How Shep Smith Stays Fair and Balanced In An Increasingly Polarized Cable News Landscape

By A.J. Katz 

Fox News anchor and breaking news managing editor Shepard Smith has been critical of the President Trump early on in his term. He recently reported on facts that don’t support the new commander-in-chief’s claim of widespread voter fraud, and he referred to the new immigration policy as “a jihadist’s dream.” He even defended CNN’s reporting earlier this month after the president once again referred to the network as “fake news.”

The AP‘s David Bauder profiles Smith focusing on the newsman’s unique, yet essential role at the network. His style of reporting stands out in “the sea of opinion” that can be Fox News, Bauder writes.

“We’re the Fourth Estate, and we work for the people,” Smith said. “It’s our job to find out what’s happening, to provide context and perspective and give them information that’s fair and truthful and as perfect as we can make it. The suggestion that we’re the opposition party is not worthy of a reply.”

Smith also noted that it’s essential to point out when the president is making statements that are utterly false. “When it’s demonstrably false at the moment of utterance, it’s not really difficult to figure out what to do next,” he said. “This dynamic of the president not telling the truth in a public forum, it’s new to me.”

Jay Wallace, who rose through the Fox News ranks alongside Shep and who is now evp of news editorial says Smith has a unique ability to “take command of a big story and explain it to viewers without talking down to them.”

Fox News recently celebrated its 15th year as TV’s most-watched cable news network, and Smith, who has been with the network since its inception, is aware how opinion programming can drive ratings. “We know that that sort of thing seems to score,” Smith said. “People like to watch opinion television.”

From the TVNewser archives, here’s Shepard Smith talking about his First Big Break in TV news.