If you think Fox News leans right, don’t blame Bret Baier — the anchor struggles to be down-the-middle, and refuses to say who he’ll vote for in November.
“I would much rather prefer to get to election day and viewers have no clue which way I would vote,” Baier told TheWrap. “Hopefully, that will enable us to cover all campaigns exactly the same.”
Fox News Channel’s chief political anchor Bret Baier has a special weekly, primetime edition of “Special Report” debuting on Sunday night. It aims to be a traditional newscast — very different from opinion-based shows such as “The O’Reilly Factor” and Hannity.”
The move to primetime changes nothing, says Baier. The show, a mix of news and analysis, is scheduled to run through the election in November.
“I’ve always committed to being news, not opinion. And while I do, through the day, do some analysis of news, that’s about as close as I get. I think that’s where I want to be,” Baier said.
He said the Nov. 8 vote will be a “huge event for the country no matter what your politics are” and wants both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to enjoy his program.
“We’re going to have a really great show that develops into, I think, a look at the Sunday shows and look forward at the week and this unprecedented election,” Baier said.
Bill Shine, who was recently promoted to co-president of the network, was known as loyal to Roger Ailes, the conservative Fox chief who just resigned in a sexual harassment scandal. Shine helped come up with the concept of the new show, but Baier said the new boss isn’t meddling.
“It’s very hands off. It has been driven by the news and a lot of what we’re covering. They came up with the show idea, [executive vice president of programming and development] Suzanne Scott and Bill Shine. Obviously, Bill and [co-president] Jack Abernethy are now the big wigs under Rupert Murdoch, but as far as day-to-day interaction on the editorial front, that hasn’t happened and isn’t going to happen,” Baier said.
Baier is comfortable with the fact that his show will debut on the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“It’s an honor. It is really interesting for my career — 9/11 changed my career entirely. I was called up to Washington to backup at the Pentagon and that started my career at the Pentagon from that day forward,” Baier said. “It’s kind of interesting to start a new show on that day.”
He continued: “To start on September 11 obviously gives us additional fodder to show how far we’ve come as a nation in 15 years.”