OPINION | This article contains commentary that reflects the author's opinion.
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Ex-Fox News anchor Chris Wallace received lackluster ratings as he debuted with his new show on CNN.
The show even lost in the ratings compared to his former network’s Sunday evening show hosted by former Congressman Trey Gowdy.
Wallace abruptly left Fox after 18 years and said that he was “thrilled” to join the liberal outlet CNN. He refused to renew his contract with Fox News.
His new show on CNN is titled “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” It received just 43,800 viewers in the key 25-54 age demographic.
In comparison, Fox News’ “Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy” received more than triple Wallace’s total viewers with over 1.3 million.
Total Bomb! Chris Wallace's CNN Show Premiere Tanks, Pulls Only 44k Viewers In Key Demo
The program was down double digits across every category vs the 2022 average. On Fox @TGowdySC scored a massive 1.3M viewers with 78k in the key 25-54 age demo…https://t.co/kjyha5fZPN
— johnny dollar (@johnnydollar01) September 26, 2022
Suspicions were circulating that Wallace’s politics were falling further to the Left. Fox News viewers have harshly criticized Wallace on a number of occasions over his coverage. The anti-Trump host celebrated the inauguration of Joe Biden, even claiming he delivered “the best inaugural address” since John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not” speech in 1961.
Wallace now admits that life at Fox News was becoming “unsustainable.” He reportedly even whined to Fox News management about Tucker Carlson who continued to ask questions and investigate instances of alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election.
This was apparently a deal-breaker for Wallace, who was evidently happy with the outcome of the election.
“I just no longer felt comfortable with the programming at Fox,” 74-year-old Wallace said.
“I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion,” he continued. “But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”
“I spent a lot of 2021 looking to see if there was a different place for me to do my job,” he added.
Wallace was particularly triggered by Tucker Carlson’s documentary “Patriot Purge,” which questioned whether the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was a “false flag” operation intended to demonize conservatives.
During a congressional hearing, Republican Senator Ted Cruz explored this same issue by questioning a top FBI official who refused to answer simple questions.
“How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of Jan. 6?” Cruz asked. After FBI Assistant Executive Director Jill Sanborn refused to answer, Cruz asked a broader question, “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events of Jan. 6? Yes or no.”
“Sir, I can’t answer that,” replied Sanborn. Then Cruz asked about Ray Epps, who many people claim is an FBI informant present who was present on Jan. 6.
“Ms. Sanborn, was Ray Epps a fed?” Cruz asked. Again, she refused to answer. Cruz proceeded to show photographs of Epps allegedly whispering to some protesters, who then proceeded to tear down a barricade around the Capitol.
Epps was also captured on video with a crowd in Washington, D.C. on the night prior to January 6, claiming that “Tomorrow, we need to get into the Capitol! Into the Capitol!” People yelled back, “No!” Folks even started chanting, “Fed, Fed, Fed!”
Cruz asked, “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants commit crimes of violence on Jan. 6?”
“Sir, I can’t answer that,” Sanborn said.
For Wallace, these questions make him “uncomfortable.”
While appearing on Fox News, Wallace adamantly defended the outcome of the 2020 election. He once claimed there is “no evidence of voter fraud.”
Wallace once falsely attacked President Donald Trump for allegedly “stoking racial division.”
In a press release, Wallace said of CNN, “After decades in broadcast and cable news, I am excited to explore the world of streaming. I look forward to the new freedom and flexibility streaming affords in interviewing major figures across the news landscape—and finding new ways to tell stories,” Wallace said in the release. “As I embark on this adventure, I am honored and delighted to join Jeff Zucker and his great team. I can’t wait to get started.”
During his final broadcast on Fox News, Wallace said, “Finally, a personal note — after 18 years, this is my final ‘Fox News Sunday,’”
“It is the last time, and I say this with real sadness, we will meet like this. Eighteen years ago, the bosses here at Fox promised me they would never interfere with a guest I booked or a question. I asked. And they kept that promise,” Wallace explained.
“I have been free to report to the best of my ability, to cover those stories I think are important, to hold our country’s leaders to account. It’s been a great ride.”