Chris Wallace, CNN host and host of Who talks to Chris Wallace? on HBO Max, he had a shocking confession during his segment on Friday Real time with Bill Maher.
During a conversation between Maher and Wallace that lamented the current conservative/liberal polarization of the news, Wallace traced the issue back to the golden days of three major networks and the world by tuning in at 6:30 p.m. to hear about the world of Walter Cronkite or Huntley. -Brinkley.
Those shows drew audiences of up to 29 million, but were not profit centers. But the men running the networks at the time saw the news as a public service, and if they didn’t lose a huge amount of money, they were okay with it.
But when Chris Wallace’s father, Mike Wallace, and his 60 minutes team started in 1968, things changed. That show started making money, “and all of a sudden, TV executives were like, ‘You can make money on this.'” That’s when “they started chasing an audience.”
Maher was stunned. Aren’t you a fan of 60 minutes What about me?” Maher joked that perhaps the negative attitude was due to the show taking Chris’ father away from home too much.
Wallace said his point was that “60 minutes opened Pandora’s box where you can make money from the news.” That led to the divide between the conservative and liberal media today, with straight news a golden memory.
Maher couldn’t resist honking his own horn in that context. Audiences now only hear what doesn’t bother us because “they don’t want people to turn the dial in the wrong direction, except on this show. I have paid for it. There are a lot of people awake who used to see that and don’t anymore.” So why does he keep spitting in that wind? “It’s just that the left went crazy, so I have to do it more.”
Wallace blocked an attempt by Maher to hit his old house on Fox News. Wallace claimed that he now has “message discipline.” Maher responded: “That’s for politicians, not for us.”
Maher then changed his position and said he had one last question. Wallace joked that the segment went by quickly. “It goes fast when you avoid questions,” Maher replied.
Wallace, who moderated the presidential debates in 2016 and 2020, had one last nugget of wisdom. During the 2020 debates, where President Donald Trump “went nuts,” Wallace said someone counted the interruptions. Trump jumped 145 times, Wallace claimed.
This week’s panel discussion included BBC News special correspondent and presenter of the new documentary, Trump: The comeback? Katty Kay, and former Republican Governor of New Jersey and ABC News political and legal contributor Chris Christie.
His talk ranged from comparing Christie’s infamous beach meeting with President Obama versus Ron DeSantis’ meeting this week with Joe Biden, to why Christie is a staunch opponent of marijuana, as opposed to the notorious Maher’s affinity for the drug.
The anti-marijuana stance is particularly strange when the country is being bombarded with fentanyl, a far more dangerous drug. Christie’s elusive defense was that he defended the laws of the day and suggested that the path to reform was by changing the laws.