Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace has become a frequent guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in recent months, and he returned to the show yesterday to discuss the Mueller hearings as well as the new documentary about his father (one he is featured in) named, Mike Wallace Is Here.
Before diving a discussion about the documentary that focuses on the legendary 60 Minutes correspondent, Colbert wanted to discuss Wallace’s remarks about the Mueller hearing he made on-air earlier in the day.
During the first break in Mueller’s testimony Wednesday morning, Wallace referred to Mueller’s testimony as “a disaster for the Democrats and I think it has been a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller,” a remark which very much pleased the president.
“This has been a disaster for the Democrats and a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller.” Chris Wallace @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2019
“You said that at 10:07 this morning, an hour and a half into a six hour series of hearings,” Colbert told Wallace. “So is Fox News’ motto, ‘We report and decide before the thing’s over?’”
“There was a break in the hearing and we were asked for our reaction,” Wallace replied. “And let me simply say, nothing in your monologue disproved that description.”
When Colbert said that he didn’t understand how the proceedings were a “disaster,” Wallace responded by saying, “Yes you do.”
“No, I promise you I don’t,” Colbert said. “It seemed like a well-organized and choreographed recitation of the moral, ethical and criminal failings of the president of the United States.”
Wallace then said that the whole reason the Democrats wanted to hold these hearings in the first place was “they kept saying, the quote was, ‘People aren’t going to read the book, they’ll watch the movie.’ Well, the movie was a snore.”
He then added: “I thought that it was sad, actually. Because he [Mueller] a very distinguished man. He has had great career in law enforcement, and at least on the basis of today, he seemed like a fellow who didn’t quite know what he was about, what was being said. He had trouble finding the various congressmen, where they were on the podium, let alone answering their questions.”
Colbert charged that Wallace was giving “performance notes” and “they only mean something because we’ve become desensitized to the shock of the information that they were laying out for us.”
Wallace admitted that he found the content of Mueller’s report “shocking,” but said, “I don’t think they’re more shocking today than they were when the report was released in March.”
The Fox News host then accused Colbert of viewing the hearing through his own “anti-Trump” and “tribal” lens.
Colbert shot back: “I’m in the ‘don’t lie to prosecutors tribe,’ that’s the tribe I’m in. I’m in the ‘do not welcome the help of a foreign country to win our election’ tribe. Those are my tribes. What tribe are you in?”
The remark garnered loud cheers from his audience.
Wallace said the “tribe” he is part of is the journalist tribe, and cited his hard-hitting interview with Trump immigration czar Stephen Miller as an example of his objectivity:
“I’m calling balls and strikes and just as on Sunday when Stephen Miller was on our show and I talked about the fact that I thought that the president was stoking racial divisions. And I believe he is. I watched today and I have to come out and you say, well these are performance theater critic notes. The fact is that’s what this was all about. If all you care about is the report. The report was there in black and white two months ago. The whole reason that they had the hearing was to breathe life into the report. That’s what Jerry Nadler the chairman said. They didn’t breathe life into the report today.”
The duo later spoke about the documentary and recalled Wallace’s tense interview in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin.
Colbert concluded the segment by promoting Wallace’s show, telling Wallace he hopes he comes back on the show again soon, and told the audience, “he’s really very good.”