Chris Wallace, who left Fox News last December after 18 years for cable news rival CNN, said that working at Fox News after the 2020 election was “unsustainable” and he “just no longer felt comfortable with the programming at Fox.”
“I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion,” Wallace told the New York Times in an interview published Sunday. “But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”
Wallace, who is launching his own interview show on Tuesday on the new CNN+ streaming service, confirmed that he complained to Fox News leadership about Tucker Carlson’s streaming documentary “Patriot Purge,” which falsely claimed that the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was a “false flag” operation intended to tarnish conservatives.
“Before, I found it was an environment in which I could do my job and feel good about my involvement at Fox,” Wallace told the Times. “And since November of 2020, that just became unsustainable, increasingly unsustainable as time went on.”
Wallace noted the critics who have suggested that he should have left the network sooner. “Some people might have drawn the line earlier, or at a different point,” he told the Times. “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.’”
A rep for Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The longtime newsman, who had been recruited by ousted CNN president Jeff Zucker, admitted that he was “obviously unhappy” that Zucker was forced out of his job last month after failing to disclose his romantic ties to the network’s top marketing executive, Allison Gollust.
Wallace also said that he welcomed the broader subject matter he can tackle in his new daily interview show, “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” — where some of his first guests include William Shatner and singer Judy Collins.
“I wanted to get out of politics,” he told the Times. “Doing a Sunday show on the incremental change from week to week in the Build Back Better plan began to lose its attraction.”