“Here I am, the face of the network, it’s a week before the election, and our station is about to put a Republican on live and have nothing from the Democrat,” Smith recalls now. He reacted viscerally at the time, telling viewers: “Wow… My apologies for the lack of balance. If I had control, it wouldn’t have happened.”
Seated in his Sixth Avenue office with an erect posture that matches his caffeinated style, Smith says he was unaware that correspondent Shannon Bream had grabbed Christie on the fly. “I came off looking condescending,” he says. “I handled it poorly.”
While Kurtz — and others — point to Smith as an “outspoken newsman at the network defined by high-decibel conservatives,” Smith acknowledges the massive role that opinion programs have played in the success of his network, saying, “Our newscast is better because our opinion programs are successful.”
Smith does appear to be the “face of the network” of late. In the past few months, he’s popped up in profiles and interviews everywhere from The Boston Globe to Men’s Journal to USA Weekend to “The View” to here at TVNewser.