Is Fox So Crazy That It's Even Alienating Some Conservatives?
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Smith has made news before with brief outbursts that ran counter to the Fox News orthodoxy. (See here, here, and here.) But last week's eruption seemed to strike a different chord because, indirectly, at least, it pointed a finger of blame at Fox News and the hate rhetoric it's been wallowing in.
Maybe Smith just doesn't like the new Glenn Beck direction that Fox News is taking. The pushback might also be explained by some of the internal politics within the Fox News executive suites. For instance, former editorial czar John Moody was recently moved upstairs. It was Moody who for years issued the daily Fox News marching orders in the form of morning memos that laid out the day's talking points and which stories the network would hit and which ones it would play down.
In Moody's place now, and overseeing editorial, is Jay Wallace, who used to be an executive producer for Smith's show. Perhaps Smith now feels less restricted in terms of network orthodoxy knowing his ally is in charge and that he won't have to answer to a Moody email or phone call regarding messaging. (Wallace is seen as being less rigid in terms of FNC messaging.)
But what is still considered verboten within Rupert Murdoch's world is criticizing other Fox News personalities on the air. And while Smith did not name names last week with his tangent about "crazies" who are still searching for Obama's birth certificate, it's quite obvious that Fox News itself is guilty of pushing the "birther" conspiracy theory. (And so is Limbaugh, which made his indirect attack on Smith last week all the more telling.)
In truth, the Fox News big tent that Smith used to work for has collapsed. And today, Beck is holding up the last remaining pole.
Where does Smith fit in?