MSNBC panel questions what led to Chris Wallace's 'abrupt departure' from Fox News
Chris Wallace (Fox News/screen grab)

An hour before CNN confirmed that longtime Fox News host Chris Wallace was coming to work at CNN+ after he surprised his fans with an unexpected goodbye announcement, the panel on MSNBC's "The Sunday Show" speculated why the host made what they called an "abrupt departure."

With the panel praising Wallace as an oasis of professionalism at a network more known for bomb-throwers like Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson, former Republican National Committee head Michael Steele suggested the host may have grown weary of working in such an atmosphere.

With host Jonathan Capehart expressing shock at the "abrupt departure" and later noting there were rumors just then floating about the CNN move, he prompted Steele with, "It's like folks say, 'I quit,' and it's literally their last day. No two weeks' notice. Talk about how -- I do think this is a seismic moment over at Fox News and, to a lesser extent, journalism, but why is it important to mark the fact that Chris Wallace is leaving?"

"I think it is because, by and large, Chris has been a port in the storm, if you will, in the political storms that we've engaged in," Steele began. "He has been that source of speaking truth to power, keeping the journalism honest to the best of his abilities. I would suspect that while the statement he made was true, that they, quote, 'didn't interfere with or let him book or ask questions the way' he wanted, that there was growing pressure on that and, you know, being the guy that he is, he wasn't having any of it. The abruptness of it."

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"We watched our good friend Brian Williams step down this week after announcing over a month ago that this was his plan and so forth, and that's typically how that's done," Steele continued. If you want to compare and contrast how one leaves a network they've been associated with for 18 years, you get a sense of how you do it when Brian left. We woke up this morning and were like, 'excuse me, what?' It speaks to a lot about people with credibility inside the Republican Party and inside journalism having to deal with the sort of Trump faction going on -- I'm done."

It should be noted that Wallace, along with colleague Brett Baier expressed dismay to Fox News management about a January 6th documentary created my Carlson that attempted to make the case that the Capitol riot was a "false flag."

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