Fox News Anchors on Covering Trump: "Contrary to the Opinion of Some People, He's Not Our Boss"

Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum- Getty - Split - H 2019
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Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum spoke Thursday at an industry panel.

In an extremely rare opportunity to hear from the network's news-side stars, Fox News anchors Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum were on the same stage on Thursday afternoon to talk about what it's like to cover President Donald Trump — and occasionally draw his ire.

Wallace talked about the experience of being sniped at by the president on Twitter. "The three of us have all been targets of the president's tweets," he told the crowd at Advertising Week in New York. "It's a very surreal thing. I think we all kind of embrace it as: We've got his attention, so we must be doing something right."

MacCallum pushed back on Trump's tweets attacking Fox News for holding town halls with several of the Democratic candidates for president. "The New @FoxNews is letting millions of GREAT people down!" Trump tweeted Aug. 28. "We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!"

"It's really kind of shocking that that's the way he thinks about how we should cover the election," MacCallum said Thursday. "Contrary to the opinion of some people, he's not our boss."

Wallace, who hosts the Fox News Sunday show every week, described the Trump presidency in reality-show terms. "It's the Trump Show, and you can love him or hate him," he said. "But it's the most compelling, riveting reality show that we've ever seen. It just takes unforeseen twists and turns, and to a certain degree we're spectators trying to stay on top of it, trying to understand it, trying to analyze it to present both sides of what's going on."

MacCallum addressed the pace of the news cycle this week, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has launched an impeachment inquiry amid revelations about the president pressing Ukraine's leader to investigate Joe Biden's family. "When you're in this moment of it, it feels like a wind tunnel that's going to keep blowing at 180 miles per hour for the next year or two," she said. "It will subside, but I think this is a big story. It's one of those moments that calls for cool heads and analysis of what's out there. I don't think you're going to hear that everywhere."

Baier told the crowd that his wife is displeased by the throngs of Fox News fans who approach him at the airport to chat and take pictures. "There's rabid Fox fans," he said. "There are some people who watch Fox nonstop all the time."

The three Fox News anchors did not take audience questions, and the panel was conducted by Jeff Collins, who runs advertising sales for the network.

Baier hammered home a point that he's made in previous interviews and on his show — that the news-side anchors at Fox News are not given the access that opinion hosts like Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro get. "We're asking for in-depth interviews," he said. "It may seem like Fox has this access to the White House that's unprecedented. ... We're pressing to get the president to sit down and answer those questions."