For some time, Shepard Smith has been a rare voice of actual journalistic integrity on Fox News Channel. It hasn’t won him many fans. You may recall that last week, Smith called out Donald Trump’s press conference for the massive train wreck that it was. Oh, how the wingnuts howled. Well, Smith served notice on Friday that he isn’t letting up. He tore into the White House for freezing out a number of media outlets from Friday’s press gaggle.
Smith went to air just as the news broke that the likes of The New York Times, CNN, and Politico had been turned away. Watch here.
Smith noted that this came on the heels of CNN calling out the White House’s attempt to knock down reports that Trump campaign aides spent a lot of time chatting with the Kremlin during election season. We already know that the White House tried–and failed–to get the FBI to pop this balloon. But it also turns out that the White House tried to get reporters to refute these claims as well. Nobody bit.
In case anyone missed it, Smith played a clip of Trump denouncing the media as “the enemy of the people” at CPAC. Knowing that a good number of his viewers buy into this line, Smith proceeded to give Fox Nation a quick primer in what fake news is–and isn’t.
“For the record, fake news refers to stories that are created, often by entities pretending to be news organizations, solely to draw clicks and views, and are based on nothing of substance. In short, fake news is made-up nonsense delivered for financial gain. CNN’s reporting was not fake news. Its journalists follow the same standards to which other news organizations, including Fox News, adhere.”
In a direct jab at Trump railing about how outlets write critical stories about him without any sources, Smith pointed out that a number of federal officials frequently talk to his Fox News colleagues off the record “so the public can be informed of what our government is doing.” The White House attempt to enlist the press in its effort to debunk the connections between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin was one example of such off-the-record contact.
Smith then talked to Fox News reporter John Roberts about the freeze-out. When Smith asked Roberts why he thought the White House went that route, Roberts replied that was for Trump and press secretary Sean Spicer to answer. Roberts explained that the event was originally supposed to be a “pool event” in which coverage was supposed to be fed to news outlets around the country.
However, Spicer claimed that due to space limitations, not everyone could be accommodated. So there was room for the likes of such right-wing agitprop machines as Breitbart, the Washington Times, and One America News, but not for The Times and CNN? If you seriously believe that’s a coincidence, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.
Judging by the reaction on Twitter, Fox Nation is not pleased at this outbreak of journalism.
Shepard Smith is off the air I'll turned back to Fox News now they needs to get rid of this guy he is so far left I think he sleeps in Japan
— Quicks ❌??⚓️? (@quickslanding) February 24, 2017
— Joe King (@JoeKingNow) February 24, 2017
Shepard smith needs to follow Megan Kelly to a liberal, anti Trump network. Bringing Fox down just as she did.
— Bill J L (@LapuzzaBill) February 24, 2017
— ❌The Gipper ReBoot??❌ (@WilliamGSmith72) February 24, 2017
— Col. Rev. Dyess (@ColRevDyess) February 24, 2017
Turned on FoxNews Shepard Smith whining as usual wah wah wah. Turned it right OFF. Get that guy off the air. He is even worse than CNN.
— PGDaddy (@talbo4273) February 24, 2017
I think it is time for Shepard Smith to move on with Megyn Kelly. I choose to watch Fox News for respectful and fair treatment of President
— Anna L Hansen (@AnnaLHansen4) February 24, 2017
I'm about to give up TV all together I gave up MSM & now because of Shep Smith & Bob Beckel I feel as though I'm watching CNN. It sickens me
— Baba I AM✳️ (@ChatwitChuck) February 24, 2017
They’d probably be even less pleased if they knew that Fox News is joining in a formal complaint about this borderline fascist move. After all, to most viewers of the fair and balanced network, “respectful and fair treatment of the President” means simply repeating Trump’s lies–er, alternative facts–without comment.
To say the least, it’s refreshing that at least one Fox News personality isn’t willing to let his bosses’ hard-right slant keep him from actually practicing journalism. Sadly, in the eyes of hard-core Trumpistas, that makes him not only a librul, but an enemy of the people.
(featured image courtesy Smith’s Facebook)