There has been one voice on Fox News who has dared to challenge the doctrinal mission of America’s most nauseatingly right-wing network. Shepard Smith is an anomaly whose continued presence is something of a mystery. As part of the so-called “news” side of Fox News (which doesn’t really exist), Smith has repeatedly exposed the lies that his own colleagues disseminate on a daily basis.
Smith has done segments where he slammed the network’s narrative on former Donald Trump advisor Michael Flynn. He ridiculed the administration’s immigration hysteria. He spelled out precisely why the Mueller investigation is legitimate and warranted. He even got into a war of words with Sean Hannity and the other “opinion” meisters on Fox, separating himself from whatever it is that they do:
“We serve different masters. We work for different reporting chains, we have different rules. They don’t really have rules on the opinion side. They can say whatever they want. If it’s their opinion. I don’t really watch a lot of opinion programming. I’m busy.”
Smith must have some pretty embarrassing photos of Rupert Murdoch locked away somewhere. His departure from the approved political Foxisms frequently contradicts the commentaries by other hosts and contributors. By provided detailed and factual reports on issues that Fox regulars routinely lie about, he’s exposing them as purposefully dishonest. But he’s getting away with it, so far.
The most recent swipe at his network pals came while Smith was receiving a First Amendment award from the Radio Television Digital News Association (video below). His remarks did not explicitly identify any individual or program, but the tone was unmistakably critical of the flagrantly biased Trump sycophants who litter most of the Fox News schedule. Smith said that:
“Being accurate and honest and thorough and fair is our primary mission. It’s our professional calling. And everyone on my team takes it extremely seriously. […] We must never manipulate or invent. We must never knowingly deceive. Because to do so is a disservice to our audience and potentially injurious to our society. I am convinced that upon those who intentionally misinform, history will poorly reflect. The times ahead will test all of us as finders and disseminators of accurate information.”
Those words must sting Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, like holy water stings the devil. Their whole reason for being is to manipulate, invent, and deceive. They are Trump’s first line of defense, as well as the hostile flank assembled to malign Democrats and other Trump critics.
Fortunately, the glow of Fox News is weakening as both their audience and their advertisers are fleeing the network. They are rapidly tiring of the relentless negativity and lies. And Fox isn’t helping themselves by allowing blatant hate speech to be broadcast without any repercussions. The result is that MSNBC has been beating Fox on a regular basis for the past four months, with Rachel Maddow leading the way as the most watched program on cable news.
You have to wonder how much longer Shepard Smith will be able to make fools of his Fox associates and keep his daily program. The cult of Fox News (aka the cult of Trump) is not exactly comfortable with Smith, who they demand be fired at once. Their hostile and profane attacks are proof that the network is aimed at a hive-mind audience of blind followers who can’t tolerate any exposure to facts, or diversity of opinion. Consequently, Smith is trying their patience by providing some occasional truths and having the audacity to win awards that honor the First Amendment – something that Fox News and Trump bitterly oppose.