Amid Pressure From President, Fox News Announces Split with Shep Smith
The Trump critic won’t be back on TV anytime soon, either.
President Donald Trump was once a big fan of Fox News – perhaps the only mainstream media source that has any semblance of conservative representation left.
The network has largely marketed itself to the GOP and other conservatives, acting as a much needed antithesis to CNN. Still, the network does exist in the infotainment sphere of spin, and has turned ever more vitriolic as the nature of that industry evolves.
Fox has even recently drawn criticism from President Trump himself, after an early-week poll showed that a majority of Americans, 51%, believe that he should be both impeached and removed from office.
Trump lashed out at the pollster saying simply, “they suck!”.
Now, amid this tumult, the cable news network is losing one of its most senior anchors.
Fox News announced late Friday afternoon that Shepard Smith is leaving the network after 23 years. Sources tell Mediaite that it was Smith’s decision to leave the network and that he was not fired.
In a moving statement at the end of his Friday show, Smith announced the news, and said it would be his last broadcast.
“Even in our currently polarized nation, it’s my hope that the facts will win the day, that the truth will always matter, that journalism and journalist will thrive,” Smith said.
The Fox News anchor, hired to join the network at its inception in 1996, said his agreement with Fox meant he would not be reporting elsewhere in the near future.
He didn’t rule it out completely, however.
“So recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News, after requesting that I stay, they obliged,” Smith said. “Under our agreement I won’t be reporting elsewhere, at least in the near future, but I will be able to see more of Geo and Lucia, and our friends and family, and then we will see what comes along.”
“This is my last newscast here. Thank you for watching today and over the decades as I traveled to many of your communities and anchored this program, studio B, and Fox Report, plus endless marathon hours of breaking news. It’s been an honor and my pleasure.”
For many, Shep Smith’s turn against Trump was an unpleasant one to witness, and calls for his ouster had been getting louder for some time.
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