With the recent passing of CNN+ into the Lake of Fire, conservatives cannot stop themselves from wondering if veteran newsman Chris Wallace will also be cast into the abyss. To be candid, those on the right – who were subjected to Wallace’s leftist leanings on Fox until recently – are experiencing a collective moment of schadenfreude. Deriving such pleasure from someone’s misfortune is generally considered unseemly, but not in the case of Chris Wallace. No, he has earned this spell in the Slough of Despond and appears to be sinking rapidly into the muck and mire.
The Deceiver’s Descent
Wallace has spent his professional life cloaking himself in deception. His constant mantra – that he is an “objective” journalist – came crashing down following his performance as moderator of a presidential debate in 2020. His incessant interruption, taking of sides, and chiding of President Trump during that appalling episode demonstrated what many already suspected – that Mr. Wallace is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Fox News executives were likely subjected to an earful about Wallace following that disgraceful performance. Even now, it is unclear whether the son of famed journalist Mike Wallace was pushed out the Fox door or, in all his wanton hubris, jumped ship, landing at the now-defunct CNN+ streaming service. Unsurprisingly, the hashtag #goodriddance was one of the top Twitter trends when the December announcement was made that Wallace was leaving Fox.
The 74-year-old newsman predictably exposed his true colors by trashing his former employer once out the door. “I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion, but when people start to question the truth – Who won the 2020 election? Was January 6 an insurrection? – I found that unsustainable,” Wallace told The New York Times.
A few short months later, we find the former Fox program host panicked and paranoid about his collapsing career. In a twist, his bizarre behavior was revealed before the streaming service hit the skids. This is evident from a tweet by journalist Jon Nicosia: “Chris Wallace is ‘having daily breakdowns’ over the ‘miserable launch’ of CNN+ … He is having staffers count how many times a day his promo is playing.”
More recently, mini-Mike is blaming Big Daddy for what ails the news business. Appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Wallace pontificated:
“In a funny way, I blame my father for this, Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes. It used to be in the old days, and I can remember growing up with my father in the ’70s, that news didn’t make money. It was a public service, and the networks viewed it as a public service. And then 60 Minutes came along and showed you could make phenomenal amounts of money with the news business.”
What an absurd assertion! Just ask George, Phoebe, or Austin – all heirs of the renowned William Randolph Hearst newspaper fortune. Or how about Mr. CNN himself, Ted Turner, the cable news pioneer who was richly rewarded for his efforts? Mortimer Zuckerman, Jeff Bezos, and Michael Bloomberg took their wealth into the news business but it wasn’t so they could lose money. No. The news business has always been about greenbacks. How else could Fox afford to pay Wallace’s annual salary, purported to be around $7 million?
It is just these types of utterances from Wallace that grate on the viewing public. The Harvard graduate has always held a high opinion of himself: he is objective while others are opinionated. He fancies himself the “keeper of the journalistic flame” – someone with ethics and morals who is not out for fame or money. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.
So, what will happen now to this paragon of journalistic virtue? With his grandiose thoughts of superiority that require continual external validation, perhaps he will go the way of all narcissists and end up isolated and bitter. Or he may be offered a program slot on the CNN network. Well, that’s not saying much, is it?