Fox News Media executives sent out an internal memo expressing their gratitude and congratulations to veteran anchor Chris Wallace on his performance moderating the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, praising the journalist's "professionalism, skill and fortitude."
What are the details?
The Hill's Joe Concha posted a joint memo issued by Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace, which read, in part:
We'd like to take a moment to thank and congratulate Chris Wallace for moderating last night's extraordinary debate. We are extremely proud of his professionalism, skill and fortitude in a unique situation while doing everything possible to hold both candidates accountable. NO moderator could have managed a debate of that magnitude better than Chris.
The letter went on to praise the "equally impressive" coverage of the debate by Bret Baier, Martha MacCallum, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Shannon Bream and others who contributed to the night's success for the network.
"More Americans watched FOX News Channel last night than any other network on broadcast or cable with 17.8 million viewers tuning — shattering records as the highest rated presidential commission debate in cable news history," the executives noted.
Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace congratulate presidential debate moderator Chris Wallace… https://t.co/WJN9KBnJSC— Joe Concha (@Joe Concha)1601499007.0
The debate itself was roundly panned as chaotic, with both candidates attacking and interrupting each other while Wallace did his best to reign it in. As TheBlaze's Phil Shiver described, the event "was every bit as entertaining — and feisty — as advertised."
The Washington Examiner reported that several of Wallace's Fox News colleagues joined in on criticizing the job he did as moderator, including Ingraham and "Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade. Contributors Andy McCarthy and Dan Bongino also hit out at Wallace.
What did Wallace say?
Wallace told The New York Times on Thursday, "I'm just sad the way last night turned out. I never dreamt that it would go off the tracks the way it did."
"I've been involved in a certain amount of soul-searching," the anchor added, upon reflection. "Generally speaking, I did as well as I could, so I don't have any second thoughts there. I'm just disappointed with the results. For me, but much more importantly, I'm disappointed for the country, because it could have been a much more useful evening than it turned out to be."