Topic: Media Research Center
Shepard Smith left Fox News a while ago, but the Media Research Center still can't stop ranting about him ruining the right-wing Fox News experience for them. Shep-hater extraordinaire Tim Graham huffed in a Nov. 22 post:
Liberal media outlets were thrilled at Shepard Smith's first public remarks since abruptly leaving Fox News last month. Smith hosted a dinner of the Committee to Protect Journalists, and proclaimed he was donating a half million dollars to the group. Michael Grynbaum at The New York Times reported he called "for a steadfast defense of independent journalism, while offering a few subtle barbs at President Trump’s treatment of the press."
Subtle? “Intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomenon. We don’t have to look far for evidence of that,” Smith said. “Our belief a decade ago that the online revolution would liberate us now seems a bit premature, doesn’t it? Autocrats have learned how to use those same online tools to shore up their power. They flood the world of information with garbage and lies, masquerading as news. There’s a phrase for that.”
Smith did not mention Fox News in his remarks, and Fox News reporters were present (Fox helps fund the group). It's odd anyone would think it's odd to perceive journalists as "activists for some cause." CPJ surely despises Trump. We noted last year that CPJ slashed Trump in a blog post headlined "In response to Trump's fake news awards, CPJ announces Press Oppressors awards."
They wrote: “Amid the public discourse of fake news and President Trump's announcement via Twitter about his planned ‘fake news’ awards ceremony, CPJ is recognizing world leaders who have gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media. From an unparalleled fear of their critics and the truth, to a relentless commitment to censorship, these five leaders and the runner-ups in their categories have gone above and beyond to silence critical voices and weaken democracy.”
This underlines why Smith would be so warmly honored, and donate some major cash.
Needless to say, Graham offers nothing but guilt by association to back up his claim of a link between the CPJ's earlier remarks and Smith's donation. He also makes no effort to rebut Smith's fairly standard defense of journalism -- perhaps because he's such a rabid right-wing partisan that he wouldn't know a genuine journalist if one shook his hand.
The next day, Jeffrey Lord -- another right-wing partisan unfamiliar with objective journalism -- whined further about Smith's speech:
Hmmm. What was missing at the CPJ dinner? And for that matter, what is missing on the CPJ web site? And what did Shepherd Smith not say?
What was missing is any sense of irony that all this business about protecting journalists never once mentions the attacks by left-wing groups that are designed to intimidate and silence conservative media. To remove them from the air.
In fact, take a look at that Times story again and this particular quote about Shep Smith: “But he became increasingly disillusioned in recent months about the gap between the network’s prime-time commentary and the reporting produced by its newsroom.”
Say what? Effectively — without a hint of irony — the story says that Shep Smith was so put off by the opinion journalists of Fox’s prime time schedule that he quit rather than share the same network with Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.
So much for supporting a free press.
Lord, meanwhile, would shut down any and every media outlet who is insufficiently laudatory of President Trump and the conservative agenda, if he had his way.
Lord concluded by huffing: "What we have is yet another gathering of journalists, this time led by Shep Smith, selectively - very selectively - supporting a free press. In Shep’s case, he apparently couldn’t abide the thought of Tucker Carlson’s free press rights and so, according to the Times, he left. Shocking? Not." Nor is it shocking that Lord and Graham are bashing Smith for failing to be a right-winger like them.