Spin Cycle

07.22.12

Chris Wallace: We're Not Obama's Favorite Network

Fox News anchor says president is free to take his shots

Chris Wallace brushes off the fact that President Obama keeps taking digs at Fox News.

“Do I think we’re his favorite channel? No,” the host of Fox News Sunday says in a video interview with The Daily Beast. “I think it also helps rally his base to say there are some people out there—I don’t think it’s completely accurate, particularly in our news coverage--but [that] he thinks are hypercritical of him. Some people may be upset about it. I’m not, we’re big boys. We dish it out, we can take it.”

Video screenshot

'Fox News Sunday' host Chris Wallace on why presidential candidates are wary of Sunday Talk appearances.

Asked if he agreed with a Fox Executive Vice President Michael Clemente that Obama’s conduct “lowers the office,” Wallace said simply: “No.”

He adds that “there are certainly shows on Fox that tilt conservative,” but that these “are labeled as opinion shows.” He mentioned Sean Hannity and “most of the people on The Five.” (Four of them, to be precise.)

Wallace was also unperturbed by Rupert Murdoch’s sharp-edged political commentary on Twitter: “He’s been fair and balanced, he’s taken shots at Obama and he’s taken shots at Romney.” Then again, Wallace isn’t on Twitter.

He offers his take on the presidential campaign (the weak economy is “an anchor around Barack Obama”) and why Mitt Romney avoided Sunday morning shows for a year and a half before doing Wallace’s program (longer interviews mean a tougher grilling). And he drew this contrast:

“Romney is an exemplar of accessibility as compared to Barack Obama, who was on this show when we did the Obama Watch…back in 2008 and has never appeared since.”

Finally, he shared some thoughts about his father, Mike Wallace, who died three months ago, and the impact on his life.