“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace has reported from all over the world, interviewed elected heads of state and dictators, moderated debates and covered some of the world’s most historic events — but only once did he broadcast from inside a jail.
It didn’t take Hornacek long to start grilling Wallace about some lesser-known stories of his legendary career.
“I heard in college… you got arrested, Chris?” joked Hornacek, pretending to be shocked.
“Well, wait, wait,” laughed Wallace, explaining that there’s more to the story.
In the late 1960s, Wallace was a reporter for WHRB, Harvard University’s college radio station. When he heard that fellow students had forced their way into a university building on April 9, 1969, he ran over to cover it.
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) had occupied Harvard’s University Hall. The demonstration grew and by the next day, local police and state troopers removed hundreds of people from the premise.
“I wasn’t one of the student protesters who shut down Harvard. I was at the college radio station and I was in the building with the protesters,” Wallace recalled. “So when they arrested them, they arrested us.”
“We ended up in jail… literally behind bars,” he said.
When it came time for those in custody to place a single phone call, instead of contacting his parents or friends, Wallace called in to his radio station.
“This is Chris Wallace, WHRB news correspondent,” he says in a recording of his broadcast. “We were reporting to you, I was reporting to you, last from University Hall, but since that time, I have been taken — put under arrest.”
“We’ve heard that there are about 300 prisoners that have been taken in all,” he continued. “I am going to have to end this phone call now so that other people can make their one phone call to which they are allowed. This is Chris Wallace, WHRB news, reporting from the Middlesex County Jail in custody.”
“The first 10 minutes it was really fun,” Wallace told Fox Nation. “And then it got really boring. And we were only in jail, […] for about two or three hours, and then they sprung us.”
“What do you do for more than two to three hours in jail? Were you doing pull-ups, were you doing pushups?” Hornacek joked.
“That’s exactly what I did,” Wallace said, playing along. “No, there were probably 20 to 30 people in this one giant cell. So we just shot the breeze.”
Fast-forward to October 2016, and a very different phase of Wallace’s career.
He was the first Fox News journalist ever asked to host a presidential debate, and he found himself tasked with moderating the third face-off between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and now-President Trump.
“I have done presidential debates, primaries. I’ve interviewed presidents, I’ve interviewed kings. I’ve been all over the world. I have to tell you, there were times when the wave of anxiety would wash over me and I would think I can’t do it,” Wallace told Hornacek, saying that he even said a prayer before walking out on the stage.
“There’s Melania Trump in the audience. There’s Bill and Chelsea Clinton in the audience,” he said. “I didn’t know it was going to 80 million [people watching the debate], but I knew it was millions of people.”
“For about the first five minutes, it’s sort of out of body. And then I settled down and I enjoyed it,” he added.
The reviews of Wallace’s performance as a moderator were stellar.
“Chris Wallace won the third debate,” a New York Post headline declared at the time.
“Chris Wallace delivers sterling performance as debate moderator,” wrote media reporter Dylan Byers.
Hornacek also got around to asking Wallace about something that he may not have wanted his fans to know about — a supposedly “epic mustache” that he wore in the 1970s.
“Please, all of you Fox Nation viewers, do not go google, ‘Chris Wallace in the ’70s’ and see this mustache… It was not good,” he pleaded.
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