Chris Wallace recently explained his decision to leave his post as a Fox News anchor after 18 years, saying he “just no longer felt comfortable with the programming at Fox,” according to a new report.
“I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion,” Wallace told the New York Times. “But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”
He added that he “spent a lot of 2021 looking to see if there was a different place for me to do my job.”
Wallace declined to renew his contract as host of Fox News Sunday in December and now will host a daily interview show — Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace — on the new CNN+ streaming service beginning Tuesday.
Wallace said he became increasingly concerned in the months after former President Trump’s 2020 loss as the channel fired the political editor who helped project a Trump defeat in Arizona on election night and promoted hosts, including Tucker Carlson, who downplayed the Capitol riot.
Wallace told the New York Times he took his concerns about Carlson’s documentary, Patriot Purge, which falsely suggested the riot was a “false flag” operation to gin up opposition against conservatives, directly to Fox News management.
“Before, I found it was an environment in which I could do my job and feel good about my involvement at Fox,” Wallace said. “And since November of 2020, that just became unsustainable, increasingly unsustainable as time went on.”
“Some people might have drawn the line earlier, or at a different point,” he said, adding: “I think Fox has changed over the course of the last year and a half. But I can certainly understand where somebody would say, ‘Gee, you were a slow learner, Chris.’”
He did not comment when asked about Fox News hosts’ recent coverage of Russia and Ukraine, according to the report.
“One of the reasons that I left Fox was because I wanted to put all of that behind me,” Wallace told the New York Times, saying that since he left, “there has not been a moment when I have second-guessed myself about that decision.”
However, Wallace said he is “obviously unhappy” that former CNN president Jeff Zucker, who hired him, resigned in February over an undisclosed relationship with a colleague.
“It’s not ideal,” he said.
The anchor added that in making the switch to CNN+, he sought to “get out of politics” and will now focus on other topics, including sports and the arts.
“Doing a Sunday show on the incremental change from week to week in the Build Back Better plan began to lose its attraction,” he said.
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