Shepard Smith of Fox News has been getting slammed by Donald Trump supporting conservatives on Twitter for quite some time. He is even more loathed among the right-wingers than Juan Williams, of whom is openly liberal on the show he co-hosts with four other anchors on The Five. So why do Trump supporters have a bad taste in their mouth for Smith?
The Fox News Channel, or FNC, is a place where Republicans and Trump loyalists feel their needs, as far as the news cycle is concerned, are getting met. This hatred of outlets such as CNN and The Washington Post by the right existed long before Donald Trump started trashing them on a regular basis, just as Fox News has had the reputation of being right-wing friendly for several years now; Trump didn’t make that happen either. This comfort felt by the people who watch FNC regularly is severely threatened when someone like Shepard Smith, who, as far as his audience is concerned, isn’t supposed to be sharing the viewpoint of a Democrat, displays what they perceive to be liberal biases.
Shepard Smith Reporting is the name of Smith’s Fox News show, which is aired Monday through Friday for one hour in the afternoon. A recent instance of Smith’s liberal bias happened last week when he defended CNN’s Jim Acosta after President Trump accused the journalist during a press conference of working for an organization that promotes “very fake news.”
In reaction to this, Shepard lambasted Trump by accusing him of evading answers about Russian involvement of his election win, whilst listing reasons why reporters have the right to bring up Russia. To put it simply, it didn’t come off very Fox News-ish.
It only took a few days for Smith to cause another stir within the Trump-loyal community. On Friday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer would not allow CNN and several other news organizations to be a part of a presser involving himself and the media. To this, Shepard felt the need to define “fake news,” before outright saying that CNN is not fake news and that they respect and uphold the same code of ethics as every other institution.
I guess my response to this would be, how does Shepard Smith know for certain CNN journalists heed the quality standards of journalism? The answer, of course, is that he doesn’t know, or else surely he would have shared such evidence by now considering how out of hand the war between Donald Trump and the media is getting. This was a poor, nonsensical statement by Smith and I can see how it rubbed viewers the wrong way.
In mid-January, Shepard had a discussion on air with fellow Fox News reporter Chris Wallace. At the time, the “golden showers Trump dossier” story, of which the content of no proof exists, had just been published by Buzzfeed and CNN had reported on Buzzfeed’s findings.
Truth Revolt, a right-wing outlet, reported on the story and they didn’t hold back regarding what they think of Shepard Smith, who they blatantly label as liberal while heavily insinuating he’s an “allocator” of fake news.
“Smith continued with his liberal Dangerous Trump line of questioning: ‘I just wonder how dangerous you think it is if the Commander-in-Chief-to-be is making it part of his strategy to delegitimize those who are holding truth to power. It’s one of the cornerstones of our democracy.’”
Reporters like Smith are one of the many reasons I don’t watch national news. Outlets like CNN are one of the many reasons I get my news from alternate sources. Any trust I ever had of the mainstream press has been vanquished by their bias and lies, and there are plenty of people who feel the same way.
That said, I don’t believe in silencing someone just because they bring a different and/or opposing view to the table.
Should Shepard be canned from Fox simply because he doesn’t promote the same viewpoint as the majority of journalists who work there? I don’t think so, because, although I understand that the liberal media attitude toward Trump is so incredibly tiring, if Smith is nixed because he doesn’t offer a specific rhetorical angle, is that not behaving just like those we say we’re against? Either you’re open to different viewpoints or you’re not, and those who aren’t can all be grouped together, regardless of which side of the aisle they reside, as intolerant.
I understand that Smith may be peddling fake news to his viewers, and if that can be proven, action should be taken so that he is held responsible. But providing alternative perspective is not the same as promoting lies.
If Shepard Smith bothers you, don’t watch his show. It’s really as simple as that.
[Featured Image by Richard Drew/AP Images]