With the (semi) retirement of David Frum, I was worried that I might not have a worthy winner for this month’s feature piece. But then, seemingly out of left field, a surprise contender emerged to save the day. To be honest, I never would have thought him worthy of consideration, but then, as they say in football, on any given Sunday…
Over the many years, Chris Wallace of Fox News has had moments when the journalist in him occasionally reared his head and said hello. His interview of Michele Bachmann in which he referred to her as a “flake” is simply precious. I highly recommend watching it, if for no other reason than the sheer entertainment value it brings. Unfortunately for Wallace, owing to pressures from his employer, the following day he apologized. Apparently journalistic integrity is something that is shunned at News Corp.
But this month, Wallace did say something that was noteworthy and courageous and, even better for him, wasn’t something he later recanted the following day. When President Obama delivered his off the cuff speech on race following the Zimmerman verdict, virtually every conservative assailed it as divisive and race baiting. Wallace was a pleasant exception.
On his “Fox News Sunday” show, Wallace rejected the notion that Obama “was stoking racial tensions.”
“I thought he was trying to help both sides of the divide understand, and I thought he was especially moving when he talked about the new generation, talked about his daughters and the idea that the new generation, the upcoming generation, is better than people of our ages were in the sense they’re more color blind, they don’t see whites see black or blacks see whites as much of a threat.
“I thought he was trying to deal with it in a forthright fashion. Whether it was his race speech during the 2008 campaign or other speeches, this is when the President can be most effective. The speech he gave after the senseless shooting of Gabby Giffords in Tucson about violence in our society–Boy, I sure don’t see how you can read this as in any way stoking racial tensions.”
Bravo, Mr. Wallace. Your father would be proud of you. Just beware; conservatives who go up against the company line at Fox News, do so at their own peril.