Fox News host Chris Wallace didn’t mince words while blasting President Trump for his attacks against the press.
According to a Guardian report Wednesday night, the Fox News host delivered a scathing critique of the President’s treatment of the press during a farewell event to the Newseum, the journalism-focused museum in Washington.
“I believe that President Trump is engaged in the most direct sustained assault on freedom of the press in our history,” Wallace said, which reportedly drew applause from attendees.
Citing a 2017 tweet in which Trump said that “the fake news media media is not my enemy” but that “it is the enemy of the American people,” Wallace argued that Trump “has done everything he can to undercut the media, to try and delegitimize us” and that his purpose is “to raise doubts when we report critically about him and his administration that we can be trusted.”
Wallace added that he agrees with retired admiral Bill McRaven who said that Trump’s attitude toward the press is maybe “the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime,” according to the Guardian.
“Let’s be honest, the president’s attacks have done some damage,” Wallace said, before citing a Freedom Forum Institute poll that found that 77 percent say that fake news is a serious threat to democracy.
Wallace also said that Trump’s behavior encourages members of the press to “cross the lines themselves,” which he argued is “a big mistake.”
“I think many of our colleagues see the President’s attacks, his constant bashing of the media as a rationale, as an excuse to cross the line themselves, to push back, and that is a big mistake,” Wallace said. “I see it all the time on the front page of major newspapers and the lead of the evening news: fact mixed with opinion, buzzwords like ‘bombshell’ and ‘scandal’. The animus of the reporter and the editor as plain to see as the headline.”
Read The Guardian’s report here.