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Shep Smith Provides Top Notch Kennedy Funeral Coverage

Reported by Priscilla - August 29, 2009 -

For those who might say that I am consumed by hatred of all things Fox, I need to set the record straight. While I criticize, what I feel, is right wing propaganda, I am willing to give credit where it is due and today that credit is due Fox News’ Shepherd Smith who provided non partisan and very poignant funeral coverage for the late Massachusetts Senator, Edward Kennedy. And let me say that I was not watching Fox to see if there was bias; but rather because the coverage on another network could have been better. I’m glad I changed the channel.

The MSNBC “Morning Joe” coverage was fun and interesting; but the political reminiscences of Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan got a bit tedious especially when they talked over the priest’s blessing of the casket at the Kennedy Library. When Chris Matthews came along, I really had to change the channel as I couldn’t deal with his self indulgent commentary peppered with what he thinks are deep thoughts. Curious as to who was covering the event at Fox, I changed the channel – intending to head for CNN or C-Span if that proved irksome. But there was no need to do so because Shep Smith was providing really good “color.” Unlike the MSNBC commentators, who were so engrossed in their commentary that they didn’t identify many of the family members and politicians in attendance, Smith was able to do so without interrupting what Martha MacCullum (who was at the church) was saying. Because Smith wasn’t as close to Kennedy as some of the MSNBC folks, he didn’t concentrate on his memories. Rather, he referenced a more macrocosmic overview of Kennedy’s achievements and family history. Smith’s co correspondent was Ed Klein, who has written a biography of Ted Kennedy, “The Dream that Never Died.” MacCallum’s commentary reflected her respect for the somber moment. After the service she remarked about how Ted Kennedy lived to eulogize his brothers and now he is being eulogized by the first African American president – something that represents a profound moment in history. There was no partisan sniping from anybody.

Shep’s voice, with that mellow hint of the South, is soothing. His commentary was not so much from a TV commentator; but a friend who was sharing his thoughts with family during a sad time of loss. It was clear the he was impressed with the solemnity of the service and the eulogies – especially those given by Kennedy’s sons. He referred to Kennedy as an “American Icon” and said that this is a day when we “set politics aside” while honoring “the memory of a great man who did his best for those who had little.” But at the very end of his coverage, as the coffin was being taken down the steps of the church, Smith talked about how this day was really all about family and that anyone who has lost a loved knows the pain that the Kennedy family is experiencing. Shep finished his broadcast by saying that this day is “all about sharing love in a time of difficult passing.” More than just “color commentary,” Shep’s closing was a eulogy that was on a par with the thoughts of those who were close to Kennedy. It was very moving.

Thank you Shep Smith for being you – a class act.