Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace broke a bit of genuine news on Sunday morning when he reported that two of Fox News’ own frequent guests and Trump supporters may themselves be enmeshed in the Trump-Ukraine scandal.
Lawyers Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing have been working with Rudy Giuliani in his attempts to conduct opposition research on former Vice President Joe Biden, said Wallace. “According to a top U.S. official, all three were working off the books apart from the administration. The only person in government who knows what they were doing is President Trump.”
This is a significant nugget for several reasons. First, Rudy Giuliani is still flatly denying he worked with other lawyers to collect Biden “dirt”; the Fox News anchor is therefore calling Giuliani a liar. Well, even more of a liar.
And second, the top-of-the-program callout of two of the network’s own frequent guests and analysts for undisclosed, “off the books” involvement in one of the scandals the network has been hosting them to opine on is, regardless of the obvious conflict of interest, nearly unheard of. From Lou Dobbs to Sean Hannity, the network has taken a notably lax attitude when it comes to network mouths splitting their time between the network and the needs of the Trump administration. They normally wouldn’t so much as peep about overtly conflicted guests!
Whatever’s going on, diGenova and Toensing seem to have peeved someone in the network off mightily.
That’s not quite the idle speculation it would appear to be. DiGenova appeared recently on Tucker Carlson’s show to defend Trump in the Ukraine scandal—an appearance that led to Carlson directly attacking “straight news” anchor Shepard Smith’s credibility. But Fox News as an entity relies on maintaining a largely fictional separation between the loud-mouthed opinion hosts and the self-described “trustworthy” news side of the business; if Tucker is going to threaten that separation by suggesting that the news side is itself biased, it’s going to threaten the paychecks of everyone in the building.
Wallace’s high-profile knifing of Tucker’s recent guest diGenova might signify, then, that the “straight news” producers have had just about enough lip from the likes of Tucker and his guests. Fox has been doing next to no original reporting on the Ukrainian scandal; suddenly, though, it has a line on new scandal participants that just happen to be two of its own network’s favorite guests?