Shepard Smith: America Doesn’t Torture
I’m amused by Nico Pitney’s headline, “Shepard Smith Uncensored: “We Are America, We Do Not F**king Torture!” (VIDEO).” Mostly because it censors Shepard Smith.
But the Left’s sudden embrace of Smith is interesting, too. It may have begun with this recent Esquire profile.
He has always managed to be a part of Fox and apart from it at the same time, and in 2008 he distinguished himself by treating Republicans as aggressively as Fox News normally treats Democrats — by seeming fed up with Republicans, and maybe with the strictures of Fox News itself. Now, in 2009, people are asking what’s up with Shep Smith as a way of asking what’s up with Fox — as way of asking how Fox is going to cover the news as it goes back to its oppositional role in the age of Obama.
“There has to be news at a place called Fox News,” he says, and he’s not the only one. It’s the mantra of the network, the fallback equation that — until the recent entrance of Glenn Beck, anyway — has enabled its employees to distinguish between the programming that takes place between nine in the morning and eight at night, which is called News, and the programming that takes over thereafter, which is called Opinion. “I think we do a pretty good job of labeling it for the viewer,” Shep says. “But we are under intense scrutiny because of our opinion shows. Are there people who want the news done a certain way? You bet there are, and some are in this building. But they don’t affect what I do. The inner pressure and outer pressure that everyone thinks exists doesn’t. When I hear people say that Fox News is right wing, I know that’s not true, because I’m the one doing the news. It’s my show, and there’s no place for opinion on my show. It’s uninteresting to me. I don’t care what Sean Hannity thinks and I don’t care what Alan Colmes thinks and I guarantee they don’t care what I think and they don’t know, either. You know what’s interesting to me? What’s interesting to me is that the thing people want to know about is the part on which I spend absolutely no time.”
My exposure to Smith was in the promos that came on during Brit Hume’s “Special Report,” which aired immediately prior to his show. His bombastic style always struck me as clownish and I could therefore never take him seriously as a newsman. Further, he came across as a huckster, so I always presumed that he’d deliver a Drudge-esque slant on the news.