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Politics Opinion: Fox's Chris Wallace will again try artfully to handle a contentious presidential debate

16:11  29 september  2020
16:11  29 september  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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But Chris Wallace is not any Fox News anchor. On Tuesday, in Cleveland, Ohio, Wallace will moderate the first of the 2020 US presidential debates between President Image caption Chris Wallace was widely praised for his assured handling of the third 2016 presidential election debate .

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace will be grilling Trump and Biden during the much-anticipated duel. “My job is to be as invisible as possible,” Wallace said on Fox News on Sunday. A vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris will be held on October 7 in Salt Lake City.

Chris Wallace is a broadcast journalist who lives — comfortably, it seems — with an association with a cable news network that critics increasingly label a propaganda network, one in league with President Trump.

The seat of the Fox News moderator Chris Wallace is seen as preparations are going on at site of the first US Presidential debate is seen on September 28, in Cleveland, Ohio. © Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images The seat of the Fox News moderator Chris Wallace is seen as preparations are going on at site of the first US Presidential debate is seen on September 28, in Cleveland, Ohio.

For that reason, the fact that a Fox News anchor was chosen as the solo moderator for Tuesday's first presidential debate between Joe Biden and Trump was greeted with a strong whiff of skepticism.

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Chris Wallace , the host of “ Fox News Sunday” and moderator of the first presidential debate between President Trump and Joe “I’m trying to get them to engage…to focus on the key issues…to give people at home a Fox News' Danielle Wallace and the Associated Press contributed to this repport.

Chris Wallace , an Emmy award winner who has spent more than 40-years in broadcast journalism, is about to become the first Fox News host ever to The presence of any Fox News personality on the presidential debate stage, even one with Wallace ' s sterling reputation, would normally be cause for

That's not fair to Wallace. For proof, people could take a look at the last head-to-head debate between presidential nominees. That was the third and final debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016; and Wallace moderated that one as well. It was, by wide consensus, the best and best-moderated debate between those two intensely bitter rivals.

Wallace will likely be called upon to perform a similar hard-nosed role on Tuesday in what is widely expected to be a bare-knuckle, no-holds-barred, low-blow-filled brawl — with maybe some Mike Tyson-style ear-chewing thrown in.

The last-minute report from The New York Times offering explosive details about the President's taxes — and lack of payments — will certainly shake up not only the confrontation between the two candidates, but also complicate Wallace's plans for questioning them. There is clearly a new topic at the top of the agenda.

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For Wednesday’ s third and (thank goodness) final presidential debate , it was Fox News anchor Chris (Then again , Trump did get into a feud with Megyn Kelly last year, so all bets are off.) There were hints of Wallace ’ s Fox News loyalties early on when he went right after Clinton on gun rights

Chris Wallace will moderate the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week, and the “ Fox News Sunday” anchor already has the approval of one prominent Democratic strategist.

How wild the debate will get largely depends on how outside the "norms" Trump decides to go, both in language and behavior during the debate. The tax issue will likely enflame his natural aggression.

Biden is not known for his egregious debate antics. In fact, he was so bound to the rules during the primary debates this year, he often cut himself off mid-thought if he saw his time was up. It's likely his advisors will encourage him to be more aggressive this time, or else Trump will roll over him. And certainly the idea that President Trump paid less in taxes in his first year in office than Abraham Lincoln did in 1864 may open easy opportunities for Biden to go on the attack.

In the regular course of events, Trump treats norms like he treats cabinet members: mostly disposable. So he can probably be counted on to ignore whatever rules Wallace sets down — pushing past time constraints and talking over Biden whenever the mood strikes him. Just look at his outburst four years ago when Clinton suggested he would serve as a "puppet" for Russian President Vladimir Putin if the Republican presidential nominee were elected to the White House: "No puppet, no puppet. You're the puppet!" Yes, that came in the debate Wallace was moderating.

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Fox ' s Chris Wallace tells Media Buzz host Howard Kurtz that it's not his job to fact check the presidential candidates when he's moderating one of the upcoming debates . With Fox News host Chris Wallace ’s credibility as a legitimate debate moderator coming under question, Fox cued up

Chris Wallace once grilled none other than President Ronald Reagan. Wallace will have to tap that reserve of moxie this evening, when he becomes the first Fox News Channel anchor to moderate a general-election presidential debate .

Somehow Wallace held that together, bringing the raucous discussion back on track time and again. The challenge may be exponentially harder this time because Wallace has so many issues raised by Trump's presidency to deal with. It may prove difficult to keep the President from totally dominating the discussion, for his own good or ill.

Interestingly, many of the topics Wallace originally said he aims to cover came up in 2016, including the Supreme Court, the economy and, almost incredibly, the integrity of the election, which will presumably include Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. Wallace raised that issue four years ago and Trump said then almost the same thing that he is saying now; last time the words were: "I will tell you at the time; I'll keep you in suspense."

One topic Wallace has included this time is clearly intended to put Biden on the spot: race and violence in the cities. Framing it that way — as opposed to social justice conflicts tied to policing in the city, for example — raised hackles on the Democratic side. But it's really up to Biden to turn the tables when he's asked about it.

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Brian Stelter, Molly Jong-Fast, and Mark Lukasiewicz discuss Fox journalist Chris Wallace ' s role as moderator of the first presidential debate . What to expect from debate moderator Chris Wallace . How TV networks will handle potential election chaos. Brian Karem thought he asked Trump a simple

The Commission on Presidential Debates will host three presidential debates and one Chris Wallace , Steve Scully and Kristen Welker will moderate the debates . The New York Times Wallace will take on the first debate , and he recently confirmed that the topics of his questions will include: the

Historically, debates have had both solo and group moderators. For the presidential debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, each one had a single moderator, but a panel of journalists also asked questions. Subsequent debate series have mostly dumped the crowded panels in favor of solo moderators. Jim Lehrer of PBS performed the job solo 11 times. In the five presidential years of this century, only once, the second debate in 2016, did the format include multiple moderators.

Wallace has already proved, in his recent interview with the President, that he will make a direct frontal challenge to clearly misstated or fabricated facts.

The co-chair of The Commission on Presidential Debates, Frank J. Fahrenkopf, has said Wallace isn't expected to fact-check mid-debate; but that does not mean he will allow egregious misstatements to go by. His style has been to challenge when it's imperative to do so, and he will likely try that with both candidates Tuesday night.

But some people, including Trump, anticipate Wallace will not be able to dispense his lie-detecting efforts equally.

Just recently Trump said Wallace would be a pro-Biden operative.

"I would be willing to bet that he won't ask Biden tough questions. He'll ask me tough questions and it will be unfair, I have no doubt about it," Trump said. "He will be controlled by the radical left."

But, of course, the pre-debate attacks on Wallace amount to the Trump version of working the refs before a big basketball game. It's a message: If you're too tough on me, I'm coming after you and so are all my fans; so be a good boy.

It's also a sign, generally, of somebody who's not overly confident he's going to win. Too much emphasis on the tax revelations will almost surely stir Trump to aim direct fire at Wallace, which may be redoubled by his acolytes on social media.

Wallace may feel some pressure because of the spotlight he will be in, the number of people who will watch and what's at stake for the country in this election. But he doesn't seem the type to get the vapors at being accused of being unfair, or the type to pull his own punches in the middle of a brawl.

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They bickered on who should appoint the next Supreme Court justice, their stances on health care and even brought each other’s families into the fray. Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News struggled to rein in the candidates and at times admonished Trump as interrupting more frequently than Biden. © Mario Tama, Getty Images A server wears a face shield and face-covering as people sit to watch a broadcast of the first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

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