Updated below page break | Shepard Smith is losing his 7 p.m. Eastern Fox Report slot, but will gain the post of managing editor of the network's breaking news division, Mediaite is reporting. Presumably this opens that time slot for Sean Hannity, who is losing his 9 p.m. slot to Megyn Kelly.
On Wednesday’s edition of Studio B w/ Shepard Smith, anchor Smith let slip his personal political views on same-sex marriage with some condescending remarks about how being pro-traditional marriage is an outdated notion. Following the "official" announcement that Barack Obama now supports same-sex marriage, Smith opined that the President of the United States is "now in the 21st century," suggesting of course that the near half of Americans who support traditional marriage are somehow retrograde.
Smith’s true colors became more apparent in the hour during the first of two interviews he conducted with the host of Special Report, Bret Baier: [Video follows page break. MP3 audio here.]
A visibly annoyed Shepard Smith on Monday decried the "sour grapes" and "slimy motives" of a group of defeated House Democrats who are circulating a letter in opposition of Nancy Pelosi staying on as a leader of the new Democratic minority. The host even appeared to depart from his teleprompter to defend Pelosi.
Introducing reporter James Rosen, the Fox News host complained, "Could it be anything more than sour grapes, really, here?" Smith questioned the journalist about the origins of the letter. After being told that Rosen couldn't identify those involved, the Studio B anchor ranted, "To circulate that thing out there without even putting a name on it. Kind of slimy, it seems to me. I guess that's how politics works though. Sometimes it's a slimy business."
Rosen can be seen visibly baffled by Smith's outburst. Perhaps thinking he was off camera, the reporter frowned and sighed deeply. In another instance during the same segment, Smith seemed to find his own prompter too right-wing and inserted some liberal commentary.
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour claims that the media's coverage of the Gulf oil spill is doing far more damage to his state's economy than the spill itself.
"The coast is clear," Barbour quipped on Fox News Sunday. "The truth is we've had virtually no oil." Barbour criticized media coverage generally, and Fox in particular. Shep Smith, whose show airs at 4pm and 7pm on weekdays, has been one of the loudest voices reporting on the spill.
Barbour claimed the media are responsible for "the biggest negative impact" on Mississippi. "The average viewer on this show thinks that the whole coast from Florida to Texas is ankle deep in oil," he added, and "of course it's very, very bad for our tourist season."
Taking a break from ongoing coverage of today's Blair House health care summit around 3:15 p.m. EST today, Fox News Channel's Shep Smith scolded Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and congressional Republicans for impeding passage of the Democratic health care agenda (video embedded at right; audio available here):
Why do Republicans want to throw this thing out and start over, senator? Why do they want to do that? Nobody buys that!
Can't we just say, "Look, we [sic] got to do something in this country. This is going to bankrupt us!" And you people up there who are supposed to be representing us are making it perfectly clear, you are going to sit in your corners with your own talking points and we're going to lose! We're going to get nothing. And it's clear we're not.
So when this is over, the president will be able to say, "I tried, we couldn't get anything done, here comes reconciliation." Fifty-one votes, and away we go. Then we got a real mess on our hands, and everybody is just mad at everybody else as the country falls apart. It just doesn't seem fair!
In an interview on Fox News Channel’s Studio B on Wednesday, New York Congressman Peter King criticized President Obama for his “race to close Guantanamo,” prompting host Shepard Smith to parrot left-wing talking points on the subject: “[Obama] said that gave us a black eye around the world and studies seem to suggest that’s exactly what it did.”
King went on to staunchly defend the military prison: “I think we should not be giving in just because the terrorists say that Gitmo is a recruiting agent. So is our support of Israel. Does that mean we shouldn’t support Israel?” Smith skeptically replied: “You’re not equating the two, are you Congressman?” He then wondered: “Why is this political football being thrown around so much in the middle of all this?”
Smith later ranted: “Of all the important things to talk this just where we keep these people who want us dead, why do we spend time even talking about it? Why do people care?... In Cuba, we shoved them off to another country and stuck them on the end of an island and given the nation a black eye, if you believe – if you believe President Obama.” King pointed out Smith’s bias: “I think only a person that’s incredibly naive would say that we got – that we deserve that black eye. We got it because elements in the media and elements in the Democratic Party kept parroting that line.” In reply, Smith could be heard off camera sighing in disgust: “Ugh.”
Too often "objectivity in journalism" is code for agreeing with the left. The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz demonstrated this sentiment in his profile of Fox News Channel's Shep Smith.
Kurtz lauded Smith as an "outspoken newsman at the network defined by high-decibel conservatives, a stance that has earned him respect even from some Fox-hating liberals."
But was it really his "newsman" status that has earned him this respect, or is it the numerous instances in which Smith has agreed with the left? Kurtz documents a number of such instances, intended to demonstrate Smith's purported objectivity.
Is Fox News Channel president Roger Ailes about to score another big name personality for his fledgling off-spin business channel? According to The New York Times television and digital media reporter Brian Stelter, News Corp's (NASDAQ:NWS) Fox Business Network is considering adding CNN "Lou Dobbs Tonight" host Lou Dobbs to its lineup.
"The business channel is also keen on another administration critic, Lou Dobbs, who met for dinner with Mr. Ailes last month, according to two people with direct knowledge of the meeting," Stelter wrote in a piece for the Oct. 12 Times about the growing divide between Fox News and the Obama administration. "The shift for Fox News - the favorite network of the Bush administration, now the least favored one of the Obama administration - has financial implications for the News Corporation, especially given the network's status as a growth engine in a perilous time for media companies."
It's no secret the Bush administration used fear tactics to push the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) through Congress last fall. Both members of the House and the Senate have come out after the fact and disclosed the details.
However, the method the Treasury Department employed to get banks to go along with the TARP bailout breached legal boundaries to the point of "extortion," according to Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano, a former Superior Court Judge for the state of New Jersey.
Napolitano told viewers on FNC's April 1 "Studio B" that he had a conversation with a head of $250-billion bank that explained the federal government, under the threat of an audit, forced him to accept TARP funds.
On the December 18 "Studio B," Fox News Channel's Shepard Smith blasted an idea being floated by liberal San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) to slap a new tax on stores that sell soda. It makes for great video, especially given Shep's penchant for leaning left on global warming.
Of course, Shep did also hint that he thinks it would be better to outlaw tobacco rather than add so-called sin taxes on it. All the same, it makes for fun video as Shep wonders if sugary gum or comfortable mattresses will be taxed next for their alleged contributions to the "obesity epidemic."
Sounding more like ABC's Sam Champion or Al Gore than a "fair and balanced" news anchor, Fox's Shepard Smith slammed Americans in general and his studio audience in particular in a recent "Studio B" interview with a British man who swam at the North Pole as a global warming-related publicity stunt.
See the YouTube video below the fold. Here's an excerpt of the exchange:
Nothing biased here, just an amusing video to kick off your weekend. Yesterday shortly after 3:30 p.m. Eastern on "Studio B," Fox News anchor Shep Smith cracked up his guests and crew by joking about the all-too-frequent incidence of false fire alarms at Fox News Headquarters in New York.
Well sports fans, technically this fight took place in the afternoon. But, regardless of the hour, a real barnburner took place on Fox News’ “Studio B” Friday between anchor Shepard Smith and contributor William Kristol (video link to follow).
This melee perfectly demonstrated just how wrong folks like Paul Begala and James Carville are when they suggest that Fox News is just a propaganda arm of the Republican Party. After all, if such was the case, would a high-profile anchor be asking the following questions of a high-profile conservative, while at the same time taking an anti-Administration position towards the Iraq war:
Smith: Can’t you say beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt that what’s happening in Iraq is not working as we had hoped it would happen? That the terrorism is getting worse? That they are feeding off it?
Sound like a conservative, or someone that easily could be working for CNN or MSNBC? In fact, the following could have been uttered by Keith Olbermann:
Quick! Someone buy the man a Valium. Make it a double.
I'm sure most here remember the histrionics in which Shep Smith engaged while reporting from New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina.
Smith was back in high emotional pitch today, shouting, screaming and accusing the government for its shortcomings as detailed in the just-released 9/11 Commission 'report card' on implementation of its national security recommendations.
Thankfully, Shep had James Carafano, across the video lines, to hold his hand and soothingly assure him that the sky wasn't falling.
Carafano, a cool customer, is a top scholar on security issues at the Heritage Foundation. A West Point grad and retired Army colonel, he also has a doctorate from Georgetown University and a master's degree in strategy from the U.S. Army War College.