Bret Baier is regarded as something of an anomaly on the Fox News Channel. Whereas colleagues such as Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson have built their careers on leaning as far toward the right as possible, the DePauw University graduate has established a reputation for upholding the “fair and balanced” values the network once claimed to represent.
In fact, as his spats with the likes of Josh Hawley, John Bolton, and Donald Trump have proven, Baier is just as likely to call out Republicans on political matters as Democrats. He’s even stood in solidarity with Fox’s arch-rivals CNN on occasion, too.
And unlike many of his peers, the Rumson native seems far more interested in simply reporting the news than making himself the story. Indeed, Baier has kept a relatively low profile since joining the Rupert Murdoch empire back in the 1990s. But from mansions to moonlighting, here are 14 things we do know about the “Special Report” host.
Bret Baier's son has undergone four open heart surgeries
Within hours of being born, Bret Baier’s son Paul was forced to undergo a life-saving operation after no fewer than five congenital heart defects were discovered. And the brave youngster has since had to endure several other similar procedures, including a fourth open heart surgery in 2020. And all this before he’d even turned 14.
In an interview with People several months later, Baier discussed how difficult the constant hospital visits have been: “As a parent, watching your kid go down the hall on this gurney, you want to be the one on the gurney. You don’t want your kid to have to go through this … That surgery was heavy, and clearly, he could’ve not made it, and we’re just really fortunate that he did. And so, it’s excruciating to go through. We don’t want to go through it again.”
Thankfully, it’s unlikely that Paul will need to undergo another similar operation for another decade. And the youngster himself appears to be taking it all in his stride, too. He told the same magazine, “It’s sort of scary leading up [to the surgery] but once it’s happened, you’re like, ‘What was I scared about?’ It’s just the leading-up-to-it part.”
Bret Baier's been married since 2004
In 2004, Bret Baier walked down the aisle with wife Amy, a communications graduate who’d worked in Calvin Klein’s media department and Eli Lilly’s neurological retail division. And the pair, who are also proud parents to sons Paul and Daniel, have been happily married ever since.
So how did the couple meet? Well, it turns out that some meddling friends had a major part to play. Back at the turn of the century, their respective BFFs, who were dating each other, decided to do a bit of matchmaking and hook Amy and Bret up. Despite the fact they were living hundreds of miles from each other, the future husband and wife agreed to a first date. In fact, Amy traveled all the way from Chicago to Washington D.C. to meet Bret at a Rolling Stones gig.
In a 2021 interview with Naples Illustrated, Amy recalled, “I had zero expectations but I got back on the plane thinking I’d met someone very special. And when Bret dropped me off at the airport, he told his best friend, ‘I am going to marry her.'” Within a few years, the Fox News host stayed true to his word.
9/11 changed Bret Baier's career
After graduating from DePauw University with a degree in political science and English, Bret Baier became something of a news journeyman. In 2021, he told Naples Illustrated, “I bounced all over the country. Hilton Head, South Carolina; Rockford, Illinois; Raleigh, North Carolina … I’ve covered everything from Elián González, to tornadoes, 14 hurricanes, and Timothy McVeigh.”
Baier’s career then appeared to settle down in 1998 when he landed the role of Atlanta bureau chief at Fox News. But just three years later, the broadcaster was back on the move. And one of the darkest days in modern U.S. history was the catalyst.
Discussing where he was on 9/11, Baier explained, “After the first tower was hit, they called us to be the backup to the New York broadcast. Then, I was called to drive to New York. Then, I was rerouted to D.C. after the Pentagon was hit. I was doing live reports outside the burning Pentagon, and I never left D.C. I started my stint in D.C. as the Fox national security correspondent about two weeks later, interviewing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.”
Bret Baier is a best-selling writer
As well as delivering and commentating on political news every Monday to Friday on the Fox News network, Bret Baier has also found the time to write no fewer than four non-fiction books since 2014. And all of them have topped the New York Times Bestseller list, too.
“Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission” was published in 2017, with “Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire” arriving in 2018. His third book, “Three Days at the Brink: FDR’s Daring Gamble to Win World War II,” was published in 2019. In 2018, a modest Baier told Naples Daily News that he didn’t classify himself as a presidential historian but more of “a reporter looking back at history.”
Having looked back at the history of three former American Presidents, Baier has also shifted the focus toward his own life story in 2014 with “Special Heart: A Journey of Faith, Hope, Courage and Love,” a book focusing on his son Paul’s multiple heart defects. So how does the “Special Report” host manage to pull double duty? “A lot of caffeine,” he claimed. “And I’m kind of a night owl.”
Bret Baier lives in a luxury mansion
Bret Baier often had to broadcast his Fox News show “Special Report” from his Washington, D.C. home during the pandemic. And he wasn’t exactly short of working space, for his 11,000 square foot, four-story mansion boasts five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and even a couple of powder rooms!
Baier and his wife Amy bought the property, situated in the exclusive community of Phillips Park west of Georgetown, in 2013. And according to The Register Citizen, there’s also a formal dining room, gourmet kitchen, breakfast room, library, family room, fitness center, home theater, wine cellar, and two garages. Outside, the Baier family can enjoy soaking in the sun on a large patio and garden complete with a barbecue area and lap pool.
In 2020, the Baiers decided to put their luxury pad on the market for a cool $7.9 million. That’s more than twice the amount they sold their previous home for in a nearby area, which apparently was decorated with Ralph Lauren’s finest.
Bret Baier defends a colleague against Donald Trump
Seems like Bret Baier is the kind of person you want in your corner if you’re a Fox News reporter. The best-selling writer is even prepared to take on the President of the United States if he feels you’ve been wronged!
Yes, in 2020, Baier took umbrage with Donald Trump’s demand that colleague Jennifer Griffin should be given the boot for reporting on a piece in The Atlantic which stated he’d made unflattering remarks about the American military. Firstly, the anchorman took to Twitter to post, “[Jennifer] is a great reporter and a total class act.”
Baier then addressed the issue during a Fox News Sunday interview with Steve Mnuchin. After the Treasury Secretary claimed that the 45th president “supports the military in an unbelievable way,” Baier remarked, “The president also says he’s against the ‘cancel culture.’ But do you think it’s right for him to call for the firing of a reporter who has unnamed sources who confirm parts of that story?” Mnuchin refused to comment after claiming to be unaware of this issue.
Bret Baier is happy to share his faith
Bret Baier is now a proud man of faith, although as he told Faithwire in 2018, it took a while for him to truly embrace his Catholic upbringing. The Fox News host regularly attended mass with his committed believer parents while growing up, but ended up eschewing religion in his college years and then for the following decade, too.
In fact, it was only when his first-born son Paul was born with five congenital heart defects that Baier began to rediscover his faith. The star would often ask friends and family for their prayers and as a result, he began praying himself, too: “I got one [message] from a priest at the Vatican, I got one from Jerusalem, from a rabbi, I got them from all over the world. I would read them to my wife as we were sitting next to the bassinet where our son was preparing to go in for open heart surgery. All of that really lifted us up.”
Baier and the rest of his family have continued to rely upon the power of prayer ever since. He added, “I’m not afraid to say that. I think it makes me a better anchor; it definitely makes me a better father and a better husband.” The cigar enthusiast also revealed how saying a prayer at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral every morning helped him to deal with the stress of covering the 2016 presidential election.
Bret Baier is obsessed with golf
Don’t be surprised to see Bret Baier make a move to the Golf Channel when he’s decided to hang up his political boots. As it turns out, the “Special Report” host seems to spend most of his downtime at his local country club practicing his swing. And apparently, he’s pretty handy with a club. In fact, Golf Digest describes him as the best player in television news!
Baier, who has a 2.1 handicap index, has regularly competed in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournament and has even got his sons involved in the sport, too. In fact, golf has been a great source of comfort on the many occasions eldest Paul has had to undergo treatment for his congenital heart defects. In 2020, he told the golfing magazine, “During those times in the hospital during his recovery, each day we were one day closer to getting him out of there and fulfilling the dream of walking down the first fairway with him. That got me through it. We’ve walked a lot of first fairways together.” And Paul looks to have inherited his father’s talents having made the golf team at his middle school.
Baier has also made many friends within the golfing world including 2010 U.S Open winner Graeme McDowell. He added, “We go back and forth with how he’s doing and his family. He wants the lowdown from inside Washington, D.C., and I want to get the lowdown on the PGA Tour.”
Bret Baier is fine with being the middle ground
Bret Baier has often pointed out that just because he shares the same workplace as the likes of Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, that doesn’t mean he shares the same views. “The problem sometimes is that Fox gets painted with a broad brush,” the Rumson native said at a panel presented by Dan Balz, political reporter at The Washington Post, in 2018.
“Sean Hannity’s show is not ‘Special Report,'” Baier explicitly stated. However, he did recognize that the political commentator played an important role within the network: “I think Sean Hannity, for what — his opinion, he does an amazing job with his bringing forward his thoughts on things.”
Baier’s relatively level-headed approach might not create as many headlines, but in 2017 he told The Atlantic that he’s absolutely fine with that: “Listen, our opinion shows are really successful and they make a lot of news. That’s what they do. But just like a newspaper splits the news side and opinion side, my job is the news side. If I can be the place where liberals and Republicans and Independents go and say, ‘Hey, that hour is fair,’ that’s the mandate that I’ve been given.”
Bret Baier can spit some rhymes
You wouldn’t expect the Fox News network’s chief political correspondent to even know who The Sugarhill Gang are, let alone rap along to their signature hit. But Bret Baier surprised everyone at the 2018 “Special Report” Christmas party when he laid down a few bars with the hip-hop pioneers themselves.
Guy “Master Gee” O’Brien and Michael “Wonder Mike” Wright were in attendance to help the Fox News show celebrate both the holiday season and Baier’s 10 years as host at the bash staged at Washington, D.C.’s The Dubliner. And they were eventually joined on stage by the man himself for an impromptu performance of their 1979 anthem, “Rapper’s Delight.”
Baier acquitted himself well when he took the mic for lines such as “And guess what, America, we love you.” And he appeared to enjoy his unexpected rap display, too, posting an Instagram pic with his new musical collaborators captioned, “A great [‘Special Report’] Christmas Party last night with THE Sugarhill Gang and an offbeat guest rapper in a Christmas suit. Merry and Happy!” Incredibly this wasn’t the first or the last time that Baier had performed the track in public. The year previously, he’d treated attendees at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship to his lyrical flow. And in 2019, he was invited to rap again live on stage at a Rascal Flatts concert.
Bret Baier survived a serious car crash
Bret Baier and his family sure had a lucky escape in 2019 when the SUV they were traveling along the Montana Highway in crashed into a pickup truck and rolled over into a nearby ditch. Miraculously, the only injuries inflicted were relatively minor. According to reports, three members of the Baier family were treated for the likes of a sprained ankle and concussion, while the other driver also somehow managed to avoid any serious harm.
Daily Mail reported that Stephen Colbert broke the news while hosting “The Late Show” that Baier had been due to appear on later that same week: “They’re all in the hospital. They’re okay … We just want to say we hope you’re doing better.” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, former Fox colleague Megyn Kelly and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow also wished Baier well on Twitter, with the latter even sending the Highway Patrol who rescued Baier and his family some pizza.
Just a few days after the incident, Baier returned to screens where he informed “Special Report” viewers exactly what had happened: “I hit a big patch of ice and I could not stop our SUV. We slid into the intersection of a busy road and into the path of a big pickup truck, which slammed into our driver’s side door. The airbags deployed, the windows shattered, we careened into a ditch and flipped sideways.” He added, “I had to be here today to show you I’m okay.”
Bret Baier fought with conservatives over getting vaccinated
It seems fair to say that there’s at least one major issue that Bret Baier and Tucker Carlson strongly disagree on. While the latter has gone out of his way to try and discredit the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine, the former has proudly shown off the moment he received it.
“Vaccinated and ready to go,” Baier captioned an Instagram snap in 2021. “Thanks to the great staff in D.C. — it was very smooth. The nurse said they’ll see one thousand D.C. residents today at this one location.” Unfortunately for the “Special Report” host, some of those who believe his colleague’s scaremongering took to the comments section to voice their paranoia, with some claiming he was trying to influence his audience and others arguing that he’d just injected himself with poison.
Baier was in no mood to placate his detractors, though, responding on Twitter, “Where is the coercion? I posted a photo. There’s no force or threat. You can unfollow me if you don’t like to see it, right? It’s all a choice. Was former President Trump using coercion when he encouraged people to get a vaccine on air after he did?” The anchorman also dismissed remarks in a separate Twitter post, writing that his photo was simply a promotional opportunity: “I promise you I had a real shot today. No conspiracy here. Thanks. Have a good weekend.”
Bret Baier's father inspired his work ethic
In 2020, Bret Baier took to Instagram to reveal the sad news that his father Bill had died. A picture of the pair was captioned, “After beating cancer once, my dad sadly lost his long battle yesterday. Fortunately, the family & I got to say goodbye a few days ago. It went very fast which actually was a blessing. #RIP Dad.”
Three years earlier the newsman had spoken to Market Watch about how much his dad had instilled a strong work ethic in him. Indeed, Baier even started his own lawn mowing business in his teenage years that became the talk of the town: “I was booked every weekend. It wasn’t exactly a grass cutting empire — but I was pretty busy and able to buy myself a moped,”
Baier also recalled the wise words that have helped to shape his broadcasting career. “… I remember my dad telling me: ‘Bud, this is part of business. You always have to keep striving for the next rung on the ladder and sometimes that means you need to move.’ I learned from watching him that hard work really did open a lot of doors.”
Bret Baier will be on Fox News until at least 2026
If you’re a Fox News viewer who prefers their news to be relatively fair-minded rather than opinionated, then you’re in luck. Bret Baier will remain on your screens until at least the year 2026!
The DePauw University graduate signed a five-year deal in 2021 that will ensure he remains the network’s main political anchor and host of “Special Report” for the foreseeable future. And Baier, whose weekday early evening show consistently tops its timeslot’s ratings, couldn’t have been more thrilled. In a statement, he said, “It has been my home away from home for almost a quarter century. Suzanne Scott, Jay Wallace, and the Murdochs have been terrific leaders and bosses. I look forward to working closely with my incredibly talented team to cover the important stories of our time in the fair and honest way our viewers expect.”
After that, well, it’s a mystery. When asked how long he plans to stay in the same role by The Atlantic in 2017, Baier admitted, “I don’t know if I’m going to be doing it until I retire.”
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