hayes or Goldberg when their contracts came up in 2022.
Goldberg and Hayes regularly appeared on "Special Report," the evening news program Baier anchors. During an interview with The New York Times, Carlson called the departures of the two contributors "great news."
Baier told Kilmeade it was "sad" to see Goldberg and Hayes go.
"I think it was a tough choice, but they made their decision on principle," he said. "It's sad for 'Special Report,' I think for the network, but they made their choice on principle, so I'll let their statement stand."