Chris Wallace Is A Tool

Sigh:

WALLACE: Let me ask you this, did the Vice
President say to you, “thank you so much for defending the president
and yes I’m going to be giving you a special exit interview in a couple
of weeks?

GALLAGHER: Did he say all that to you?

WALLACE: Yes.

It was predictable, in hindsight. For years the right’s been hammering them, first of all. For years the right’s been hammering them that they’re biased and horrible and hateful and OMG PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT WE THINK and for at least the last three decades there has been this constant drumbeat of angry Republicans in their ears. So that’s what you start with, a baseline established that Republicans’ good opinions of you are important, if for no other reason than that you need to get work done and they won’t shut up until they’re happy. That’s what you’re starting with here.

Couple that with the typical foxhole shit that goes on where people who hang out with each other all the time begin to identify with each other, and when you live next door to each other you tend to care about the same shit (which is why I’ve always violently opposed residency requirements for journalists as lazy management, but that’s another post) and attach those two toxic train cars to an engine of privilege and obliviousness and starfucking and just drive it right off a cliff of collective Bush-crushing. The flaming wreckage you find down by the shoreline, that’s Wallace up there.

Way back in April when I talked about this at EschaCon, why our national political press sucks so hard, I talked a little about the ongoing destruction of newsrooms being a part of it. Destroy the bonds between co-workers that keep you honest, the culture that tells you getting your sources mad at you is NOTHING compared to your colleagues thinking you’re a chump, and you know what you end up with? This. This sad, small, Dick-Cheney-pissed-on-me-as-he-walked-by desperation. This my-contact-list-let-me-show-you-it narcissism. This idea that you are more beholden to, and have more in common with, the people you cover than the people you work with. Forget the people you work for.

What used to keep people from doing this in the places I worked was the vociferous mocking that went on the minute you even came close to bragging about whose party you got invited to last week. “Oooh, look at you, fancy fancy, remember us all when you’re famous, go update your résumé” kind of thing, until you felt stupid for feeling special that the mayor knew your name and called on you first. What impressed people and made them treat you like a god was when a senator called you up and screamed at you for writing something that made him look bad, and you gave it right back. Getting somebody indicted, fired, forced to issue an apology, getting a law changed, getting the rules rewritten, those were the prizes. Almost everybody I’ve ever worked with in journalism, and I’ve been damn lucky, would be ashamed to be overheard saying something like what Wallace said.

A.

6 thoughts on “Chris Wallace Is A Tool

  1. It’s the money, Athenae. Celeb journalists want to hang out with celebs. People like Wallace don’t really see the average Fox viewer as “their folks.” What he wants is the praise of the people who make more or have more power than he does. Anyone who has less money or less power simply isn’t worth the time of day.
    Unless, of course, in the case of people like Ron Howard or Bill Clinton, they happen to be on the opposite side of an issue from the moneyed and powerful interests Wallace has already invested time in sucking up to. Then it’s War of the Roses time all over again.

  2. Nothing makes me prouder than the fact that J. was fired from a newspaper for refusing to put his byline on a booster piece for a white elephant civic center that was a big wet kiss from the publisher to the mayor.
    If you bend over to kiss ass, you deserve the stench you wear ever after.

  3. Chris is as big an asshole at all times in front of the mike as his dad is reputed to (and can) be on occasion — but the difference is that Chris exists entirely without his dad’s charm and sophistication.

  4. The Law of Unintended Consequences:
    The Watergate coverage of Woodward and Bernstein was supposed to inspire a whole new generation of crusading muckraking investigative journalists — instead too many saw the fame and big bucks and glamour that came out of Woodstein’s work and said, That’s for me!

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