Moderator Chris Wallace of FOX News guides the discussion between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (Joe Raedle/Pool via AP)
Trump has just broken some people. One of those people is Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who has always had an independent streak (and that’s perfectly fine for a journalist), but who also used to at least attempt to operate in some semblance of good faith.
The recent impeachment of Donald Trump has led to a mask ripping off moment for Wallace, who has grown increasingly hostile to anyone who dares to counter case to Adam Schiff’s half-baked assertions about President Trump and Ukraine.
Fox News’ (and sister site Townhall’s) Katie Pavlich found herself on the receiving end of Wallace’s frustration yesterday, in which he snapped at her for making a factual, salient point. Here’s the video in all its snooty, mean girls glory.
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 27, 2020
I’ve got several thoughts about this.
For starters, it should be noted that Wallace was wrong. After he threw his little fit, in which he didn’t even have the courage to look her in the eye while he made his demeaning “get your facts straight” comment, Pavlich proceeded to lay out a factual case about the Clinton impeachment (which was one of the aspects being compared). It is absolutely true that the witness interviews and “evidence” in the Clinton case were completed before they voted on the articles of impeachment because that’s exactly how things should go.
In the case of Trump’s impeachment, Democrats and their media allies want Republicans to save them from themselves. That was Pavlich’s point. Wallace, instead of conceding that obviously true contention, is left stammering about “but Bolton” at the end.
But past the factual aspects of the exchange, this is just no way to treat a colleague. Wallace may or may not respect Pavlich as an analyst (and his public performance here suggests the latter), but he should be mature enough to at least hold back on live TV. I’ve had disagreements with RedState writers before and they with me. Yet, we remain cordial privately and in public because that’s the proper way to handle things. Political debates are political debates. They aren’t worth crapping on your co-workers over.
I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes at Fox News right now, but Wallace’s behavior is growing more hostile and out of line, both to his colleagues and those he interviews. I get that he wants Trump removed, but he’s supposed to be an unbiased journalist, not Don Lemon defending resistance talking points. There was a perfectly reasonable way to disagree with what Pavlich was saying, but Wallace chose the equivalent of shooing her away like she’s some ill-informed child. It’s just not a good look.
Perhaps Wallace apologized during the commercial break, and I’m not attempting to speak for Pavlich here, but Fox News allows these public outbursts with Wallace to continue at their own peril.