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Monday, October 09, 2006

"None Of Your Business": Chris Wallace, Best Interview Ever

Wow. This officially counts as the third time that I have been blown away by the rudeness of Chris Wallace. This week Wallace sat for an interview with Deborah Solomon, the excellent NYT mag interviewer who always manages to tease out telling details from her subjects in a few short questions. Here's the telling detail she teased out of Wallace: He's a jerk.

Here's proof:

You became host of [Fox News Sunday] only three years ago, replacing Tony Snow, who later became the White House press secretary. Why did he leave television?

Because he was interested in becoming a radio star.

That doesn't sound very convincing.

I am sorry you're not persuaded.

Glib answers verging on the snotty, but to be fair the question wasn't about Wallace. Jury's out.

What political party do you belong to?

None of your business.

Jury's in! Is it really necessary to be so rude? No, it is not.

Your father, the legendary newsman Mike Wallace, has been a vocal critic of the war in Iraq.

Is that a question?

No, it's a statement.

Here's another statement for you, Chris: You're kind of a prick. Oh sorry, am I being hasty? Let's see:

If I have a follow-up question, may I call you tomorrow?

You're done. I didn't have an opportunity for a follow-up question with Bill Clinton. You get your chance, you take advantage of it.

This is just the most blatantly rude stuff, but other evidence of jerkitude includes pulling the same I-was-the-victim-and-Clinton-was-scawy number, airily dismissing all other networks as "selling soap," and giving those answers right after saying "The business I am in is asking probing questions and trying to get interesting answers." Dude, if you don't want to do the interview, say no.

But hey, don't believe me — take it from Roger Ailes, who had this to say after the Clinton interview: "If you can't sit there and answer a question from a professional, mild-mannered, respectful reporter... then the hatred for journalists is showing." Gee, dya think?*

By the way, here are the other times we thought Chris Wallace was rude: Last year on the Daily Show, and during the Clinton interview — not in asking the questions, that was absolutely within his purview, but in repeatedly interrupting Clinton when he tried to answer them. And he most definitely was smirking. Oh, yes.

*Ailes actually said "professional, mild-mannered, respectful reporter like Chris Wallace" but based on this interview, he must have been talking about another Chris Wallace.

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