Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 12, 2009

BLAMING THE MESSENGER.... Fox News' Shep Smith offered viewers some thoughts this week they probably weren't accustomed to hearing. He noted on the air, for example, that the DHS report on violent radicals are was prescient, and he criticized enraged Fox news viewers who email the network with over-the-top vitriol.

In the 48 hours that have followed, prominent conservatives have taken Smith's concerns to heart, and begun reevaluating their role in contributing to a toxic political climate.

No, I'm just kidding. They're calling for Smith's head.

In response to Smith's remarks about the Holocaust museum shooting, several conservative media figures have attacked Smith or called for his firing from Fox News.

Rush Limbaugh complained that Smith is "whining and moaning." Atlas Shrugs' Pamela Geller accused Smith of "scary stupidity" and being a "pompous elitist," before arguing, "Shep sucks. And Shep has always sucked, and it's time to get rid of the deadwood.... He has got to go." WorldNetDaily responded by talking about an alleged auto incident involving Smith in 2000. An item on HotAir.com said Smith believes "his own viewership is teeming with would-be presidential assassins. If he truly believes that, why doesn't he quit?"

Alan Colmes has already left the network. If Smith goes, it can be a reality-free zone from top to bottom.

Steve Benen 3:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (37)

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Comments

Shep's contract will allow him to say what he wants until they fire him or the contract is over. He is an entertainer, and entertainer's have contracts to be on the air.

Posted by: bird on June 12, 2009 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

So, let's be clear. When liberals criticize Bill O'Reilly for something outrageous he said they are violating his free speech rights and trying to stiffle dissent. But when Shep Smith says that right wingers are saying some pretty whacko things, conservatives think it is perfectly OK to call for him to be taken off the air.

Posted by: Ted Frier on June 12, 2009 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

How about swapping Lou Dobbs for Shep?

Posted by: tomj on June 12, 2009 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Who -is- Smith? Is he crappy 90% of the time, and I only read about him the other 10%, or is he reality-based more often than that?

Posted by: gussie on June 12, 2009 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

OH NO IS THAT WHAT THE CRAZY PROPRIETOR OF ATLAS SHRUGS THINKS THANK YOU FOR INFORMING ME BY CUTTING AND PASTING THE THINK PROGRESS ARTICLE

Posted by: norbizness on June 12, 2009 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, goody! Another rightwing purge!

SHRINKAGE!!!

Posted by: JM on June 12, 2009 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

THANK YOU FOR INFORMING ME BY CUTTING AND PASTING THE THINK PROGRESS ARTICLE

These are not the same quotes as the TP article, even the Pammaries quotes.

Posted by: JM on June 12, 2009 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP is looking more like the People's Front of Judaea, or the Judaean People's Front, or the Popular People's Front of Judea, or the...

Posted by: Speed on June 12, 2009 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Shep sucks. And Shep has always sucked, and it's time to get rid of the deadwood.... He has got to go."

I think she meant to say "Er, war, er ist, er wird immer nicht genug parteitreu".

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on June 12, 2009 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Rush Limbaugh complained that Smith is "whining and moaning." Atlas Shrugs' Pamela Geller accused Smith of "scary stupidity"

Anyone have a spare irony meter? Mine just broke.

Posted by: Gregory on June 12, 2009 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds perfectly faily balanced to me.

Posted by: red on June 12, 2009 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

It's looked to me -- for several months now -- that Shep actually wants to get fired. If he does, he'd go to CNN or maybe even a major network and lock in the "reasonable conservative" trump card for the next ten years or so.

David Brooks better watch his back.

Posted by: C.S. on June 12, 2009 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

I'm intrigued by Pamela Geller's "lefty/Islamic alliance". Say what? Yeah, lefties are always associated with religious fundamentalists.

Posted by: ckelly on June 12, 2009 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Shepherd Smith is the last remaining vestige of actual journalism on the entire network. He's not a bad reporter and has done some very good things, but he absolutely shines as a journalist compared with the rest of that motley, ignorant, buffoonish (but almost uniformly attractive) crew.

Shep deserves a real news job at a real news network.

Posted by: Ken in Tenn on June 12, 2009 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

I'm intrigued by Pamela Geller's "lefty/Islamic alliance". Say what?


all things good and holy and American and proper and pure = right

everything else = left

Simple. There. Hope that clears it up for you.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on June 12, 2009 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Shep deserves a real news job at a real news network.

I wish there were one.

Posted by: Danp on June 12, 2009 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Day after day, Smith was superb on the ground in New Orleans during the week of Katrina.

Posted by: bob somerby on June 12, 2009 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

HotAir.com said Smith believes "his own viewership is teeming with would-be presidential assassins. If he truly believes that, why doesn't he quit?"

"his own viewership"!!!? Oh, yes, yet another inadvertent admission that Fuks news is a rightwing outlet, (rather than 'fair and balanced', left, right and in between) . Hey Smith, don't you just hate it when you indict yourself with your own stupid admission while you are attempting to smear someone? Way to go Einstein.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on June 12, 2009 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, good. I was worried there. When Smith came out after Wednesday's shooting, and said "hey, maybe the DHS was right!" I was suddenly almost impressed that Smith admitted he was was wrong. Any idiot can be wrong, but a real man can admit it when he's proven wrong. I was thinking I would have to start watching Fox News. But, once Smith is canned or beaten in submission, this speck of actual unbiased commentary will be quickly forgotten.

Posted by: do on June 12, 2009 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Shep is fascinating. He actually seems to be a conservative, who, stay with me here, adjusts his positions based on evidence. I think there's a word for that, but it is elluding me.

Posted by: BJF on June 12, 2009 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

'Course, after we get rid of Smith, we need to kill all them beaners, an' then kill all the wops, an' the chinks 'an japs, and all them thar weird lookin' brown people in Inja that talk funny, 'n kill all the n----s" (sorry, I can't even type that word in jest), 'n kill all them hirsute (oops!!!)---hairy middle-eastern types whut ain't blond ('cus I'm really anti-Zionist), uppity wimmen,'n queers. We set up camps 'n keep 'n eye on people who don't seem 'right' ya know---who don't smoke ceegars, don't speak englush, eat Arugula, 'n let thur' wimmen sas 'em. Then we'll have a world with peace and freedom for all.

Posted by: Pierre Mohammed Garcia on June 12, 2009 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

He actually seems to be a conservative, who, stay with me here, adjusts his positions based on evidence. I think there's a word for that, but it is eluding me.

"Lonely."

Posted by: have clue -- will travel on June 12, 2009 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

JHC! I am so sick and tired of EVERY SINGLE TIME we don't like what someone says or thinks we say 'FIRE 'EM!' STOP IT! Accept that not everyone thinks alike, debate on the merits and MOVE ON!!!

Posted by: SYSPROG on June 12, 2009 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Rush Limbaugh complained that Smith is "whining and moaning."

That's just too rich, considering Rush himself only comes in two flavors -- whine and moan.

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on June 12, 2009 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Our local talk-radio lobotomiza called him a "pretty boy" who's just there to read the news. As if her job were somehow better.
Truth be told, he works for Fox and seems halfway rational. What did he expect?

Posted by: TJM on June 12, 2009 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Who -is- Smith? Is he crappy 90% of the time, and I only read about him the other 10%, or is he reality-based more often than that?

Smith actually seems to try and be a reporter and not a commentator, so he's had several moments when he's tried to bring some reality to Fox News. He ripped the Bush administration a new one during Hurricane Katrina and has pushed back pretty hard against claims that waterboarding isn't torture. He's a conservative, but at least he's (usually) an honest one and he's not willing to go along with outright lies for the sake of the Republican Party.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on June 12, 2009 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Actually rush comes in a third flavor: nasty

Posted by: Carol on June 12, 2009 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone have a spare irony meter? Mine just broke. -- Gregory, @15:40

Made in China, bought at WalMart? I've been replacing mine almost weekly but haven't been able to find anything better anywhere else.

Posted by: exlibra on June 12, 2009 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

And so it goes, the wingers go all out to prove Shep Smith right.

Posted by: Hannah on June 12, 2009 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

I think it is REALLY time to stop giving the gasbags so mush air time. And I mean it's time for Steve here, Keith Olbermann, even Rachel, to stop giving them so much air time. If they arenlt seen as attention-getters, maybe they'll get less attention from the trad media too. I am really getting itred of reading such a steady diet of right-wing nut rants.

Posted by: Mimikatz on June 12, 2009 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

How can FAUX stay asleep in their fantasy world when someone like Shep keeps saying "Wake up, wake up"

Fox is a propaganda station and everyone, including Fox knows it (though they pretend otherwise). They should be banned from the airwaves for free speech ends on the national level when responsibility is replaced by sedition and propaganda to the point of inciting violence and treason.

Posted by: bjobotts on June 12, 2009 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, someone too dumb up there to realize that Shep Smith's audience and their letters reflected poorly on the whole faux network. Hot air, indeed.

BTW, I like Alan Colmes and think he never got enough attention or credit from the commentariat. He could be weird about stepping on the words of callers, but he was thought-provoking and progressive enough.

Posted by: N e i l B on June 12, 2009 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

FOX mouthpieces know they're guilty of inflaming the Right-wing nuttery and now they're stuck. If they admit it then they go down in flames. If they continue to run from it and blame it on Lefties then they just look stupid.

I guess they'll go for the stupid and keep their paychecks.

Posted by: MarkH on June 12, 2009 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

I aslo agree with former comment ref MSNBC always talking about O'reilly and Limbaugh it gives them too much attention and it does get tiring after awhile. Thus, I have almost stopped listening to any cable news.

Posted by: nor on June 13, 2009 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

I actually want Shep to stay at FOX so the rightwingers can have a modicum of REAL reality splashed into their alternate universe. However, I don't think he is going to be able to stay there much longer. I am for the Lou Dobbs/Shep Smith swap, or a Joe Scarborough/Shep Smith swap.

Keith has forsworn mentioning O'Reilly on the air after the Dr. Tiller assassination. I think it's a good step, and I also think that the less mention of Limbaugh, the better. I mean, Limbaugh craves attention. The best thing to do is ignore him.

Posted by: asiangrrlMN on June 13, 2009 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Shep's first mistake was offering *some thoughts*. Wingnuts don't do *thoughts*.

Posted by: CDW on June 13, 2009 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

@asiangrrlMN, I agree that O'Reilly and Limbaugh should be ignored by the liberal blogosphere and MSM. I would like to add all the Palins, Malkin, and Krauthammer. Ann Coulter has either been uncharacteristically silent recently, or simply haven't heard about her. Either way is bliss.

Posted by: CDW on June 13, 2009 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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