If anyone is still under the impression that Fox News' Chris Wallace is a fair-minded individual just calling balls and strikes, I bring evidence today that should thoroughly disabuse you of that notion.
While appearing on Sandra Smith's daytime news show, Wallace was asked to discuss the fact that Jen Psaki doubled down on Joe Biden's CNN town hall lie that he had visited the border in the past. As RedState reported, the president's assertion was completely untrue. Further, the idea that him flying into El Paso, TX, in order to drive north once constitutes a visit to the border is laughable. Yet, that's what Psaki tried to claim.
What was Wallace's response? He brushed it off and proclaimed Psaki is “one of the best press secretaries ever.”
Chris Wallace: "Jen Psaki is one of the best press secretaries ever"
TURN OFF FOX NEWS. pic.twitter.com/QJIqSvGYfY
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) October 22, 2021
There are two things to note here, in my view. One, Wallace's assertion that Psaki is one of the “best” press secretaries ever just doesn't pass muster. She's easily flustered, often unprepared (hence the “circle back” meme), and lies continually (see here, here, and here). Now, to be fair, is she good at lying for the president? Yes, she's pretty good at it and has learned to mix snark and outrage in order to push false narratives to a largely compliant press corps.
But does being good at lying make one a good press secretary? I don't think so, and I don't think Wallace thinks so — given he's never been so kind in the past to Republican press secretaries who are good at spin. Rather, I think he's just a partisan hack who can find little fault with the current White House because he's sympathetic to it.
Take Kayleigh McEnany, who served under Donald Trump as a press secretary, as an example. McEnany was objectively excellent at her job regardless of what one thought about the president. She was highly prepared, organized, and always had answers for even the most random, politically biased questions. She didn't tell reporters over and over that she'll “circle back.” McEnany even often had visual aids to make her points.
Did Wallace ever praise her for being good at her job? No, instead he trashed her as intellectually dishonest and hostile to the press corps. I'd quibble with that characterization, but if dishonesty and hostility were a problem for Wallace in regards to McEnany, why is it not in regards to Psaki? Instead, the Fox News Sunday host praises the latter and has rarely, if ever, mustered an ounce of criticism toward her.
That's not a coincidence, and it leaves me asking exactly what Fox News is doing at this point. Do they want to lose their audience? Perhaps they believe they can carve out a new niche and be CNN-lite, but I have a feeling that won't work out very well. To the extent that the network is doing well, it's almost solely due to its primetime hosts and afternoon shows like “The Five.” The executives over there should probably recognize where their bread is buttered, because it's not by Chris Wallace insulting everyone's intelligence with praise of a dishonest hack like Jen Psaki.