Shepard Smith

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  • Fox's Shep Smith Denounces "Factually Wrong" Reports That "Turned Up" Anti-Black Lives Matter Rhetoric

    Fox News And Conservative Media Trumpeted False Story To Push "War On Cops" Narrative

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Shep

    Fox News host Shepard Smith derided "factually wrong" reporting that was used to turn up negative rhetoric against the Black Lives Matter movement, much of the reporting was perpetuated by conservative media and Fox News.

    After months of investigation following the suspicious September 1 death of Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz in Fox Lake, Illinois, investigators determined his death was a "carefully staged suicide."

    However, not having all the facts didn't stop conservative media from attempting to build a pattern that would support their "war on cops" narrative and demonize the Black Lives Matter movement.

    Gliniewicz's death was used by conservative media to trumpet their "war on cops" narrative and demonize the Black Lives Matter movement. According to MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Fox News even "trotted out a string of law enforcement officials" to lend credibility to the "so-called phenomena." On the November 5 edition of his show, Fox's Shep Smith admitted that some in the media falsely connected the story to the Black Lives Matter movement, contributing to turning "up the rhetoric" when it was "factually wrong."

    From the November 5 edition of Fox's Shepard Smith Reporting:

    SHEP SMITH: And think of the narrative that came out of that from so many, many places, about-- "it's the fault of the Black Lives Matter movementand all of this stuff that was just-- it really turned up the rhetoric and it really was factually wrong.

    DAN SCHORR: Right, and one of the lessons of this story is you have to really sift through all the information and wait for it to come in and not jump to big conclusions and make giant conclusions based on a little bit of information. You have to find out all the facts first.

    SMITH: Don't get ahead of the news.

    SCHORR: Right.

    SMITH: It will run you over.

    Previously:

    MSNBC's Chris Hayes Highlights Conservative Media's Irresponsible Coverage Of Fox Lake Police Officer's Death

    Fox Figures Demand Obama Make Remarks Condemning Violence Against Police Days After He Did Just That

    Experts Continue To Debunk Right-Wing Media's "Ferguson Effect" Myth

  • Watch Fox's Shepard Smith Compare Coca-Cola-Funded "Science" On Obesity To Climate Denial

    Blog ››› ››› DENISE ROBBINS

    Shep Smith

    By now you're probably familiar with Koch-funded science denial. Now meet Coke-funded science denial.

    Fox News host Shepard Smith compared the news that Coca-Cola is funding scientists who dispute the link between caloric intake and obesity to the fossil fuel industry money behind climate change deniers, in stark contrast with how right-wing media figures reacted.

    The New York Times recently revealed how Coca-Cola is behind a new organization called the Global Energy Balance Network that is promoting exercise as "a solution to chronic disease and obesity while remaining largely silent on the role of food and nutrition." The group's vice president, Steven N. Blair, said in a video announcing the organization: "Most of the focus in the popular media and in the scientific press is ... blaming fast food, blaming sugary drinks, and so on [for obesity]. And there's really virtually no compelling evidence that that in fact is the cause."

    But the Times reported that health experts "say this message is misleading and part of an effort by Coke to deflect criticism about the role sugary drinks have played in the spread of obesity and Type 2 diabetes." The experts "contend that the company is using its new group to convince the public that physical activity can offset a bad diet despite scientific evidence that exercise has only minimal impact on weight compared with what people consume." Global nutrition professor Barry M. Popkin told the Times that "Coke's support of prominent health researchers was reminiscent of tactics used by the tobacco industry, which enlisted experts to become 'merchants of doubt' about the health hazards of smoking."

    On the August 10 edition of Fox News' Shepard Smith Reporting, anchor Smith offered a similar analogy -- and extended it even further to climate change denial. Smith said the story "reminds you of exactly what the tobacco industry did back in day, and more recently, it also reminds you of what the climate deniers -- the climate change deniers -- are doing as well":

    However, Fox contributor Lisa "Kennedy" Montgomery countered with rhetoric more in line with that of Fox News, claiming that "there's so much adulterated science out there that people are no longer going to trust the scientific method at all," and that it's "hard to figure out ... what is emotional rhetoric and what is fact" on climate change.  (The facts undoubtedly show that climate change is real and that humans are causing it.)

    And Rush Limbaugh came to the complete opposite conclusion as Smith. On the August 10 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh ranted that the Times' Coca-Cola story "undermine[s] the whole notion of a scientific consensus," because it "can be bought and paid for":

    LIMBAUGH: If Coca-Cola can find scientists and get an opinion that they want from by paying them, do you think the same thing could happen to climate change scientists and a "consensus" of them?  Do you think somebody could come along and offer those scientists enough money? I mean, the left, if anybody's paying attention, is writing their own obituary in this stuff.  

    They're undermining the whole notion of a scientific consensus. Now it can be bought and paid for by Coca-Cola.

    The tobacco industry has used deceitful tactics for decades to deny and cast doubt upon the scientifically proven health impacts of cigarettes, and the fossil fuel industry has employed the same tactics on climate change. Now, the Coke-funded scientists agreeing with the industry's bottom line have been roundly criticized by independent scientists and health experts. Is Coke the new flavor of industry-funded science denial? 

  • Fox News' Tasteless Exploitation Of ISIS Video

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Riding a hollow premise to new uncharted depths, Fox News not only tossed aside its own clearly stated position about airing violent propaganda videos distributed by terrorists, it also became, according to The Guardian, the only American news organization this week to toil in the realm of marketing an execution.

    Fox not only aired graphic images of a controversial Islamic State (ISIS) clip on its signature nightly news show, it embedded the gruesome, unedited video on its website, and provided lurid, play-by-play description of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh dying at the hands of his captures. (Shepard Smith: "Eventually the pilot collapses to his knees.")

    This is just stunning. An American news organization hosting on its website an explicit terrorist video that captures the staged execution of an innocent hostage.

    How do mainstream organizations handle newsworthy acts of barbarism touted by terrorist organizations? That debate raged last summer when ISIS beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and hyped the executions via videos.

    At the time, the New York Post was considered to have gone right up to edge of good taste with a front page that featured image of Foley just before his beheading, with the executioner's knife at his throat. (By contrast, the image Fox splashed on the screen Tuesday night showed the hostage engulfed in flames; in the process of being killed.) As USA Today media columnist Rem Rieder  noted in August, "There seemed to be wide agreement that making the images available would both dishonor the memory of James Foley and play into the hands of the Islamic State radicals by doing what they wanted."

    Why now?

    Recall the words five months ago of  Michael Clemente, Fox's executive vice president of news/editorial, when the beheading videos emerged: "What we try to do is use judgment so that people are informed about what actually happened while showing as little of what took place as possible."

    Now recall the words of Fox anchor Bret Baier less than 48 hours ago: "The reason we are showing you this is to bring you the reality of Islamic terrorism and to label it as such. We feel you need to see it so we will put up one of the images on your screen right now."

    See, if Fox doesn't show ISIS evil in the form of a murder, people won't grasp the "reality."  

  • Fox Media Critic Praises Shepard Smith, Knocks O'Reilly For Ebola Coverage

    Blog ››› ››› ELLIE SANDMEYER

    Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz echoed his colleague Shepard Smith's admonishment of media for irresponsible Ebola coverage, highlighting his own network's reporting failures.

    Kurtz called out media figures like Fox host Bill O'Reilly, who has demanded the resignation of CDC director Tom Frieden, for reducing their response to Ebola "to a question of which heads should roll."

    He contrasted coverage like O'Reilly's to that of Fox's Shepard Smith, who made headlines this week for blasting media's "irresponsible" and "hysterical" Ebola coverage. Smith "challenged his own profession to stop scaring people," Kurtz explained, asking, "Will the media listen?"

    From Kurtz's October 17 column:

    There's a growing media drumbeat on how to fix the Ebola crisis.

    Tom Frieden should resign!

    [...]

    [D]oes anyone really believe that turning CDC over to an acting director will quickly boost the agency's performance?

    Bill O'Reilly has demanded that Frieden be fired, calling him the "chief propagandist" for the "dumb and dangerous" approach of expecting airport screening to be able to keep infected people out of the United States.  

    [...]

    Another doctor, Fox contributor Manny Alvarez, says:

    "I am more convinced than ever that CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden is not the right person for the job. And I say this because this latest press conference consisted of him telling a room of reporters what anyone who has ever dealt with Ebola in the past should have known...

    "Frieden showed up late to the game again on Ebola, which is not acceptable when lives are at stake."