As part of a fawning Huffington Post profile, Shepard Smith acknowledged that he’s gay. It’s long been assumed. But this was the first time he has publicly admitted it.
From The Huffington Post:
Along with the rampant sexual harassment that brought Ailes down, there were also reports that he used homophobic slurs toward rivals. Though Shep rarely talks about his sexuality, he is regularly, for instance, included in Out Magazine’s Power 50 list.
I asked if Ailes had ever made homophobic remarks when he was around. “No, never. He treated me with respect, just respect,” Shep said. “I wasn’t new in the business when I came here ― I’d been doing reporting for 12 years ― but I wasn’t old in it either, and he gave me every opportunity in the world and he never asked anything of me but that we get it right, try to get it right every day. It was a very warm and loving and comfortable place.”
He said that reports that Ailes had prevented him from coming out publicly several years ago were false. “That’s not true. He was as nice as he could be to me. I loved him like a father,” he said. “I trusted him with my career and with ― I trusted him and trusts were betrayed. People outside this company can’t know [how painful that betrayal was]. This place has its enemies, but inside, it was very personal, and very scarring and horrifying.”
The Advocate has more on the “Ailes had prevented him from coming out publicly” story:
Smith has long been reported among Out magazine’s Power 50 list, though he’d never come out. Gawker, the now-defunct website run by out editor Nick Denton, reported in 2014 that Smith had said “it’s time” to come out during contract negotiations, but Ailes bluntly told him the channel’s conservative audience wouldn’t tolerate a gay anchor. Fox News denied the report at the time with a joint statement by Ailes and Smith that didn’t address Smith’s sexual orientation.
“This story is 100 percent false and a complete fabrication,” they wrote. “As colleagues and close friends at Fox News for 18 years, our relationship has always been rooted in a mutual respect, deep admiration, loyalty, trust, and full support both professionally and personally.”
The point of the Huffington Post article is that the current Murdoch Fox News is not your grandfather’s Ailes Fox News. The piece is titled, “Is Shep Smith The Future Of Fox News?” In case you didn’t guess the answer, there’s this:
Shep’s approach represents one potential path forward for Fox News ― undeniably conservative, but grounded in reality, observant of American traditions and democratic norms, and partisan only when a standpoint fully aligns with conservative and American values.
Since the forced departure of Roger Ailes ― who has now gone on to advise the spawn of Fox News, the Trump campaign ― Rupert Murdoch’s two sons, James and Lachlan, have taken a bigger role inside the network. If they get their way, some of the knuckle-dragging, opinion-heavy approach to politics may be less welcome at headquarters, clearing the way for journalists like Smith, Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly. The brothers are reportedly working hard to woo Kelly, hoping she’ll stay at Fox past the election and help shape the network’s post-Ailes identity.
Smith's official coming out in this piece, not long after Ailes' departure is interesting timing, eh?
Listen, I respect Smith and I hope he does represent the future of Fox. But right now, in the present, Smith’s show notwithstanding, most of the network’s programming still serves as a propaganda arm of the Republican Party.
Watch Huffington Post's mashup video below, called, "The Very Best of Shepard Smith."
Smith image via screen grab.
Shepard Smith’s status has long been a subject of discussion so I thought our readers would be interested. But if you read my post, the real point is that the author is suggesting his new openness is part of a new (Ailes-less) Fox News. I’m saying it looks like window dressing.
If it weren’t for all that it should be everybody’s nevermind.
(Don’t let em find out, Shephard.)