Fox News' Chris Wallace, who is scheduled to moderate the all-important third and final presidential debate, said that Donald Trump is now winning the transparency debate on health, a conclusion for which his justification is factually incorrect. Wallace evidently being in the bag for Trump exemplifies why we need to #DemandFairDebates.
Eric Boehlert highlights an incredible statement from presidential debate moderator Chris Wallace, offered during an interview with his Fox colleague Sandra Smith: While Hillary Clinton has long been more transparent than Donald Trump, he conceded, Trump is now winning the transparency debate on health.
How could he justify this contention? Because, as Boehlert explains:
Wallace touted how Trump was “disclosing medical records on Dr. Oz” and “being transparent.” In fact, “At this point, the health transparency gap now works in Trump’s favor because of the Dr. Oz incident,” the Fox News Sunday host insisted.
But none of that was accurate. The Trump campaign likely wanted to project the image it was “disclosing medical records on Dr. Oz” and “being transparent.” But that wasn’t the case on Wednesday. In fact, on Wednesday Trump was still refusing to publicly release any relevant medical information, which meant he clearly trailed the “transparency gap” as compared to Clinton.
On the same day, Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine released additional medical information.
Wallace is just flatly wrong. Not only has he said he won’t be fact-checking during the debate, but now it appears that he may inject “facts” into the debate which aren’t facts at all.
“What if during the debate,” Boehlert wonders, “Wallace turns to Clinton and asks her why she hasn’t been as ‘transparent’ as Trump in releasing medical information? What if Wallace introduces other anti-Clinton falsehoods like that while he’s moderating?” Good questions.
Further, Wallace has a serious conflict of interest by virtue of his long-time professional relationship to former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who “is reportedly informally advising Donald Trump and helping him prepare for the debates.”
Publicly stating that Trump is “winning” on transparency, based on misinformation. Admitting he won’t fact-check the candidates. Conflict of interest. That’s three strikes. Wallace ought to be out.
For the benefit of the candidates themselves, for voters, and for the nation, we #DemandFairDebates. And if the scheduled moderators cannot commit to providing them, then they should be replaced with people who can and will.