Wallace appeared first on Fox & Friends prior to the Preibus interview, in a segment where his fellow Fox broadcasters attempted to put a more positive spin on the president’s remarks. Wallace disagreed with many of their comments. In response to a discussion of the history of presidential criticism of the press, Wallace responded with a quote from Thomas Jefferson:
“And were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
“Yes, presidents have always had — and politicians have always had — problems with the press. They want good press. The press doesn’t always give it to them. But what Jefferson [was saying] is, despite all of our disputes, that to the functioning of a free and fair democracy, you must have an independent press,” Wallace went on to say.
He also pushed back against the claim that “fake news” is another way of saying biased news. “Lord knows, Barack Obama criticized Fox News. If Donald Trump wants to criticize the New York Times, that’s fine. But it’s different from saying that we are an enemy of the American people. That’s a different thing.”
Wallace’s interview with Priebus followed similar lines. In one heated exchange the two disputed the difference between former President Barack Obama’s treatment of Fox News and Trump’s comments.
Wallace: “You don’t get to tell us what to do, Reince! You don’t get to tell us what to do any more than Barack Obama did. I’ve got to say he never said that we were an enemy of the people.”
Priebus: “He said a lot of things about Fox News, Chris. I think you ought to go check the tape. He took plenty of shots.”
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