Over the past two years, Fox News has appeared to have changed politically. For regular viewers, this is a commonplace, but in terms of causation, it bears some scrutiny.
In truth, it was a house divided after the fall of two pillars, Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly. Now the decision has been made to get back to basics. No more CNN-Lite at 3 pm. Shep is out after 23 years.
Anchor Shepard Smith was the face of Fox's progressive wing. With the news division since its 1996 inception, he has slowly become a conservative punching bag. His now-former program, Shepard Smith Reporting in the 3 pm slot, ranked 24th among all news programs, and 14th of 18 Fox News programs.
In content and tone, Smith changed tremendously since the early aughts. In his heyday, he was widely praised for his 2000 presidential election coverage and Hurricane Katrina reporting, and in ratings, reputation, and pay, he rivaled contemporaries Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, and Dan Rather. Since then, Smith slowly drifted to the center, and more recently, to left-center in matters of content (not only stories he highlights, but those he ignores), and in tone.
A three-year series of events intensified Smith's transformation. Fox News chief Roger Ailes was "like a father" to Smith, but their relationship was fraught. According to a 2014 Gawker article, Smith wanted to come out as gay, but Ailes advised against it (Smith denies this, but it appears he was protecting the network). Two years later, Ailes was ousted over accusations of sexual harassment in April of 2016. Smith then came out as gay six months later. Fox mainstay Bill O'Reilly was forced out for sexual harassment as well, and a month later, less than a year after his ouster, Ailes died in May of 2017.
For Smith to be told by his father figure to conceal his sexuality, watch as Ailes was forced out due to his own sexual misdeeds, come out as gay, then have Ailes die in short order must have been an emotional period for Smith. Steadily declining ratings didn't help. And then Donald Trump was elected president. This timeline marks Smith's hard tack to the left.
Despite his longtime tenure with Fox, Smith, in the autumn of his career, was not untouchable. A spat two weeks ago with colleague Tucker Carlson underscored his vulnerability, and was likely the final straw for Rupert Murdoch. The subject was the legality of President Trump asking Ukraine President Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden's business dealings in the Ukraine (emphasis added):
Fox News host Tucker Carlson called out opinion host Shepard Smith for being a left-wing political activist masquerading as an objective journalist.--BPR Business and Politics
Carlson was reacting after Smith slammed former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova as “repugnant” because diGenova pointed out that President Donald Trump did nothing wrong during his July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president.
In so doing, diGenova contradicted Smith and his guest, Judge Andrew Napolitano...
...Carlson recounted: “Yesterday, Judge Andrew Napolitano — a legal analyst at Fox and a very nice guy — went on one of our daytime shows and declared that the President’s phone call with the head of Ukraine was a crime.”
Tucker told diGenova: “Apparently [Shepard Smith], who hosted Judge Napolitano, was watching last night and was outraged by what you said and quite ironically, called you ‘partisan.'”
Carlson added: “It makes people cynical when you dress up news coverage — when you dress up partisanship as ‘news coverage’ — and pretend that your angry political opinions are ‘news.’ People tune out. They know dishonesty when they see it.”
In short, since the ouster of Bill O'Reilly and the death of Roger Ailes, the news desk was less uniform in its messaging. While top dog Sean Hannity--who also feuded with Shepard last year--and his heir apparent Carlson continue to set the tone, Shepard and his supporters at Fox appear to have taken a deep state approach. Don't be surprised if it comes out that Smith had something to do with the ridiculous polls from Fox yesterday.
Trump was referring to yesterday's Fox News poll that showed 51% approval for impeachment and removal of President Trump. Now: tack onto that unlikely result yesterday's other topic in the same poll of democratic candidates that has Joe Biden up by 10 points over Warren. How convenient for the establishment!
Something stank at Fox News, and they appear to have removed it. They were losing credibility due to a bitter old anchor and highly suspicious pollsters, now it's time to move on.
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i'm glad the hillary lover and Trump hater is gone.
Great news. Can't stand the little dried up weenie liberal Shep Smith. When he comes on I either change channels or turn the TV off.
Good riddance. The next to go should be the awful Juan Williams, simply a Democrat talking-points spouter.
FOX might be trying to move on, but we've moved on probably back in the run-up to the last Presidential election.
A whole lotta wrong comes out of p1ss ant NYC, and it's not well received in the rest of America (you know, the 'big' part). So he likely won't be missed, especially since there's too many libs and POS (D) in the media right now.
When is Juan Williams and Donna Brazil leaving???????
That FOX news poll over-sampled Democrats by 14 points AND it didn't poll FOX news viewers.....
As a viewer of the diGenova segment when it aired, this article leaves out that diGenova said on the air that Napolitano was "a fool". While I might agree with that assessment, the tone of Smith's criticism was set by that comment and not, in my opinion, by the content of what diGenova had to say.
Disagree. Napolitano HAS been acting the fool ever since he learned that President Trump wasn't going to put him on any list of Supreme Court Justice candidates. His actions ever since then have just confirmed that the President's assessment of Nappy's character was spot on.
Still losing credibility. I don't trust the half of them left and rarely watch them. OAN is the best news source out there, period.
And now you have CD Media! 😉
I am pleased that "Tinkerbell Shep IS gone, as he was 'so biased Against Potus Trump and I T SHOWED." The Other Liberals, like Cavuto(I wrote him two emails last week) about HIS miserable look on his face when he had Republican guests from the Congress on...He kept talking OVER them, to a point of putting up his hand to SILENCE them...WHY even have them on, if you ARE NOT GOING TO ALLOW THEM TO SPEAK. of course, that's the Liberal Way-SILENCE any and all opposition. Wallace is showing that SAME agitation with Non Liberals, as he gets that smirk on his face, as he tries to show how cagy he can be......LOL! The other 'liberal talking heads, are Leland Vittert, Donna Brazile and Certainly Juan Williams, who KEEPS making excuses for the Attacking Left of Anyone who is NOT like them. Juan goes into his "Buckwheat" role, with tilting his head, frowning at fellow panelists, and shaking his head in disagreeing manor, along with doing the bulging eye routine. It is ALL TIRESOME and we are tuning OUT Fox, NOT tuning in. This has all come about since Rupert turned Fox over to the two Liberal sons/and their wives, who seem MORE in tune with their Leader....George Soros, who runs the other media outlets and apparently is OUT TO TURN FOX INTO ANOTHER LIBERAL/LEFTIST "ARM OF THE CORRUPT DEMOCRAT PARTY!"
"Don’t be surprised if it comes out that Smith had something to do with the ridiculous polls from Fox yesterday."
My money is on Paul Ryan, who Fox has hired, was behind the polling
This is the best commentary I have seen so far on this. There are so many "pulling factors" with the Murdoch sons, RINO Paul Ryan coming onto the Board, most loyal viewers were dismayed. Maybe, just maybe we are seeing some sense come back. I think Rupert is not completely hands off.
Fox could improve ratings for the 3pm slot by just broadcasting a blank screen. But it will take a while to undo the nationwide muscle memory of switching to OANN after Dana Perino.
Very glad the Jerk is gone could not stand to even look at him what a jerk and fox used to brag about how fair and unbiased their news was ha what a bunch of bull that was.I quit watching fox when the blond bimbo and that other jerk tried to take Trump out on the air that really pissed me off I quit watching fox over that one. Newsmax for me and I don't watch much of that.Get my news from RUSH never miss him.
I watch Fox Business after the Fox First in the morning....Varney and Ashley, then Lizzie, Charles Payne and of course, Lou Dobbs. I switch back only to watch Tucker, Hannity and Ingraham. I do like Trish Regan but she competes with Tucker, maybe they will move her back to that slot.
Why would Fox hire Donna Brazile in the first place. Do they not remember the 2016 Democratic debates and the feeding of the debate question to Hillary ahead of time basically "sinking Bernie's ship"? But I disagree about Juan Williams. He is a staple of "The Five" and should stay (if he wants to). I did not watch Shep either because he needs to be on CNN not Fox. He would be a perfect fir for the CNN Fake News. Maybe now he will write a book and become the patron saint of the progressives? Juan Williams deserves a medal for bravery for being on "The Five" even though I disagree with almost everything he says........especially when it comes to our president.