Fox News’ “most prominent anchor” Shepard Smith appeared in a Joanna Weiss-penned Boston Globe feature Sunday that explores his broadcaster mentality, his place at Fox News, and his Mississippi roots. Also, Smith’s neutral approach amidst a number of opinion programs is examined in some detail:
Smith’s own perspective is hard to attach to one ideology. Smith defines it as a truth-ferreting impulse, an urge to underscore or skewer the outrageous, no matter where it comes from.
“As a consumer of news, it sometimes aggravates me when people don’t call BS when it’s obvious. And so I do,” he says . “To me, it’s not a bias to say, ‘That’s BS.’ It just is.”
It’s a sentiment on which one major colleague, Bill O’Reilly, concurs:
“He’s an independent Southern guy who brings a sensibility of populism to the presentation,” O’Reilly says by phone. “He has a very consistent view of life. When he went to Katrina, he was horrified. And he let the audience know he was horrified instead of standing there like a robot.”
Always a topic of discussion is the occasional perception that Smith has clashed with his prominent FNC colleagues. Like when he cited a homeland security report about right-wing extremist groups in June, a report that was mocked by Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. Some claimed Smith was “scolding.” Smith adamantly refutes these assumptions:
“People want to turn us against ourselves,” he said, his volume rising. “But that’s not how it is. That’s certainly not what I was talking about…To equate anyone in our network with that sort of thing is not even worthy of comment. That’s stupid.”
Gawker also took note of the profile and described Smith as “probably the best anchor on TV right now, both for pure entertainment value and for his genuinely non-partisan commitment to telling the truth as he sees it. Also he hates Boston.”