Yesterday, Fox‘s Chris Wallace broke ranks with his propagandistic home network to criticize Donald Trump for his repeated attacks on the media. While speaking to a crowd at the Newseum in Washington D.C., Wallace brought up the “challenges” facing the news business and the reporters who work within it. He quickly identified Trump as one of the primary challenges and decried the president’s disinformation and smear campaign as the “most direct, sustained assault on freedom of the press in our history.”
Wallace segued into some fair criticism of the way the media conducts itself for a bit before pivoting back to Trump.
“He has done everything he can to undercut the media, to try and delegitimize us. And I think his purpose is clear: to raise doubts when we report critically about him and his administration that we can be trusted. Back in 2017, he tweeted something that said far more about him than it did about us: ‘The fake news media is not my enemy. It is the enemy of the American people,’ Wallace said, evoking the president’s now-infamous and shameful tweet.
Wallace then brought up comments from retired Navy Admiral William McRaven, the man who commanded the raid that led to death of Osama Bin Laden. McRaven, a man acutely aware of the myriad dangers facing the United States, previously referred to Donald Trump’s attacks on the First Amendment and free press as “greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.”
“I’ve got to say I was a little surprised by that,” said Wallace of McRaven’s remarks. “This is a guy who fought the Soviet Union. This is an admiral who fought Islamic terrorism. But when I asked Bill about this, this was his response: ‘Those threats, the Soviets, Islamic terrorism, those threats brought us together. Both the president and I swore an oath to the Constitution and the First Amendment to that Constitution is freedom of the press. When the president says the media is the enemy of the people, to me that undermines the Constitution. So I do think it is a tremendous threat to our democracy.'”
Wallace went on to outline some of the damage Trump has done and quoted a poll that shows a disturbing percentage of Americans think the First Amendment “goes too far.” Wallace is right to be sounding the alarm bells.
Watch the speech below.