More than 80 million Americans are expected to follow the debate between President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden. They both fear the interrogator Chris Wallace.
The online newspaper broadcasts the debate on Wednesday night.
72-year-old Chris Wallace is a veteran of the profession and known as a fearless journalist. As the son of Mike Wallace, who co-founded the CBS program “60-minutes” and who for 40 years delivered hard-hitting reports in the program, few were surprised by the career choice.
However, he first met his father as a 14-year-old, but his stepfather Bill Leonard was also not just anyone. He was president of CBS for a time and let Chris Wallace try everything as a 16-year-old, first as an assistant to the legendary Walter Cronkite during the Republican National Convention in 1964.
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Aggressive and ambitious
After studying at Harvard, where Wallace was active on the university’s radio station WHRB and on one occasion was arrested during a demonstration and broadcast live from prison, he turned down a position at Yale Law School and instead started as a journalist for the Boston Globe.
The editor described him as “aggressive and ambitious”, but it was not long before Wallace was back on the TV screen.
The road first went to CBS-owned WBBM-TV, before in 1975 he switched to competitor NBC. He stayed there for 14 years, including as an anchorman in NBC Nightly News. He was also a White House correspondent where he did not shy away from putting then-President Ronald Reagan on the wall.
In 1989, he moved to ABC News, where he led the program Primetime Thursday and covered the first Gulf War with Israel as a base.
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Also on ABC, Wallace stayed for 14 years, before joining Fox News in 2003, where he has since been a hard-hitting presenter.
In 2009, he had his first Fox interview with then-President Barack Obama, and he helped lead the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election.
Wallace also got the first interview with Trump after he took office. In July this year, he received a new interview with Trump in which he confronted the president with everything from hair-raising Twitter messages and allegations of high intelligence, to bad opinion polls and the many corona deaths in the United States.
In an interview with another Fox News journalist last week, Trump claimed that Wallace “is controlled by the radical left”, knowing that he will not escape easily when the journalist fires during the debate on Wednesday night.
The interview with Trump strengthened Wallace’s reputation as hard-hitting, as did his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin two years earlier. Why do so many of your political opponents end up dead, was one of Putin’s questions during the interview, which was awarded an Emmy Award.
Although Fox News is known as Trump’s favorite channel, Wallace is not a popular man with the president or his supporters.
Asked about his own political stance, Wallace says he has voted for both Democrats and Republicans in previous presidential elections.
However, Wallace is registered as a Democrat and has used to associate with liberal Hollywood celebrities such as George Clooney.
Allegations that he also favors the Democrats in his journalistic work, he rejects on the contrary. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2016, he referred to a characteristic of the legendary American football coach Vince Lombardi.
– He does not discriminate against anyone – he treats everyone like dogs. That is also my view of politicians, Wallace said in the interview.