The son of legendary news reporter Mike Wallace, anchor Chris Wallace has been a Fox News stalwart for years. Hotbed for political discourse The Hollywood Reporter had an opportunity to interview the Fox News Sunday anchor about the role he will play for the news network at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, along with many other topics.
While the RNC has seen some delays due to state of emergency caused by Tropical Storm Isaac, Wallace insisted that the show must go on. "I know people complain that the convention has turned into a TV show, but it’s better than reruns," Wallace explains. "And if conventions aren’t the battle for the soul of the party like they were in the old days, they still are important ways for each campaign to get a message out about what their nominees are offering to Americans, and that’s worth covering."
Wallace cites past convention coverage as proof positive of the left-slant of MSNBC compared to what he sees as the more balanced coverage of Fox."People like to compare MSNBC to Fox. They do it from the left, and we do it from the right, the critics say. That’s nonsense. Just look at the convention coverage. We have a firewall between news and opinion. This is my third presidential election cycle, and never has Fox put Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity on to anchor the conventions. We’ve had Brit Hume and now have Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly. Look who MSNBC has had – their primetime opinion commentators."
Wallace discussed his recent visit to the villa of actor George Clooney, noting that while the actor and anchor are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, with Clooney even actively raising money for Obama's re-election, the two were happy to agree to disagree on many issues. "[The] interesting thing was that we could disagree on a lot of issues intelligently and civilly. One of the things we both said is that we need more civil discourse in America, where you don’t demonize the other side."
Regarding the scandal-of-the-week statements by Missouri congressman Todd Akin, Wallace called the comments "abysmally stupid, and it has implications not only for Republicans winning the Senate, but also it could have implications on the presidential race because Democrats will try to tie Akin’s positions to Mitt Romney."
Is Wallace right? Are the political conventions better than reruns?