Chris Wallace squirms as Bill Maher tries to get him to diss Fox News: ‘Too hard to be in that loony bin?’

Things got awkward for CNN’s Chris Wallace when Bill Maher tried get the veteran news anchor to admit he left Fox News because it’s a “loony bin.”

Appearing Friday on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” to plug his CNN/HBO Max series “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace,” the duo discussed the current state of the news industry when the subject of Wallace’s departure from Fox News after 18 years inevitably came up.

“I always thought you were the canary in the coal mine at Fox,” Maher told his guest, to which Wallace jokingly stated, “I want to see how this metaphor ends up.”

“Ah. Well, the canary gets out, the mine collapses,” Maher shot back as the audience laughed.

“No, I mean, you got out,” Maher explained. “Isn’t that why you left? Because it just became too hard to be in that loony bin?”

Wallace did his best to deflect with humor, ignoring the question with a grin and instead stating, “You know, I am so excited about ‘Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace,’ about CNN, about looking ahead to the future.”

Rolling his eyes, Maher tried again.

“You just said you’re a big straight shooter,” he reminded Wallace, “but you won’t answer that question, about Fox?”

Wallace tried to take a politician’s way out, but Maher just wouldn’t let him off that easily.

“You know, I have found message discipline,” Wallace said. “I know you’re going to be talking to Chris Christie in a moment. Message discipline–”

“That’s for politicians, not for us,” Maher gently scolded the slippery anchor while slowly shaking his head in disappointment. “We’re the other side, We’re the other team.”

Maher, clearly unsatisfied, suggested that they’d talk about it off-camera, and Wallace said he was going to take a page from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s playbook and “just repeat the line over and over again.”

As Maher waved off the non-answer, Wallace tried to get the interview back on his preferred track by saying, “I’m having a good time.”

“I’m having a good time too,” the lightning-quick Maher retorted. “It goes fast when you avoid questions.”

To be fair, Wallace has had a rough year.

Considered too liberal for Fox News viewers, many Fox fans were thrilled when it was announced that Wallace would be leaving the network for his own show on CNN+, a ridiculously expensive, heavily hyped streaming service from CNN that promptly went down in spectacular flames, much to the catty delight of his former colleagues.

Both Tucker Carlson and Greg Gutfeld had a field day with the news of Wallace’s embarrassing predicament.

“BLM has done to black people what Chris Wallace did to CNN+,” quipped Greg Gutfeld at the time. “He enticed them with a promise and then ditched them on the side of the road.”

“I’m going to do this every segment,” the host gleefully warned viewers, “so just get used to it.”

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Melissa Fine

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