I regret Monday’s post in which I muddled together praise for three fine men with knowledge and integrity: General Mattis, Doctor Fauci and TV journalist Chris Wallace. The first two are better known, especially Fauci, than the third and they deserve it.
But Wallace exemplifies political interviewing at its best and, in my opinion, does not get the praise he deserves. It is particularly tough to pin down the truth these days, and he’s particularly good at it in his interviews.
Liberals can’t forgive him for working at Fox (see P. S. below) and actually exemplifying the station’s slogan of “fair and balanced” journalism better than the liberals on MSNBC and CNN do.
He did the best interview I’ve seen of our pretend president Sunday (while his interview of Putin at Helsinki may be the best I’ve ever seen in terms of political toughness [Would you want to get tough with Putin?]).
But let’s get to the point.
The White House spinners of their made up truth often argue that Trump is the most accessible president ever (always that ridiculous degree of hyperbole) which is as phony as most things that come out of their mouths. While Trump is often seen giving brief attention to reporters before helicoptering from the White House, the press questions are never fully answered and often can’t be heard over the roar of helicopter blades.
In other contexts he evades reporter’s questions by calling them “nasty” or using some other form of distraction, like terribly twisted distortions or just plain lying. Basking in his false narrative and the power of his presidency to ignore. Only in the warped little minds of the Trump mouth pieces can this be seen as accessibility.
I think the only reason Republicans agree to be interviewed by Wallace is because he works at Fox. Maybe they think they’ll get a warm reception. Often they don’t, but he’s always polite. I don’t see many cheap shots from him. Wallace tends to be fair and balanced, in stark contrast to Fox’s biggest stars, the week day evening crew of Hannity, Carlson and Ingraham, who remind me of the laughing hyenas in The Lion King.
But crawling back to my main point: I want Wallace’s interview of Trump to get the attention it deserves. Wallace actually made Trump accessible through his penetrating questions and his feisty responses. Here are a couple of ways to digest the interview. You can actually watch the so-called president flailing around in full by going to this link to Fox, but have a drink and some snacks at hand as the interview is 40 minutes.
Or you could flip through CNN’s ” 55 most schocking lines”. And follow those up. Or simply google around. There are plenty of articles about the interview.
P. S. – A number of liberal commentators have praised Wallace, while also criticizing him for various missteps, such as not taking Trump to task for stories of Putin’s paying Taliban members to kill American troops, or making Fox look better than they are by actually exhibiting a fair, balanced and hard hitting interview.
My thoughts: Wallace knew that bringing up the Taliban would simply prompt lies and denies from Trump and waste valuable time. As for the unfortunate fact for liberals that Wallace is more fair and balanced then they are…. Well, I don’t think many people confuse Wallace with the opinionaters at Fox headed up by the three hyenas. In any event, I’m eager to see a smart, tough interview from any source these days. Just so we don’ forget what it looks like.
Anyone remember how good Tim Russert was?