Veteran news anchor Chris Wallace, formerly of Fox News, has laid the blame for the public’s distrust of media upon a surprising source. Wallace has spoken out against his former employer in recent days since leaving the conservative news network, but according to him, the current lack of trust in media stems from an even older news program that has a special connection to the Wallace family.
Chris Wallace Talks Media Distrust
Chris Wallace recently appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert where he and the eponymous host discussed the public’s lack of trust in the news media, and where that distrust comes from. Stephen Colbert asked Wallace, “There has been a lot of talk about loss of trust by the American public in the media. If you had a magic wand, you could wave it, what would you change, either presently or historically, about the media to try to restore that trust?”
It might have been a difficult question for anyone else to answer, but thanks to Wallace’s many years in the newsroom, not to mention his familial history, he came up with an astounding and surprising answer on the spot. “In a funny way,” Wallace answered, “I blame my father for this, Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes.”
’60 Minutes’ To Blame For Current Media Perception?
The response clearly threw Colbert off, and he laughingly suggested that Wallace was throwing his late father under the bus, but that wasn’t his intention at all, he explained. Instead, his answer was more about the effect 60 Minutes had on the news industry, and the long-reaching consequences that came from it.
“It used to be in the old days, and I can remember growing up with my father in the ’70s, that news didn’t make money. It was a public service, and the networks viewed it as a public service,” Wallace explained. “And then 60 Minutes came along and showed you could make phenomenal amounts of money with the news business.”
That larger emphasis on chasing ratings and profits, rather than a focus on the important news of the day, has to change if the public’s faith in the news industry is to return, Wallace continued. “I think when you look at what goes on everywhere, probably particularly cable, and on the left as well as the right, people are chasing audiences,” Wallace said. “So I think that if there was not — if people just accepted, we’re not trying to make money off this, we’re just trying to perform a public service, I think we’d have better news.”
Check Out The Clip Below
There’s definitely wisdom in what Wallace says, and his long and storied career in the news industry lends a lot of credibility to his words. It might not be too late to take his advice and change the news landscape once again, but this time for the better. After all, if there can’t be a consensus about the facts, we’ll all find ourselves in a more dangerous and confusing world.
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