Shepard Smith leaves Fox News

Sep 24, 2008
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The News of Shepard Smith leaving Fox News came to a shock to almost everyone. And to the Dismay of Many [https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/12/media/fox-news-shepard-smith-facts-news/index.html]

As soon as Shep Smith signed off Fox News on Friday, he rode down a freight elevator to the underground garage where a car and driver were waiting. His departure was emotional enough as is -- he didn't want a tearful goodbye in his studio or the newsroom.

He knew his colleagues would have questions and concerns. The big question: What will Fox's news operation look like without him?

Among rank and file staffers and even some of the network's anchors, there is deep concern that the news side of Fox will be further squeezed by the opinion shows that President Trump and his supporters prefer.

Smith anchored one of the few newscasts on Fox that provided a no-nonsense reality check about the Trump administration and other big news stories. Smith felt that he had to counteract misleading information that was flowing out of Fox's pro-Trump talk shows.

For that reason, and many others, he was a role model for journalists at the network, and that's why the loss is "heartbreaking," in the words of one of a dozen sources who spoke for this story on condition of anonymity.

"His departure comes at a tough time for this country," one of the staffers said. "We're going into an election that promises to be the most chaotic one we've ever seen. The President himself is on the verge of being impeached. We're heading into some uncharted territory here and without Shep to help reign in the chaos, I fear things are going to get much, much worse."

Not everyone at Fox feels that way, though -- far from it. Smith has his detractors inside the building, mostly on the opinion side, and tensions reached a breaking point last month.

Smith went to Fox News management and asked to be let out of his $15 million per year contract. He said the executives tried to convince him to stay, but eventually let him leave.

The past few years at Fox -- with the departures of Bill O'Reilly, Megyn Kelly, and other major stars -- have shown that the network chugs along no matter who is in the hosts' chair. Fox has a tremendously loyal audience. So from that perspective, everyone is replaceable, including Smith.
But his exit is a definite blow to morale for the network's journalists, according to the sources interviewed for this story.

And it highlights the turmoil between Fox's newscasts and its higher-rated talk shows that actively undermine those newscasts while defending Trump at all costs.
I did say to the dismay of many. Not all, of course.

The question from a reporter to President Donald Trump on Friday night was, "Did you or your administration pressure Fox News to get rid of Shepard Smith?"

Trump did not answer directly, but rather took the opportunity to gloat over his least-favorite Fox News anchor's departure, saying, "No, I don't know, is he leaving? Oh, that's a shame."

"Did I hear Shepard Smith is leaving?" the president asked, soundly almost gleeful. "Is he leaving because of bad ratings? He had terrible ratings, is he leaving because of his ratings? If he's leaving, I assume he's leaving because he had bad ratings."
Every time I had to even read his words, I feel my blood boil. He's an angry toddler given control of nuclear weapons.

So, who is left that Republicans will view to actually have Trump fact-checked? Does it even matter at this point, because there's a vast segment of Fox News watchers who just want to believe what they want to believe?
 

Trunkage

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HAHAHAHA. Good one Obsidian. Pretending fact-checking mattered to Trump supporters is the best joke I've heard all day.

Thanks mate, I needed that one

P.S. Fox'll just keep trucking, Shep doesn't matter.

Edit: I'll restated that PS. Shepherd wasn't listened to in the first place. Possibly the 'actual' journalists in Fox will step up but they haven't under Shepherd, so I'll doubt they'll do anything now.
 

Thaluikhain

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ObsidianJones said:
Does it even matter at this point, because there's a vast segment of Fox News watchers who just want to believe what they want to believe?
That implies that there's a segment that doesn't. That's not within a margin of error of zero.
 

tstorm823

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Palindromemordnilap said:
Hmm, so what's it like in Bizarro World?
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/21/democrats-republicans-political-beliefs-national-survey-poll

I might come back to this later and drop a whole bunch of extra sources, I've only got a few minutes right now. I've seen studies of political leaning by employment, and the red leaning professions tend to lean just a little red while the blue leaning professions can be like 90% blue. I've seen a study that said people who use conservative news tend to have a center or center-left secondary news source, while people who follow left leaning news sources tend to stay there. There is a wealth of data to demonstrate that Democrats don't understand Republicans, and the further left (or "more educated") you get, the less understanding you become.

And on this site, the Democratic Party is considered right wing by half or more of the users. Statistically, the Fox News audience is less bubbled than you.
[hr]
I came back.

https://www.journalism.org/2014/10/21/political-polarization-media-habits/#media-outlets-by-the-ideological-composition-of-their-audience



Fox News' audience is only about as far from the mean with their political opinions as the audience of CNN or MSNBC. Look at how much closer to average the Fox audience is than even NPR. I'm not going to suggest Fox News itself is less biased than NPR, that's patently absurd. So how do we explain Fox's audience being that close to center? A couple reasons can be found in this same article. First, Fox's audience distrusts the news in general, and Fox is not totally exempt from this. Second, conservatives are not inclined to cloister themselves off from differing opinion; strong conservatives are 30% less likely that strong liberals to block a friend online or stop talking to them in real life due to politics.

But there's also just what media they're exposed to:

https://kf-site-production.s3.amazonaws.com/publications/pdfs/000/000/242/original/KnightFoundation_AmericansViews_Client_Report_010917_Final_Updated.pdf

Chart on page 38, News Exposure Patterns:



The medium level on the liberal side of the spectrum is more likely to get most or all of their news from media that matches their bias than the strongest conservatives.

tl:dr; if you think the people watching Fox News are ignorant, extreme, or not listening to opposing views, you are badly misinformed.
 
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tstorm823 said:
Palindromemordnilap said:
Hmm, so what's it like in Bizarro World?
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/21/democrats-republicans-political-beliefs-national-survey-poll

I might come back to this later and drop a whole bunch of extra sources, I've only got a few minutes right now. I've seen studies of political leaning by employment, and the red leaning professions tend to lean just a little red while the blue leaning professions can be like 90% blue. I've seen a study that said people who use conservative news tend to have a center or center-left secondary news source, while people who follow left leaning news sources tend to stay there. There is a wealth of data to demonstrate that Democrats don't understand Republicans, and the further left (or "more educated") you get, the less understanding you become.
Yeah, see, the article itself makes a lot of insistence that its more of a problem for Democrats than Republicans...but did you actually check the sources the article linked? Because the actual results indicate that its largely the same for either side, with two of the articles three relevant sources outright using the same chart describing the perception gap as "v-shaped" because of how evenly it increases when you start going to extremes. Once again you demonstrate a complete lack of ability to comprehend data and evidence

tstorm823 said:
And on this site, the Democratic Party is considered right wing by half or more of the users. Statistically, the Fox News audience is less bubbled than you.
Most likely because those users come from outside America, where by their standards the Democratic party is indeed to the right of centre. Ironic that in trying to prove how much of a bubble everyone else lives in, you show that you're incapable of comprehending a viewpoint other than your own

tstorm823 said:
https://www.journalism.org/2014/10/21/political-polarization-media-habits/#media-outlets-by-the-ideological-composition-of-their-audience


Fox News' audience is only about as far from the mean with their political opinions as the audience of CNN or MSNBC. Look at how much closer to average the Fox audience is than even NPR. I'm not going to suggest Fox News itself is less biased than NPR, that's patently absurd. So how do we explain Fox's audience being that close to center? A couple reasons can be found in this same article. First, Fox's audience distrusts the news in general, and Fox is not totally exempt from this. Second, conservatives are not inclined to cloister themselves off from differing opinion; strong conservatives are 30% less likely that strong liberals to block a friend online or stop talking to them in real life due to politics.
Blimey, you didn't read this article at all, did you? It outright states (several times, in fact) that conservative audiences actually listen to far fewer news sources than liberal audiences...and that a lot of those fewer news sources are getting their info from Fox News anyway. Hell, read the explanation for the picture you provided; Fox News is placed where it is because liberal audiences reach out to it get information on right wing opinions. Hmm, liberal audiences reaching out for opinions direct from the other side while conservative audiences stick with a select few, which sounds more like its in a bubble there...
I'll give you it does say the liberals are more likely to drop their friends...but only because conservatives are more likely to only have consenting opinions around them already. They're already in the bubble.

tstorm823 said:
But there's also just what media they're exposed to:

https://kf-site-production.s3.amazonaws.com/publications/pdfs/000/000/242/original/KnightFoundation_AmericansViews_Client_Report_010917_Final_Updated.pdf

Chart on page 38, News Exposure Patterns:



The medium level on the liberal side of the spectrum is more likely to get most or all of their news from media that matches their bias than the strongest conservatives.
...dude, that's an opinion poll. It's people saying "ah yes. the news source I watch is liberal", with no confirmation that it actually is. Who knows if its actually left wing or not, it may just be their perception. Its why the article actually states that, once again, the perception gap is really kind of equal

tstorm823 said:
tl:dr; if you think the people watching Fox News are ignorant, extreme, or not listening to opposing views, you are badly misinformed.
I mean all you've done is show you can't read sources properly and misinterpret evidence because of your own bias. You've certainly proved you're in a bubble. And given what your sources have to say about Fox News, seems like they might be as well. So I ask you again, how is it in Bizarro World?
 

Seanchaidh

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tstorm823 said:
And on this site, the Democratic Party is considered right wing by half or more of the users. Statistically, the Fox News audience is less bubbled than you.
"Bubbled" isn't the same thing as class conscious. Both parties represent money, if you think otherwise you're not living in reality.
 

Combustion Kevin

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To speak of the other party as "the enemy" shows the partisanship that is politically disemboweling the American democracy.
A two-party system, either by design or monopoly, is inherently non-democratic, since the difference overall is minute and it's disagreements are equally so.

It is the public that pays the price, turning into pawns for backing companies instead of representatives for vision.
 

Kyrian007

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I can sympathize with Smith. The actual hate for the media coming from both sides of the political spectrum is at peak unbearable levels right now. Even the folks on the "same" side of the spectrum can't differentiate between news and commentary and if a news story makes the listener or viewers side "look bad... "oh, that story is bias... FAKE NEWS." Or the ever present accusation of corporate interference... even though that hasn't filtered down to the local level (which has more impact on the day to day lives of most people but affects too few people for corporations to bother trying to slant it.) Right now my station is facing complaints from the police and local government over publishing stories about a scandal and internal police investigations. Never mind that we are more than happy to attend a press conference about officers reading to school kids. Everyone wants us to be their free public relations gurus... god forbid we dare to report when they fuck up though.

It is just people these days. Yes, all you people. "My side is right... your side is wrong. I don't wanna hear facts that don't support my predispositions, and I'll stick my fingers in my ears to drown out those that don't LALALALALALALAAL" Yup, people have just become too immature and self-centered for classic journalism. That's killing it faster than Trump, corporations, or anything else can. I'm like Smith, I'm getting out. Just going to find a job people don't hate you for doing. My most recent news report was on a double shooting at a meth deal between homeless people, a fatal car accident, and a local attorney (tv commercial ambulance chaser type) who is facing fraud charges. There isn't any fucking political spin there... and that's the kind of coverage you all lose when I move on to a comfortable job at some government or corporations PR department. I've already cut half my news coverage hours to produce a local sports show... wanna know what replaced my local news updates? National news updates. And I'm loving how much people are complaining about national network level news... cause frankly that's what y'all deserve. Hope you choke on it. From the liberal "intellectual" vegan safe-spacers to the alt-right basement dwelling incel crybabies. Can't wait until you start killing each other so I can just sit back and laugh and watch the world burn.

Well, as a moderate journalist... that's where I'm at right now. And yes, my exit affects the maybe couple hundred people that listen to me. But the exodus from traditional media is looking like more and more of a flood. I used to kind of despise those that left for cowardice and not being tough enough to hang with it (shades of The Right Stuff.) But my stuff isn't right enough either, I wouldn't wish the kind of reputation we have as a profession on anyone. Or rather it has made me bitter enough to wish it on everyone else, that's why I hate pretty much everyone these days. Can't blame anyone else in the business for wanting out.
 

Seanchaidh

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Kyrian007 said:
Can't wait until you start killing each other so I can just sit back and laugh and watch the world burn.
If this is the sort of nihilism that drives the people who report the news, you shouldn't wonder that people don't trust it.
 

Kwak

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Seanchaidh said:
Kyrian007 said:
Can't wait until you start killing each other so I can just sit back and laugh and watch the world burn.
If this is the sort of nihilism that drives the people who report the news, you shouldn't wonder that people don't trust it.
It's clearly the people who don't trust the news that drives the nihilism of those who report it.
There was a clear cause/effect in the sharing of his experience, yet you insisted on inverting it to support your preconceived bias.
No wonder he feels the way he does.
 

Seanchaidh

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Kwak said:
Seanchaidh said:
Kyrian007 said:
Can't wait until you start killing each other so I can just sit back and laugh and watch the world burn.
If this is the sort of nihilism that drives the people who report the news, you shouldn't wonder that people don't trust it.
It's clearly the people who don't trust the news that drives the nihilism of those who report it.
There was a clear cause/effect in the sharing of his experience, yet you insisted on inverting it to support your preconceived bias.
No wonder he feels the way he does.
I might agree if Kyrian007 were writing a fictional vignette devoid of any economic, social, or political context. But that's not what's going on, is it?

No, we have a national news media that seems to delight in its bias in favor of the American military industrial complex and other wealthy interests-- not just in the stories that it tells but in those that it doesn't. And I'm to believe that it's the audience's fault? Absurd.
 

Kyrian007

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Kwak said:
Seanchaidh said:
Kyrian007 said:
Can't wait until you start killing each other so I can just sit back and laugh and watch the world burn.
If this is the sort of nihilism that drives the people who report the news, you shouldn't wonder that people don't trust it.
It's clearly the people who don't trust the news that drives the nihilism of those who report it.
There was a clear cause/effect in the sharing of his experience, yet you insisted on inverting it to support your preconceived bias.
No wonder he feels the way he does.
Thanks. Luckily (for my blood pressure) I'm switching over to sports in a few hours. When the phone rings in the news studio, it is ALWAYS because someone is bitching about a story we did. "Whaaa, you're too liberal... Whaaa, your programming is too conservative" When I started doing sports I found that the callers... loved our show even if they disagreed with us. They are so much better and more pleasant to hear from. Its funny that I find people endlessly arguing over sports, way easier and less stressful to deal with than people who listen to news coverage. There was a time when I would not have thought it would be that way.

Seanchaidh said:
I might agree if Kyrian007 were writing a fictional vignette devoid of any economic, social, or political context. But that's not what's going on, is it?

No, we have a national news media that seems to delight in its bias in favor of the American military industrial complex and other wealthy interests-- not just in the stories that it tells but in those that it doesn't. And I'm to believe that it's the audience's fault? Absurd.
And people refuse to even consider it might be their fault... chalking that up to being "absurd." That's why people deserve that style of news their complaints lead to.
 

Thaluikhain

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Seanchaidh said:
No, we have a national news media that seems to delight in its bias in favor of the American military industrial complex and other wealthy interests-- not just in the stories that it tells but in those that it doesn't. And I'm to believe that it's the audience's fault? Absurd.
Second that.

Now sure, people are angry with the media for all sorts of unjust reasons. And all sorts of just reasons because the industry has massive problems at the moment, and that needs to be pointed out and hopefully improved on.
 

Seanchaidh

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Kyrian007 said:
And people refuse to even consider it might be their fault... chalking that up to being "absurd." That's why people deserve that style of news their complaints lead to.
Certainly my complaints about how the national newsmedia-- and increasingly so much local news media, thanks Sinclair Broadcasting-- is an expression of ever more concentrated wealth and power and which cause the programming to demonize targets of Pentagon hostility, ignore poverty, cynically try to secretly manipulate primary elections, treat climate change as an open question, and various other things is itself caused by my complaint. Or generalized partisan complaining.

Somehow partisan complaining by the audience has caused national news media to follow the Pentagon line and act like the public relations arm of the ruling class of the United States. Funny how that works, isn't it?

It had nothing to do with the 1996 Telecommunications deregulation or other failures of anti-trust; nothing to do with the fact that every goddamned person you see reporting the news on CNN et al. is a millionaire. Nothing so straightforward as who owns what and how they prefer the news to be read (and by whom). It was me! Somehow.

Thaluikhain said:
Seanchaidh said:
No, we have a national news media that seems to delight in its bias in favor of the American military industrial complex and other wealthy interests-- not just in the stories that it tells but in those that it doesn't. And I'm to believe that it's the audience's fault? Absurd.
Second that.

Now sure, people are angry with the media for all sorts of unjust reasons. And all sorts of just reasons because the industry has massive problems at the moment, and that needs to be pointed out and hopefully improved on.
I'd guess that a lot of the unjust rancor against the news media is itself a symptom of the issues I pointed out. It's a lot easier to figure out that something is wrong than it is to figure out what precisely is wrong. And a lot of it is astroturf-- or at least began that way. The audience that complains about "left wing bias" on the news has been manipulated to think so by a relentless campaign by some on the right to promote exactly that view (as well as a news media that cynically embraces the idea that the only way for them to be more 'fair' is to be more bigoted or anti-science.)
 

Thaluikhain

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Seanchaidh said:
(as well as a news media that cynically embraces the idea that the only way for them to be more 'fair' is to be more bigoted or anti-science.)
I have a certain sympathy for that, the media is supposed to be fair, impartial and balanced, and it really doesn't look like it's doing that when it's saying that one side of a debate is totally wrong, which is of course a problem when one side is totally wrong. Similarly, you're not supposed to say that the PotUS is a complete disaster, because the PotUS isn't supposed to be a complete disaster.
 

tstorm823

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Palindromemordnilap said:
Yeah, see, the article itself makes a lot of insistence that its more of a problem for Democrats than Republicans...but did you actually check the sources the article linked? Because the actual results indicate that its largely the same for either side, with two of the articles three relevant sources outright using the same chart describing the perception gap as "v-shaped" because of how evenly it increases when you start going to extremes. Once again you demonstrate a complete lack of ability to comprehend data and evidence
Oh, you mean it increases evenly while always being bigger on the liberal side, suggesting the effect of political polarization on understanding opposition is uniform in both directions but the liberal side still starts with a bigger gap? Meaning anyone trying to criticize the deafness of Fox News viewers from equally to the left is way out of line, and the user base here is far more left than Fox viewers are right? Is that what you're trying to say?

Most likely because those users come from outside America, where by their standards the Democratic party is indeed to the right of centre. Ironic that in trying to prove how much of a bubble everyone else lives in, you show that you're incapable of comprehending a viewpoint other than your own.
Yeah, "the rest of the world is way further left than America" is just truthiness. Say it all you want, there are exceptionally few ways other places are further left than the Democratic Party, and I don't think there's any nation on the planet whose politics lie further left than Bernie Sanders.

I've used this image before:

That's comparing parties in Western Europe and North America by their official platforms. The Democratic Party is left of the median for just Western Europe and North America. That line I think would shift right by including more of the world. And I strongly suspect it will shift right if we calculate the mean rather than the median, which I think is more appropriate considering those bubbles represent populations of people and can be appropriately scaled to membership to find out just where the average political opinions lie. As it so happens, I tracked down the data from the source for that chart, and they provide it in an excel sheet, so I can actually crunch the numbers for that one at a later time because it's gonna take a couple hours to clean up the data and insert population information for 56 countries.

Blimey, you didn't read this article at all, did you? It outright states (several times, in fact) that conservative audiences actually listen to far fewer news sources than liberal audiences...and that a lot of those fewer news sources are getting their info from Fox News anyway. Hell, read the explanation for the picture you provided; Fox News is placed where it is because liberal audiences reach out to it get information on right wing opinions. Hmm, liberal audiences reaching out for opinions direct from the other side while conservative audiences stick with a select few, which sounds more like its in a bubble there...
I'll give you it does say the liberals are more likely to drop their friends...but only because conservatives are more likely to only have consenting opinions around them already. They're already in the bubble.
Fewer in number is not lesser in viewpoint. If you follow CNN, MSNBC, Vox, WaPo, and NYT, and I follow the Daily Wire and NPR, I get a wider viewpoint than you.

No, it does not say liberals reach out to get right wing opinions. It says that Fox has viewers with less consistent conservative leanings than Rush Limbaugh's audience. Exact quote:

Fox News sits to the right of the midpoint, but is not nearly as far right as several other sources, such as the radio shows of Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. A closer look at the audience breakdowns reveals why: While consistent conservatives get news from Fox News at very high rates, many of those with less conservative views also use Fox News. By contrast, the audiences for Limbaugh and Beck are overwhelmingly conservative.
If having less conservative views than people who listen to Rush makes someone a liberal, your viewpoint in upside-down.

And is it that they're already in the bubble? Or is it that they don't perceive major disagreement. Logically, it doesn't make sense that one extreme feels like they contact lots of people who disagree while the population they disagree with says they don't. It's less likely a real gap in contact than it is a perception gap. A perception gap that exists because Republicans can look at Democrats and think "well, we mostly agree on the important stuff", where people far to the left think anyone who supports the current president is automatically a bigot.

...dude, that's an opinion poll. It's people saying "ah yes. the news source I watch is liberal", with no confirmation that it actually is. Who knows if its actually left wing or not, it may just be their perception. Its why the article actually states that, once again, the perception gap is really kind of equal.
Of course it's an opinion poll. We're trying to understand people's opinions, it's an inherent limitation of the subject. You can't objectively quantify people's opinions. But you can try to do it step by step, so that's why I had one graph that tested for people's ideological consistency and charted that against what news they consume before delving into opinion polls.

And if you put these multiple pieces of information together, you'll find your complaints are contradictions. I can see where Fox's audience is from the poll that tested ideology and line that relative moderation up with the mix of news sources self-reported down here. Your complaint that their opinions of what is biased may or may not be accurate. Then compare your earlier claim that liberals are watching Fox News to drive their audience left. Essentially nobody who isn't themselves conservative uses primarily conservative news, and there is less self-reported mixed use among liberals than conservatives. So for your claim that liberals are watching Fox News to pull that data point left to coincide with this poll, you would need self-identified liberals to not consider Fox News conservative. No, that isn't happening.

I mean all you've done is show you can't read sources properly and misinterpret evidence because of your own bias. You've certainly proved you're in a bubble. And given what your sources have to say about Fox News, seems like they might be as well. So I ask you again, how is it in Bizarro World?
My sources are in a bubble? Like, just wow. I understand if you want to pick a fight with me, though I think it's unwise to suggest a conservative veteran of the Escapist's R&P forum is bubbled in, but my sources? This is exactly why I don't use conservative sources when I can avoid it, because you just accused the following of being biased in favor of Fox News and/or conservatives:

The Guardian: center-left British news.
Pew Research Center: non-partisan non-profit reasearch.
The Knight Foundation: a group dedicated to promoting and supporting journalism and the arts in America.

Like, holy crap. That's who you think is in a bubble?