Why I Will Never Again Watch the Fox News Channel Anchor Shepard Smith
The Journalists' Once-Enforced Edict
Today, I made a final decision to stop watching Shepard Smith, one of many news anchors at Fox News Channel (FNC).
I am a degreed, Mass Communications professional, and contained within my college curriculum was a requirement to attend journalism classes. All journalism majors are required to take the course—that's a pitfall of hiring talking heads over college-educated journalists.
Within the course syllabus, I learned that one, the unpardonable, unwarranted and worthy-of-being-fired-if-broken mandate exists for all journalists.
That 'law' reads, or rather, 'once stated':
"As a journalist, your reporting should always be objective. and violation of this journalistic principle is a serious breach of the public trust."
Think Shepard Smith is objective?
Watch this latest biased report on Donald Trump Jr., July 14, 2017, and a typical Smith outburst alongside Trace Gallagher, and Judge Andrew Napolitano as seen on a now-cancelled Fox News Channel program, "The Strategy Room".
Shep Smith goes off on Trump Jr. meeting with Russians: We're being told 'lie after lie after lie'
Requirements For All High-quality Television News Anchors
The very first thing seen in your résumé assets better read, 'always nails what is showing in the teleprompter screen'.
Plainly and clearly stated, Shepard Smith, can NOT read a teleprompter.
Two nights ago, I decided to count his reading gaffs. How about 65 within a one hour show? Unbelievable as it seems, this is an accurate number—I even cut him some slack here and there.
Following is my theory on why he can't read:
Shepard Smith cannot control his emotions and this gargantuan flaw coaxes his mind to spin at 60 mph, while his mouth is working overtime at only 40 mph. Smith bumbles, fumbles, stumbles and actually reads a teleprompter like a rookie.
I have watched and listened to most other anchors at Fox News Channel and they all perfectly read the prompter.
I cannot fathom paying a person several million dollars a year to sit in comfortable surroundings, peer into a boxed-in screen filled with words someone else wrote and simply read those words aloud to an adoring public.
THE basic skill a person occupying this enviable position possess is an ability to instantaneously recognize a word or a report collection, and verbalize that information without a hitch.
I was a sportscaster many years ago, and I've acted in close to 100 commercials throughout my working careers.
From personal experience, I know reading a teleprompter is easier than enjoying a pleasant night's sleep following the gulp of a first-ever, extra strength Ambien.
Finally, think of the truly exceptional news anchors.
- Walter Cronkite
- Chet Huntley
- David Brinkley
- Tom Brokaw
Somehow, the name Shepard Smith does not belong in this list, and he will never come close to meeting the journalistic standards these men applied throughout their careers.
His name appears to stand out and look strange when appended to this illustrious list of news greats.
- Walter Cronkite
- Chet Huntley
- David Brinkley
- Shepard Smith
- Tom Brokaw
So How Did Shepard Smith Become Fox News Channel #1 Mr. Anchorman
Shepard Smith began his career with Fox News Channel before the network rocketed to a coveted #1 position—winning out over vast communications conglomerates all battling it out in the rating wars.
Bill O'Reilly is, in my estimation, solely responsible for FNC's meteoric ascension.
During this period of growth at Fox News Channel, O'Reilly was (please note my use of the verb 'was') an affable and a pleasant host.
Unlike Larry King, CNN's popular show and Fox's main rival in prime time, O'Reilly's character was different in that he could ask the tough questions of his varied guest line-up.
King, on the other hand, employed a softball style with his guests.
American audiences soon began embracing the firm, smiling, Irish TV host because his show brought a little bit of everything—much unlike The Larry King Show, where the format and flow remained constant.
While MOST anchors at the Fox News Channel hold PhD.s, and many are attorney's and doctors, Shepard Smith never finished college.
His out-of-control temper once resulted in an aggravated battery arrest (November 2000) when he allegedly hit a woman with his car in an "oh no— you don't take my spot" parking space row.
Once the case settled out of court, Smith's charge was reduced to misdemeanor battery. Quite the man, our Shep... Ha!
Shepard Smith rode O'Reilly's coat tails (as did all of Fox News Channel) to bigger and better things. So, how did Shepard Smith become Fox News Channel's top anchor?
- He is blessed with a rich, deep and resonant voice.
- He carries himself with confidence.
- He is young and hip, connecting with the buster and below demographics.
That's it. Three superficial traits have made him a daytime TV star... BUT Shepard Smith WILL NEVER BE A DAYTIME OR ANY TIME JOURNALIST!
There's a loose cannon aboard
Shepard Smith belittles guests with verbal jabs meant to show his feigned greater knowledge and expertise.
His guest's titles or levels of education don't faze Mr. Smith—He picks fights with them, utilizing his limited knowledge stockpile spewed from a non-filtered pie hole.
If his behavior weren't so rude, it would reach the top of the laugh-o-meter.
But now I have a big problem!
I recall watching well-written, nonbiased programs hosted thirty years ago or thereabouts.
- "Meet The Press"
- "The 20th. Century"
- "The Nightly News With Tom Brokaw"
- "The Huntley-Brinkley Report"
- "The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite"
I have grown weary of viewing self-proclaimed TV ego-maniacs wearing King of News crowns made of Fool's Gold—Fakes like Shepard Smith, who I now simply refuse to watch.
I have a hunch many other baby boomers are starting to feel the same way.
The deeper concern now is: Where do I (we) now embark on finding unbiased and accurate television news, reported by professional journalists?