News & Politics

Fox News’ Chris Wallace Let Us Follow Him Around For An Entire Sunday

A behind-the-scenes look at what happens before, during, and after Fox News Sunday.

As host of Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace sets his alarm for (yikes) 5:15 am. “And I never complain,” he says. “There’s an adrenaline rush, you know? Particularly before big interviews.” Heading out of his Kalorama home by 5:45, Wallace drives his 12-year-old Lexus to Fox’s downtown studio to prep for the 9 am broadcast. We dragged ourselves out of bed one recent Sunday for a look at how he puts together the program.

7:14AM: Wallace emerges from the makeup room, settles into his studio chair, and begins preparing for today’s show. Though he’s been host since 2003, he still never misses rehearsal.

7:23AM: He constantly reworks his script, even tweaking the “outro” music. “That’s not my favorite,” Wallace says of a background track at one point. “Too edgy.”

7:30AM: Wallace heads to his office to fine-tune his queries. “You have to frame questions carefully to force [people] to abandon talking points,” he says. “One key to a good interview is to listen, and when there’s a hole there, you follow it.”

8:56AM: Kellyanne Conway, at the Fox studio for a different show, pops by to greet Wallace’s first guest, national-security adviser H.R. McMaster. As they kiss on the cheek, the host sits quietly in the background.

9:46AM: Producers watch Wallace speak with panelist Rachael Bade of Politico. The McMaster segment went well—Wallace got him to say Steve Bannon manipulated Trump, which will make news. “I’ll call you later,” Wallace told him afterward.

9:59AM: After a segment with Senator Roy Blunt and then a panel of pundits, including Newt Gingrich (above), Wallace wraps up the program.

10:02AM: Back in his office with the paper. The next day’s papers are always a test: Did a guest make news on another Sunday show? “That drives me crazy,” he says.

11:18AM: Every Sunday after the show, Wallace’s wife, Lorraine, has a pot of soup ready on the stove. Today it’s butternut-squash chowder. Wallace finally looks at ease. “My weekend starts now,” he says.

This article appears in the December 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

Staff Writer

Elaina Plott joined Washingtonian in June 2016 as a staff writer. She has written about her past life as an Ann Coulter fangirl, how the Obamas changed Washington, and the rise and fall of Roll Call. She previously covered Congress for National Review. Her writing has appeared in the New York Observer, GQ, and Harper’s Bazaar.