Chris Hayes Confronts Fired Fox Newser Chris Stirewalt Over Network ‘Lying to People’: ‘That’s Really Bad for the Country’


Former Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt gave the first TV interview since his firing to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, and the two shared a lengthy and contentious exchange about the root problem with modern news delivery.

Stirewalt was on the Decision Desk that made the much-scrutinized decision to call Arizona early for President Joe Biden, resulting in a furious backlash. On Thursday night’s edition of All In with Chris Hayes, the host asked Stirewalt for his assessment of his former network and “the role that it plays.”

Stirewalt lamented that the news cycle has shrunk, and that “24 hours is not the correct increment in which people should consume news. Right?”

Hayes let out an audible snort as Stirewalt continued, adding that “It’s great to dip in, it’s great to get some news, but that is not the optimal increment of news consumption, is 24 hours.”

Stirewalt went on to say that “It’s not just cable news, it is everybody who is working in an advertiser-based system. Which is they have the power now to chase viewers and clicks where they are.”

Hayes conceded the validity of Stirewalt’s premise, but then said that “The deeper problem is that your network, the president (Trump), was feeding people’s substantive lies. Incredibly important, material lies about the world.”

“Not like ‘The Dems are bad,’ or we don’t like them, they were lying, they were giving them mistruths about the state of the world. That’s a substantive problem with what was being pumped out, not a formal question of the 24-hour news cycle,” he added.

With a pause, Stirewalt hesitantly said “Well, I hear you, but I would also remind you that for me, that’s not what I was doing. I wasn’t pumping out mistruths, and my boss…”

As Stirewalt spoke, Hayes made a face that prompted Stirewalt to say “You raise whatever eyebrow you want to raise, I wasn’t pumping out mistruths.”

“No, my eyebrow is that the network you worked for was,” Hayes explained.

“Look, here’s what I know, every day that I worked at Fox News, I did and said what I wanted to do and say,” Stirewalt said, and again made the point that “The problem here is a business model that forces providers, okay, it forces providers to meet the needs, if you’re going to narrowcast, you can’t upset the people who are coming to be served.”

Hayes agreed, but said he wanted to make one last distinction.

“It’s true the things you’re saying about this medium and other mediums in this moment, this narrowcasting, this push and pull of consumers is true,” Hayes said. “But there are lines. And there are lines of integrity, and honesty, and I patrol those lines.”

He added that “I get up every day and I do this job, and I talk to people like you, and I don’t lie to them. Because it’s important to me not to lie to them. There are people on the network you worked for that are lying to people. And it’s really bad for the country. I don’t know any other way to say it. But that’s just where we are.”

Stirewalt expressed general agreement that “Lying to people is a bad thing to do,” and reiterated that he personally did not lie.

“Well I am glad that you have been liberated from a place where people do lie, and I wish you well genuinely in writing in places where you can do good work,” Hayes said.

Watch the clip above via MSNBC.

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