Dec 12, 2019

Chris Wallace: Trump waged "most direct sustained assault" on press in U.S. history

Chris Wallace. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Fox News host Chris Wallace delivered a vehement critique of President Trump on Wednesday, accusing him of engaging in the most "direct sustained assault" on the free press in U.S. history, The Guardian reports.

Why it matters: Wallace's comments come amid a schism between Fox News' daytime anchors, who have largely stuck to straight news reporting, and primetime opinion hosts, who tend to fervently defend the president.

What he's saying: "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," Wallace said in a speech at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

  • "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.'"

Yes, but: Wallace said some members of the media have seen Trump's attacks "as an excuse to cross the line themselves," something he called a "big mistake."

  • "The animus of the reporter and the editor as plain to see as the headline."

Go deeper: Fox News replacing Shep Smith with Bill Hemmer

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Fox News hits record 2.5 million nightly viewers in 2019

Fox News' Sean Hannity. Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Politicon

Fox News averaged 2.5 million viewers per night in 2019, a 23-year high that made it the most viewed channel on basic cable, The Hill reports.

Our thought bubble, via Axios’ Sara Fischer: The network's record viewership comes as Americans' news consumption has become increasingly polarized — and as the left-leaning cable news audience likely split its time between rivals CNN and MSNBC.

Go deeperArrowDec 30, 2019

WaPo editor: Americans may be "numb" to Trump's "15,000 false or misleading claims"

Martin Baron, the executive editor of the Washington Post, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that while Americans may be "numb" to the more than 15,000 false claims made by President Trump and flagged by the Post, the newspaper still has a responsibility to hold "government officials accountable" through aggressive fact-checking.

Go deeperArrowDec 29, 2019

A year of media upheaval

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

2019 was a transformative year for the U.S. news media industry, but it was also one of the most turbulent points in its history.

The big picture: There were enormous business challenges, which resulted in an unprecedented number of layoffs, desperate product maneuvers and fire-sale deals.

Go deeperArrowDec 21, 2019