Chris Wallace Traces Polarized News To His Dad’s ’60 Minutes’ On Bill Maher’s ‘Real Time’ – Deadline


Chris Wallace, the CNN Anchor and host of Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? on HBO Max, had a startling confession during his segment on Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher.

During a conversation between Maher and Wallace lamenting today’s conservative/liberal polarization of the news, Wallace traced the problem back to the golden days of three major channels and the world tuning in at 6:30 PM to hear about the world from Walter Cronkite or Huntley-Brinkley.

Those programs drew audiences of as much as 29 million, but they weren’t profit centers. But the men who ran the networks at the time saw news as a public service, and if it didn’t lose an enormous amount of money, they were fine with that.

But when Chris Wallace’s father, Mike Wallace, and his 60 Minutes team started in 1968, things shifted. That show began making money, “and suddenly, the executives in television said, ‘You can make money from this.’” That’s when they “started chasing an audience.”

Maher was stunned. “Aren’t you a bigger fan of 60 Minutes than me?” Maher joked that perhaps the negative attitude stemmed from the show taking Chris’s father away from home too much.

Wallace said his point was that “60 Minutes opened the Pandora’s box where you can make money from news.” That led to today’s conservative and liberal media divide, with straight news like becoming a golden memory.

Maher couldn’t resist tooting his own horn in that context. Audiences are now only hearing what doesn’t upset us because “They don’t want to make people turn the dial the wrong way – except on this show. I’ve paid for that. There are lots of woke people who used to watch that don’t anymore.” So why does he continue to spit into that wind? “It’s just that the left went crazy, so I have to do it more.”

Wallace stonewalled an attempt by Maher to get him to knock his former home at Fox News. Wallace claimed he now has “message discipline.” Maher fired back: “That’s for politicians, not for us.”

Maher then shifted, saying he had one last question. Wallace kidded him that the segment went by swiftly. “It goes fast when you avoid questions,” Maher retorted.

Wallace, who moderated presidential debates in 2016 and 2020, had one last nugget of wisdom. During the 2020 debates, where President Donald Trump “went nuts,” Wallace said someone counted the interruptions. Trump jumped in 145 times, Wallace claimed.

This week’s panel discussion included special correspondent for BBC News and host of the new documentary, Trump: The Comeback? Katty Kay, and former Republican Governor of New Jersey and political and legal contributor for ABC News, Chris Christie.

Their talk ranged from a comparison between Christie’s infamous beach meeting with President Obama as opposed to Ron DeSantis’s meeting this week with Joe Biden, to why Christie is an adamant opponent to marijuana, as opposed to Maher’s notorious affinity for the drug.

The anti-marijuana stance is particularly strange when the country is being bombarded with fentanyl, a much more dangerous drug. Christie’s dodging defense was that he defended the laws of the time, and suggested that the path to reform was by changing the laws.


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