On Friday, long-time Fox News host Shephard Smith resigned from the network after 23 years. Smith stood out as one of the few critical voices of Trump on Fox and for his fact- checking of claims by Trump and his supporters.
There has been much speculation since his exit about what actually led to his departure. Not even two days before Smith’s resignation, it was reported that Mr. Trump was so angry that he contacted Chief Executive Suzanne Scott, and Attorney General Bill Bar had a meeting with CEO Rupert Murdoch.
Shephard Smith’s 3:00 news hour has now become “Fox News Reporting with Jon Scott and Trace Gallagher.” On Monday, Gallagher seemed to start right in where Smith left off, and not much change was apparent in relation to his reporting style. In fact, as Gallagher spoke, his words were critical of Trump’s recent decision to pull troops from Syria making the Kurds vulnerable to Turkey’s attack.
‘Trump says we are not abandoning the Kurds, but last week he announced U.S. troops were pulling back from northeastern Syria, leaving the American-allied Kurds vulnerable to Turkey’s attack – and the Turkish military attacked several days later.’
— Darth Shwa (@Blaiserboy) October 14, 2019
According to Newsweek:
‘Smith announced his departure from President Donald Trump’s favorite network a day after Trump mentioned Smith in a tweet blasting Fox News for releasing a poll showing record support for his impeachment, as well as its personalities who have been critical of him.’
With Smith out at Fox, many fear that news reporting will be overtaken by opinion shows at a time when factual reporting is most needed in this country. According to MSN News:
‘Smith anchored one of the few newscasts on Fox that provided a no-nonsense reality check about the Trump administration and other big news stories. Smith felt that he had to counteract misleading information that was flowing out of Fox’s pro-Trump talk shows.’
One Fox staffer said:
‘His departure comes at a touch time for this country. We’re going into an election that promises to be the most chaotic one we’ve ever seen. The President himself is on the verge of being impeached. We’re heading into some uncharted territory here and without Shep to help reign in the chaos, I fear things are going to get much, much worse.’
The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple wrote:
‘There’ll be no replicating what Smith accomplished, and there’ll be no mistaking the implications. Facts are losing their tenuous foothold at Fox News.’
Fox’s reporting ranks have decreased in recent years and the network has decreased its number of bureaus outside of the United States exchanging reporting for an emphasis on right-wing talk shows.
‘Trump’s criticism of anchors like Smith hasn’t helped either. He promotes his on-air allies like Jeanine Pirro and Sean Hannity and blasts the news operation. Earlier this week, for example, he complained about the network’s well-respected polling unit, right after Fox released a poll showing a majority of Americans support impeachment.’
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube