FNC’s Shepard Smith operates best in the here and now. To wit: Will he be at FNC forever? “I don’t want to be anywhere forever. I’ll stay around as long as Roger will have me,” he says.
By Roger he means, of course, FNC President Roger Ailes, the most powerful man in news.
But for now, it’ll do. As anchor of FNC’s “Fox Report with Shepard Smith”, his mellifluous baritone voice is a constant reminder of his days as a “reporter” at the sensational tabloid show “A Current Affair.” His looks are not to be overlooked either, (A producer from another network went into an extensive detail last week about how handsome the man simply known as “Shep” is.)
Smith flees from such flattery, even when he’s decked out in a tux and holding court with famous anchor men and women at the Radio & TV Correspondent’s dinner as he was last week. “Everyone gets together and we’re the narcissistic freaks that we are,” he told FishbowlDC when I caught up with him at the dinner. “What we do is serious, but we try not to take ourselves seriously.”
The TV anchor of the most watched but controversial cable network insists being on TV isn’t the be all and end all. “I try not to let what I do define me,” he says. “There’s more to life.”
So, what’s more important? “Basketball, beach, baseball, beer,” he says quickly, like, duh, obviously, the four B’s are far more crucial.
Still, he knows he’s part of an elite group, but doesn’t take the whole game too seriously. “It’s like a fraternity,” he says. “When you put yourself in front of klieg lights everyday you know [viewers] are going to make fun of you. I don’t really care. …We have lights on us all day. That infinitely makes us weirder than everyone else.”
Weirdo or not, he doesn’t sweat the small things. “I don’t know that I have an interview technique. I just ask the questions I think people want asked. I don’t over-think it.” He equates life as an anchor to a daily morning ritual. “Do you have any concerns when you’re brushing your teeth?” Uh, not so much. “No one’s life is on the line.”
And despite his lofty spot, he’s not likely to watch FNC’s rerun of “The O’Reilly Factor” at 11 p.m. Instead, he likes to watch Jon Stewart on Comedy Central.