“Anti-Anchor” Shep Smith Moves to HD “Playroom”

By SteveK 

FNC anchor Shepard Smith is the centerpiece in an in-depth, revealing profile by Tom Junod in this month’s Esquire magazine.

“The old idea of the godlike anchor dispensing facts from the unquestioned authority of the anchor’s desk: ‘That’s dead, thankfully,’ he says, and he knows, because he helped kill it,” writes Junod.

Now that Smith has moved to a new HD studio, he has more toys to play with. “It’s absurd, of course,” writes Junod. “The whole thing — the little box, The Cube, Shep’s Playroom, Fox News, television news in general — is absurd, and what has always distinguished Shep, and by extension Fox, is that he seems to know it. He is such a creature of television that he is able to parody television, both on and off camera. Because he’s always the anchorman, he’s never the anchorman — indeed, Fox executives call him the ‘antianchor.'”

Click continued to see a part of the profile featuring some mantras of FNC CEO Roger Ailes…

(photo by Nigel Parry)

Ailes’ mantras:

If you followed Shep with a Steadicam through the halls of Fox, you could get a tracking shot like the one Scorsese got of Ray Liotta’s Henry Hill walking through the kitchen at the Copa. The handshakes, and what he calls the “cutting up” — these are part of his job, as prescribed by the impresario himself, Roger Ailes. Happiness is part of his job. “‘Unhappy people make happy people unhappy’ is something Roger drills into us,” he says. “That and ‘Remember, you could be selling shoes.'”

Also, the author describes visiting Fox News:

The funny thing about Fox News is that it’s almost a disappointment to visit it, especially if you’re of the belief that it’s a nefarious force in American life, a greedy beast from whose adamantine jaws the presidency itself had to be wrested. The people are so nice. They’re so accommodating. They work so hard. It’s almost a Shangri-la of gainful employment, with everybody feeling remunerated and appreciated. It’s not an angry place so much as it is a happy place notable for its angry prime-time hosts. It’s Shep Smith’s place, in other words, more than it is Sean Hannity’s — but the fact that Shep’s a nice guy doesn’t mean that its jaws are any less adamantine or any more inclined to loosen their grip.