When Shep Smith announced on air on Friday that he was quitting Fox News, it sent shockwaves across the political and media landscapes. Based on the information available at the time, Palmer Report suggested that something wasn’t on the up and up. Sure enough, the real reason for Smith’s departure has surfaced, and it’s along the lines of what one might have expected.
Earlier this week Fox News ordered Shep Smith to stop criticizing human garbage dump Tucker Carlson, according a tweet from NBC’s Gabriel Sherman. Smith wasn’t willing to go along with this, so he quit. Here’s the kicker: it’s been widely reported that earlier this week, Donald Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr had dinner with Fox News honcho Rupert Murdoch. That means it’s pretty easy to parse what happened here.
Barr convinced Murdoch to order Shep Smith to stop attacking Donald Trump’s beloved chew toy Tucker Carlson. Smith resigned in protest. Barr got his way, and now the increasingly fragile Trump won’t get his feelings hurt each day when he watches Fox News in the afternoon.
What’s remarkable here is that this is a really bad business move for Fox News. Despite Donald Trump’s claims to the contrary, Shep Smith’s ratings were great. Far more importantly, honest newsmen like Smith and Chris Wallace have been providing cover for the fact that most of Fox’s programming consists of deranged pro-Trump lies being spewed by Carlson, Hannity, Ingraham, and other bottom feeders. Smith’s departure will make it harder for Fox to explain away the toxic waste that it airs for most of the day. Meanwhile Trump is on his way down the tubes, so Fox threw Shep Smith away for nothing.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report