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Shepard Smith Backpedals - 'We're Not Naming Anybody'

Reported by Donna - October 17, 2005

From the minute I turned on Studio B with Shepard Smith, I knew it was going to be a fluff show. The top story was the murder of attorney Daniel Horowitz's wife, Pamela Vitale, 20 miles east of San Francisco, California. Smith reported that the San Francisco Chronicle was reporting an arrest of a caretaker in the case. He did say that Fox was unable to verify the arrest, but the San Francisco Chronicle was reporting it.

He went to reporter Claudia Cowan who was at the courthouse in Martinez, California, who reported that the buzz was all around the courthouse about the arrest of the caretaker, Joseph Lynch.

However, Smith got on the phone with Phil Bronstein, the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle who set the story straight. Bronstein said that the San Francisco Chronicle was not reporting this, that one reporter had heard from a source that was close to the family that an arrest had been made. He said they were still waiting to verify the story.

After hearing this, Smith quickly tried to smooth over the fact that they had reported that the San Francisco Chronicle was reporting this, when it fact, the Chronicle was not. He said that our information within our own wire service here at Fox News said that the newspaper is reporting an arrest in the investigation into Horowitz's wife's death. He went on to say that he was "reading that directly for you."

Then, Smith tried to further smooth things over by saying, "That, apparently, is not yet true. May be a little bit ahead of ourselves. We certainly haven't named anybody and no one has been indicted here."

Comments: "We certainly haven't named anybody?" The Fox reporter in San Francisco certainly did name someone, Joseph Lynch, as the caretaker who was arrested.

I have to admit, I was taken aback a bit when Phil Bronstein, the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, set Smith straight when he spoke live via phone. However, Smith saying, "We certainly havent' named anybody" was just ridiculous. It reminded me of the story about the kid who ate the candy bar and said he didn't and the chocolate was all over his face and hands.

If you were looking for hard news on Traitorgate regarding Karl Rove or Scooter Libby, it wasn't to be seen today on Studio B. They were too busy reporting wrongly on a sensationalized murder case. While ithe information may turn out to be true, Fox may have also leaked a totally innocent man's name. Either way, he didn't have to lie about it and say that "We certainly haven't named anybody." Smith did make sure to tell everyone to check out Greta tonight because Greta would be 'all over this'. But, of course.

**Special Note** If you would like to discuss Traitorgate, Rove and Libby, please feel free. I've decided to open up this thread since there was so much fluff on Studio B and because Smith said they would 'no longer discuss' the Traitorgate story until new information came through.

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