Topic: Media Research Center
Fox News normally gets a pass from the bias-hunters at the Media Research Center because Fox's bias -- right-wing -- is something the MRC can get behind. (Also, it doesn't want to jeopardize Brent Bozell's appearance schedule on Fox News and Fox Business.) But there's one Fox host the MRC keeps an eye on for committing the offense of being the only one at the channel who won't play the right-wing-bias game and, thus, is considered a "liberal": Shepard Smith. To the MRC, it's the Stephen Colbert principle: Smith's truth-telling has a well-known liberal bias.
In an Aug. 25 post, P.J. Gladnick ranted:
Fox News' Shepard Smith strayed from the Fox News script today while interviewing Wall Street Journal reporter James Grimaldi following Hillary Clinton's Reno, Nevada speech. Actually that's putting it mildly. Smith crashed through the barrier of at least putting up the appearance of neutrality and broke into the realm of flat out bias of the worst sort by charging Donald Trump with racism. If you think I am exaggerating, watch the following video of the exchange for yourself and you be the judge.
Actually, Smith asked a guest if Trump "trades in racism" -- which he indisputably does. Gladnick will never admit it, of course, so he concludes by ranting, "And there you have it. A television news anchor flat out accusing Trump of racism. Sorry, Shep, but you owe a huge apology to your audience for your extreme unprofessionalism. Why? Because you trade in bias."
Curtis Houck followed in an Aug. 31 post complaining that Smith, in reporting that North Carolina's voter ID law was overturned, "showed his disdain for a simple means to preserve the electoral process that’s already under attack from hackers."
What did Smith say? "North Carolina put in one of those you-have-to-show-an-ID rules which, so often in Republican states, are designed to keep some minorities from coming out and being able to vote and they’ve tried to reach the number of voting days. The U.S. Court says that will not happen. Those rules will not go into effect in North Carolina this cycle."
Longtime NewsBusters readers would recall how such asinine assertions about voter I.D. laws drove former managing editor and current Washington Times writer Ken Shepherd up a wall (see here, here, and here) as MSNBC pundits and writers bloviated about it being a coordinated “voter suppression” campaign against particularly African-Americans despite the lengths some states would go for forms of acceptable identification and allowing provisional balloting in the interim.
In fact, what happened in North Carolina is exactly what Smith reported -- North Carolina's voter ID law was found by a federal court to discourage minorities from voting.
The Washington Post reported that the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that North Carolina lawmakers requested data on racial differences in voting behaviors in the state and then used that data to enact laws specifically designed to discourage minority voting. It prohibited the types of photo IDs African-Americans commonly use from being a valid voter ID, it reduced the number of early-voting days typically used by African-Americans and, in what judges called a "smoking gun," did away with Sunday voting after arguing in court that "counties with Sunday voting in 2014 were disproportionately black" and "disproportionately Democratic."
Smith reported facts that the MRC didn't like, so he gets the "liberal bias" tag. That's going to become a meaningless attack if the MRC keeps abusing it like this.