In a surprising moment this morning, Chris Wallace took to the air and announced that he is leaving Fox News after 18 years on the job. This is apparently not a retirement either, with Wallace noting that he’s going to pursue other opportunities.
And while he didn’t give any specifics, we can speculate on that what that next move is going to be. Here’s what the video of Wallace announcing his exit looked like.
Chris Wallace announces he's leaving Fox News Sunday. "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." pic.twitter.com/X60xE47HDx
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) December 12, 2021
It’s a little weird that Wallace would plug his “new adventure,” including asking people to “check it out,” given that it’s not going to be with Fox News. If he’s headed to a rival network, as is almost certainly the case, I wouldn’t think Fox News would be wanting its viewers to check it out.
So where’s he going? I think Newsbusters’ Curtis Houck is on the right track.
Here's my logic — CNN will need talent to fill airtime as Discovery takes over and who knows what changes they'll make.
Along with holes I'm their regular programming, nothing has really been announced for CNN+ besides Kasie Hunt's show.
Chris Wallace would be their big "get"
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 12, 2021
Wallace has been a fish-out-of-water at Fox News for at least the past several years, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. Like many in the media, Donald Trump appeared to break him, with Wallace going from “ah shucks” middle-of-the-road Democrat to a consistent purveyor of leftwing talking points. Who can forget his disgraceful 2020 debate performance, where he continually sought to protect Joe Biden while completely absconding from topical discussions that would have benefited Trump?
The examples don’t stop there, though. Over just the past year, Wallace has managed to go on the far-left Stephen Colbert show to bash Republicans and he’s praised congenital liar Jen Psaki as one of the best press secretaries ever. In one of his more absurd moments, Wallace also tried to accuse Republicans of defunding the police, parroting a White House talking point that was being pushed at the time. In late 2020, when John Brennan lied to his face about the Steele Dossier, stalwart newsman Wallace just nodded along. I could keep going by citing the numerous softball interviews he’s given Nancy Pelosi recently, but you get the point.
Fox News is far better off with someone else in the Fox News Sunday chair, and Wallace’s analysis on election nights won’t be missed either. It’s one thing to be unbiased. It’s another to continually spit in the face of your audience, and Wallace has devolved into doing the latter far too often.
So where’s Wallace headed next? I don’t know. Maybe it’s a gig over at CNN. Maybe it’s a network chair. Or is he’s headed for something far more minuscule? Personally, I don’t buy that this Wallace leaving his role at Fox News is wholly voluntary. I’ve been speculating for a while that they had to make a move here if they wanted to keep their audience, and it looks like that move has been made.
More: Wallace is done – now. He had come to close of his four-year contract; he will be replaced on rotating basis by prominent former colleagues including Bret Baier, John Roberts, Shannon Bream, Martha MacCallum, Neil Cavuto, Dana Perino & Bill Hemmer.
— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) December 12, 2021
And while many on the right will spend today singing Wallace’s praises (especially those who work or appear on Fox News), you can count me out on that. I don’t believe he’s operated in good faith towards his audience for a long time.