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‘I don’t want to go down this road’: Hesitant Bret Baier voices ‘concerns’ about Tucker’s ‘Patriot Purge’

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Fox News anchor Bret Baier was questioned by colleague Brian Kilmeade about Tucker Carlson’s “Patriot Purge” series, which looks at the Jan. 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol through an honest lens — a perspective the biased national media dare not pursue.

Naturally, the liberal media and their fact-checking allies are in full revolt over the series, as are any number of anti-Trump Republicans. Two Fox News contributors, Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes, who are regular contributors on Baier’s 6 p.m. show “Special Report,” resigned over the series. According to reports, they quit after seeing the trailer only — Hayes went along with Goldberg’s suggestion that they quit, reportedly saying of the series, “Totally outrageous. It will lead to violence. Not sure how we can stay.”

For what it’s worth, Carlson responded by mocking Goldberg and Hayes in a comment to The New York Times: “Our viewers will be grateful.”

Appearing on Kilmeade’s radio show Monday, Baier was asked: “What’s going on with Steve Hayes and Jonah Goldberg?”

“I think it was a tough choice but one that they made on principle,” Baier replied, adding with a healthy dose of ums and ahs, “I’m going to let them speak for themselves.”

Baier, who has reportedly been close friends with Hayes since going to college together at DePauw University, said it was “sad to see them go,” but said he wants to hear “all kinds of voices: left, right, Trump, whoever, supporters.” He added that Goldberg and Hayes “made their choice on principle so let their statement stand.”

“I watched the feature with Tucker and — I watched it on Fox Nation — interesting perspective that I didn’t get before, but I didn’t get hurt by it. I didn’t get damaged by it. Were you bothered by it? Because that’s the reporting,” Kilmeade asked.

There was an awkward pause, before a clearly uncomfortable Baier replied, “There’s a…Brian, I don’t want to go down this road.”

“I mean, there were concerns about it definitely… and I think that the news division did what we do when we covered the story,” he continued. “And I want to do all of that internally. Steve and Jonah made the decision, and it’s their decision.”

And with that, Kilmeade moved on from the issue — the exchange comes at the very end of the 2 hour program:

NPR had reported that Baier and Chris Wallace “shared their objections” about Carlson’s series with Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and Fox News President Jay Wallace.

“Those objections rose to Lachlan Murdoch, the chairman and CEO of the network’s parent company, Fox Corporation. Through a senior spokeswoman, Scott and Wallace declined comment. Murdoch did not return a request for comment through a spokesman,” NPR reported.

As for Goldberg and Hayes, there were reports that Fox News was not planning to re-sign them as contributors when their contract came up next year, casting a shadow on their so-called stand on principles:

The duo said in a statement put out: “Patriot Purge creates an alternative history of January 6, contradicted not just by common sense, not just by the testimony and on-the-record statements of many participants, but by the reporting of the news division of Fox News itself.”

Formerly with the National Review, Goldberg was vehemently anti-Trump and he told the New York Times: “Whether it’s ‘Patriot Purge’ or anti-vax stuff, I don’t want it in my name, and I want to call it out and criticize it.”

Fittingly, Trump-hating Pelosi Republican Liz Cheney, the GOP congresswoman from Wyoming who was hand-picked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to sit on her politically motivated Jan. 6 select committee, was among the first to offer Goldberg and Hayes kudos for their actions.

Meanwhile, Carlson used the rejection to further promote the “Patriot Purge” series:

Tom Tillison

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