An Interview with Special Report Host Bret Baier


Image courtesy of Mediaite

Emmett Gaffney, Staff Writer/Co-Editor

Bret Baier, the anchor of Special Report on the Fox News Channel, has worked in TV journalism for more than a quarter-century. But he says he’s never seen a year like 2020.


”It is very unique and nonstop,” he tells the Omega. “ I feel like once one story is over, another begins.”


COVID-19, BLM protests, Impeachment, Brexit, and Megxit are just a few of the stories that have resulted in record ratings this year for Baier, a native of New Jersey.


Born in Red Bank, Baier attended Catholic grade school before moving to Georgia, where he also attended a Catholic high school. 


I was raised Catholic. I served as an altar boy, attended CCD, and wore a jacket and tie to school every day. Catholic school was great for me.”


Baier graduated from DePauw University in Indiana. He double-majored in political science and English composition.


“It was a good combo for me. That being said, a part of me always was intrigued by history and I wish I studied that as well.”


Baier started his journalism career in Illinois at a local station prior to moving back to Atlanta to take a job at Fox. After 9/11 he moved to DC. He covered the Pentagon during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and then became FNC’s chief White House correspondent. While anchoring Special Report, he has written three bestselling history books.


“We can learn so much from where we have been. We do the same things again and again,” Unfortunately, Baier believes, too many of us don’t know enough of what happened in America’s past. “There is a lack of understanding, appreciation, and knowledge of our history.” 


Many students think college should be geared to a specific career or trade, but Baier says not to discount the value of a liberal arts degree. His education, he says, has made him better at his job.


“It comes back into play especially in reporting,” Baier explains. “You have to be an expert on many things. It’s all about absorbing as much as you can.”


Baier — who has 1.4 million followers on Twitter, also has advice for students using social media in the era of cancel culture. 


“Try smoke signals. I would rather not post anything than have one thing come back and bite me. When sending or posting pictures, think through the prism of an employer looking at this.” Baier says consider what you post before sharing it with the world. 

“Sometimes you have tiptoe around and issue. And always keep track of what you write and tweet.”


The increasing influence of social media has accompanied the rise of so-called “fake news.” It’s a phrase President Trump uses often.


“I do not love the term,” Baier says. “It is all in the eye of the beholder. President Trump uses it for stories that are wrong, but also to describe stories that may paint him in a negative light.” 


One way Baier has been able to connect with presidents on a personal level is on the golf course. Baier played at the D3 level at DePauw and cards a 2 handicap.


“I played once with President Trump and once with businessman Donald Trump. I’ve played with President George W. Bush. It is always interesting listening to the stories while walking the fairway.”


Baier adds, “I love golf. It’s a great way for me to decompress. And now my two boys play, so I am also a proud golf dad.” 


One of his sons, Paul, was born with a serious heart problem. Faith was a big part of getting through those tough times, Baier says.


“Although I do not wear it on my sleeve when I’m reporting, faith helped my family through the health scare with Paul, who needed open-heart surgery not long after birth.”


Baier offers this advice for students who want to pursue a career in journalism, or any dream for that matter: 


“Don’t give up. Sometimes you don’t know how you’re going to get somewhere or what road will lead you to where you want to go — but no matter what – keep driving- keep it on the road – and eventually you get to your destination even though you couldn’t see the journey laid out before you at the beginning.”


That outlook can even apply to 2020. There is no doubt that this year has taken so many twists and turns and it is only 3/4 over— with perhaps the biggest news story, the 2020 Presidential Election, looming in the fall.