Fox News’ Chris Wallace – no stranger to accusations of anti-conservative bias – engaged in a heated interview with GOP Rep. Jim Banks (IN) on Sunday in which the network host suggested that by opposing President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief bill it was Republicans, not progressives, who effectively “defunded the police,” as The Hill reported.
During Banks’ appearance on Fox News Sunday, Wallace grilled the congressman on his vote against a proposed emergency relief measure that would have provided additional funding to first responders, including police, implying that such a position was akin to withholding resources.
In response, Banks took issue with Wallace’s characterization, declaring, “Today Joe Biden is being held hostage in the White House by ‘the Squad’ and the radicals in the Democrat Party who control their party who have spent the last year stigmatizing one of the most honorable professionals in America in our law enforcement,” as Breitbart noted.
Explaining that the left’s attack on police goes much further than a single legislative vote, Banks added, “It’s not just about defunding the police, which they fully support, but over the last year, they talked about stripping qualified immunity, protections for police officers who do their job. They talk about cashless [bail] and decreasing sentences as well.”
Wallace was not having any of it, however, arguing that the anti-crime portion of Biden’s American Rescue Plan would mean, in the president’s own words, “more police officers, more nurses, more counselors, more social workers, more community violence interrupters to help resolve [incidents] before they escalate into crimes.”
Fox News’ Chris Wallace to Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN):
“Congressman Banks, you voted against that [Rescue] package, against the $350B, just like every other Republican in the House & Senate — so can’t you make the argument that it’s you and Republicans who are defunding the police?” pic.twitter.com/mrttqMGLuG
— The Recount (@therecount) June 27, 2021
Pointing out that Banks was part of the unanimous Republican vote against the package, Wallace said, “So can’t you make the argument that it’s you and the Republicans who are defunding the police?” and added, “The president is saying cities and states can use this money to hire more police officers…but you and every other Republican voted against this $350 billion.”
Amid a back-and-forth of crosstalk and irritated interruptions, Banks aptly underscored the broader problem at work, namely, that “When Representative [Ilhan] Omar says that policing is rooted in evil and Nancy Pelosi compares officers to stormtroopers, it is very difficult for police officers around the country to recruit people to become police officers.”
As he has demonstrated time and time again, Wallace is far less interested in getting to the truth and upholding journalistic standards than in cultivating his status as a member of the liberal media in-crowd that dominates D.C.