Shep Smith Hints at Discord Behind the Scenes at Fox News
When it comes to Fox News, Shep Smith is kind of an outlier on the network. He's debunked conspiracy theories like Uranium One (peddled by colleagues like Sean Hannity) and read out the names of all 25 schools to have experienced shootings since Columbine in 1999, much to the chagrin of his pro-NRA viewers. In February, Smith slammed Donald Trump for doubting the validity of the federal investigation into possible collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.
Now, Smith’s differences with the Fox network have become even clearer after a Time interview published Thursday.
The Fox News anchor diverged from his coworkers by saying they play by a different set of rules for different masters. Smith, who just got a multiyear contract with Fox News on Thursday, told Time he wasn't interested in producing the kind of “horrible” opinion television programming like that on Hannity’s show. "I get it that some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining. I get that. I don’t work there. I wouldn’t work there. I don’t want to sit around and yell at each other and talk about your philosophy and my philosophy,” he said.
Smith also said he wasn't keen on obsessing over segments that bring in the bucks, like opinion programming on money and sex. "Right now, everyone wants to talk about those things, and I'm not one of them. Not going to do it," Smith said.
Perhaps the most revealing part of his interview with Time came when Smith said that he worked in a separate and different world than that occupied by most of Fox News' opinion commentators.
"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," he told Time.
Smith’s uncompromising interview may be yet another thorn in Fox News’ side. The conservative news network is currently being sued by the parents of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, who say the network “aided and abetted the intentional infliction of emotional distress” by promoting a debunked conspiracy theory that Rich was murdered by the DNC.