Shepard “Shep” Smith: A Trustworthy News Anchor
Updated: Nov 19, 2020
He risked his career to tell the truth.
By Logan Dameron
Shepard Smith has been a hero of mine since I was a child. Prior to having the notion of working in and around journalism – in my case public relations – Shepard Smith was someone I noticed on the television. His ability to speak clearly and insert small bits of personality to his broadcast paved the way for me to pay attention to the news. As an adult, I understand now that he was a large factor in why I pursued a journalism degree. I owe him the credit where it is due. As such I should thank you, Shep, for being someone in the news I can trust, even as the industry morphs and changes into something much less trustworthy.
I think that the “news” is a much looser term than it was in the past, which is strange considering the sheer amount of information that people have access to. It is a safe statement to say that current American news organizations are politically leaning. FOX News is notorious for being a right-wing, conservative platform, whereas CNN lies on the opposite side of the spectrum. The dichotomy between these two media powerhouses causes their viewers to have completely different ideas of the truth about certain situations. This disconnect makes both outlets less trustworthy, and they lose value to me as reliable sources of information – despite both being premier news organizations. However, one journalist, Shepard Smith, has stood steadfast during this emerging trend among news platforms
Who is Shep Smith?
His full name is David Shepard Smith Jr., but he has coined the moniker Shep, during his time as a broadcast journalist. He joined FOX News back in 1996 as a general reporter. Over the course of a decade, he earned a position hosting his own show. His style of straight-shooting hard facts led him to become one of the most trusted news anchors on television. For nearly two decades, he worked at FOX News with his show, The Fox Report. Although Fox was more conservative in leadership, Smith felt his news was uninhibited by party politics.
“When I hear people say that Fox News is right wing, I know that's not true, because I'm the one doing the news,” Smith argued. “It's my show, and there's no place for opinion on my show.”
In 2019, Shep parted ways with the news organization. Now, he works for CNBC and hosts The News with Shepard Smith.
According to various sources, the split between FOX News and Shepard Smith was primarily due to his fact-checking of President Trump and other FOX personalities that were showcased alongside him on multiple occasions. A notable example is in 2017 when an openly right-wing journalist at FOX, Sean Hannity, reported multiple stories that implicated dirty dealings of then-presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and current President Obama. Hannity claimed that the Obama Administration let a Russian company buy mining rights in the U.S. if the company agreed to donate to the Clinton Campaign. Smith took the liberty of fact-checking Mr. Hannity and debunked the claims during the Fox Report. This led his fellow FOX colleagues and loyal viewers to choose sides between the two anchors – effectively causing in-fighting.
Money was not on his mind
Smith was contracted for a multi-million dollar deal with FOX News. Rather than playing nice, he did his job as a journalist. He did his job so well it conflicted with the political agenda of the Fox News organization. A lesser man would have conformed to the status quo. Millions were at stake, yet Smith kept that out of the equation and presented viewers – Americans – with the facts and information that is becoming of a champion journalist. Thankfully, he was not without a job long as he landed at CNBC, where he continues to tell the much-needed truth.
About the author:
Logan Dameron is a senior in the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas studying journalism, with a focus in public relations. He believes that all information in the era should be scrutinized and examined properly before using it as a base of knowledge. When he is not reading new or writing, you can find him playing videos or cuddling his two cats.
The News with Shepard Smith. (2020, August 24). https://www.cnbc.com/the-news-with-shepard-smith/
Pasley, J. (2019, December 31). Fox News and CNN are 2 of America's biggest news sources - but they couldn't be more different. Here's how they've changed in the past decade. https://www.businessinsider.com/fox-news-cnn-change-evolution-2010-2019-11
Shepard Smith. (n.d.). https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0809952/bio
Walters, J. (2017, November 15). Fox News anchor debunks 'Clinton uranium scandal' – and sparks viewer fury. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/nov/15/fox-news-anchor-debunks-networks-clinton-uranium-scandal-sparking-fury