News broadcaster Shepard Smith has broken his silence about why he quit Fox News in 2019.
Smith addressed the subject in an interview with CNN, highlighting his concerns with anchors on Fox News editorialising too much during their shows.
“Opine all you like, but if you’re going to opine, begin with the truth and opine from there…” said Smith. “When people begin with a false premise and lead people astray, that’s injurious to society and it’s the antithesis of what we should be doing: Those of us who are so honoured and grateful to have a platform of public influence have to use it for the public good.”
Smith also explained why he stayed so long at Fox News – from its launch in 1996 through until 2019.
“I thought it was important that I stay there…” said Smith. “If you feel like the Fox viewers were getting mis- or disinformation, I was there to make sure that they got it straight. I stuck with it for as long as I could. At some point, I realised I’d reached a point of diminishing returns, and I left.”
The tipping point appears to have been a dispute with fellow host Tucker Carlson, after Carlson publicly criticised a friend of Smith. Network executives didn’t support the concerns raised by Smith.
“I don’t know how some people sleep at night…” said Smith. “I know that there are a lot of people who have propagated the lies and who have pushed them forward over and over again who are smart enough and educated enough to know better.”
Smith now hosts an hour-long news program on CNBC – The News With Shepard Smith airs Monday through Friday at 7 PM.
In announcing his departure from Fox News, Smith said that he was looking forward to spending time with Gio – his partner, Giovanni Graziano.
Smith began speaking publicly about his sexuality in 2017.
In a speech that he made at the time, reported by the Clarion Ledger, he explained how he never thought of himself as having been ‘in the closet’ – “I don’t think about it. It’s not a thing. I go to work. I manage a lot of people. I cover the news. I deal with holy hell around me. I go home to the man I’m in love with.”