OPINION | This article contains the author's opinion.
Chris Wallace is learning a harsh lesson after he abruptly left Fox News after 18 years to join the left-wing outlet at CNN. Wallace was lured onto CNN’s new online streaming service called CNN+ but it’s drawing fewer than 10,000 daily viewers. Wallace is quickly learning that no one is watching him anymore.
Sources say Wallace is suffering “daily breakdowns,” and asking his staffers “to count how many times a day his promo is playing.” Without stronger marketing, it appears very few people are tuning in. Jon Nicosia, president of News Cycle Media and former managing editor of Mediaite, says a source told him “Chris Wallace is ‘having daily breakdowns’ over the ‘miserable launch’ of CNN+.”
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Wallace now wants a “CNN show or is threatening to walk,” Nicosia wrote to Twitter. “He is having staffers count how many times a day his promo is playing.” Nicosia added, “He’s telling anyone that will listen he wants Cuomo’s old time slot.”
Wallace initially said that he was “thrilled” to join the liberal outlet CNN after he refused to renew his contract with Fox News. Suspicions began circulating that Wallace’s politics were falling further to the Left. Take a look:
SOURCE: Chris Wallace is "having daily breakdowns" over the "miserable launch" of @CNNplus. Wants a "CNN show or is threatening to walk" they go on. "He is having staffers count how many times a day his promo is playing"
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) April 12, 2022
SOURCE CONT'D: "He's telling anyone that will listen he wants Cuomo's old time slot"
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) April 13, 2022
Fox News viewers have harshly criticized Wallace on a number of occasions over his coverage. The anti-Trump host celebrated the inauguration of Joe Biden, even claiming he delivered “the best inaugural address” since John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not” speech in 1961.
Wallace once accused Trump of “stoking racial divisions.”
He eventually admitted that life at Fox News was becoming “unsustainable.” Wallace reportedly even whined to Fox News management about Tucker Carlson who continued to ask questions and investigate instances of alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election.
This was apparently a deal-breaker for Wallace, who was evidently happy with the outcome of the election.
.@CNNplus struggles to lure viewers in its early days, drawing fewer than 10,000 daily users https://t.co/zdcidVNh8H
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) April 12, 2022
“I just no longer felt comfortable with the programming at Fox,” 74-year-old Wallace said. “I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion,” he continued. “But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”
“I spent a lot of 2021 looking to see if there was a different place for me to do my job,” he added.
Wallace was particularly triggered by Tucker Carlson’s documentary “Patriot Purge,” which questioned whether the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was a “false flag” operation intended to demonize conservatives.
During a congressional hearing, Republican Senator Ted Cruz explored this same issue by questioning a top FBI official who refused to answer simple questions.
“How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of Jan. 6?” Cruz asked. After FBI Assistant Executive Director Jill Sanborn refused to answer, Cruz asked a broader question, “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants actively participate in the events of Jan. 6? Yes or no.”
“Sir, I can’t answer that,” replied Sanborn. Then Cruz asked about Ray Epps, who many people claim is an FBI informant present who was present on Jan. 6.
“Ms. Sanborn, was Ray Epps a fed?” Cruz asked. Again, she refused to answer. Cruz proceeded to show photographs of Epps allegedly whispering to some protesters, who then proceeded to tear down a barricade around the Capitol.
Epps was also captured on video with a crowd in Washington, D.C. on the night prior to January 6, claiming that “Tomorrow, we need to get into the Capitol! Into the Capitol!” People yelled back, “No!” Folks even started chanting, “Fed, Fed, Fed!”
Cruz asked, “Did any FBI agents or confidential informants commit crimes of violence on Jan. 6?”
“Sir, I can’t answer that,” Sanborn said.
For Wallace, these questions make him “uncomfortable.”
While appearing on Fox News, Wallace adamantly defended the outcome of the 2020 election. He once claimed there is “no evidence of voter fraud.”
Wallace once falsely attacked President Donald Trump for allegedly “stoking racial division.”
In a press release, Wallace said of CNN, “After decades in broadcast and cable news, I am excited to explore the world of streaming. I look forward to the new freedom and flexibility streaming affords in interviewing major figures across the news landscape—and finding new ways to tell stories,” Wallace said in the release. “As I embark on this adventure, I am honored and delighted to join Jeff Zucker and his great team. I can’t wait to get started.”
During his final broadcast on Fox News, Wallace said, “Finally, a personal note — after 18 years, this is my final ‘Fox News Sunday,’”
“It is the last time, and I say this with real sadness, we will meet like this. Eighteen years ago, the bosses here at Fox promised me they would never interfere with a guest I booked or a question. I asked. And they kept that promise,” Wallace explained.
“I have been free to report to the best of my ability, to cover those stories I think are important, to hold our country’s leaders to account. It’s been a great ride.”
Wallace shamefully defended Joe Biden and wrongfully shut down Trump’s accusations about corrupt overseas business dealings arising from the contents Hunter Biden’s laptop.
During the debate, Trump said it’s a “fact” that Hunter Biden’s laptop implicates his father in corrupt overseas business deals. Wallace inappropriately shot back by saying it’s an “open discussion” and Americans are more interested in hearing about “substantive issues.” Wallace shut down any discussion about Hunter’s laptop.
Fox News host Maria Bartiromo aired this old clip because the media got it wrong and Trump was right.
Just months before the election, Wallace and others were part of a cover-up scandal that censored information about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Wallace is accused of putting “his leftist politics before truth” and doing “all he could to help Joe Biden save face” during the debate.
Things are not going well for Chris Wallace at CNN. In what has to be considered the worst career move of all time, he went from Fox — the number one cable news network — to CNN, land of the fake news that has trouble finding viewers. Wallace was lured away by Jeff Zucker to be an anchor on a show on their new streaming service, CNN+. But then, Zucker resigned in scandal after an affair with a colleague and more imploding on the Cuomo mess. It has not turned out like Wallace envisioned. He should have known it would have been a trainwreck even without the Zucker/Cuomo debacle because they already weren’t honest. But that didn’t stop Wallace.
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Now, according to a report, he’s throwing daily tantrums over how bad it is.
SOURCE: Chris Wallace is “having daily breakdowns” over the “miserable launch” of
. Wants a “CNN show or is threatening to walk” they go on. “He is having staffers count how many times a day his promo is playing”
SOURCE CONT’D: “He’s telling anyone that will listen he wants Cuomo’s old time slot”
Why is Wallace throwing such a snit? It turns out that CNN+ is struggling to draw fewer than 10,000 daily users after its first two weeks. That’s lower than some poorly performing YouTube accounts and it says a lot about what people think of CNN. That means that it’s far worse than just a regular failing CNN show, which might at least get a several hundred thousand. The service doesn’t even get those numbers.
Jeff Zucker destroyed the brand that they used to have by becoming a Democratic opinion site, and it’s unlikely such a streaming service can bring it back. What do they think is going to drag people in? I’m not hearing anything I would want to see, and if I’m not, I’m willing to bet a lot of others feel the same way. Plus, what conceit that CNN thinks people are going to pay more to get what they already don’t want to see for free. Add Wallace to that conceit. Does he think people want to pay money to hear from him? Not to mention that any of the small handful of Democrats who might want to watch the streaming service probably wouldn’t watch him because he’s a former Fox host, even though he is a Democrat. Indeed, I’m surprised that they could even get 10,000 to watch the service.
It’s a mess and frankly, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving, pretentious fellow than Chris Wallace. He didn’t know how good he had it at Fox, where they were willing to tolerate his pontificating. He got spoiled thinking that people cared to hear what he had to say.
The only thing that could save CNN at this point would be if they cared to embrace reality again instead of just being an arm of the Democratic Party. But it’s probably too late at this point because they lost all credibility. And it’s likely too late for Wallace as well at this point. The karmic implosion is delicious.