TV Guide interviewed Fox News’s straight news anchor Shepard Smith ahead of his trip to the Jersey Shore Monday, where he’ll be reporting on the continuing aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Among the things Smith reveals: He hates the partisan commentary proliferated by cable news.
“I’m not trying to get noticed in this landscape [opinion-driven news],” Smith told TV Guide. “I’ve been doing this for 25 years. I only want to find out what’s happening, get it right, add context and perspective and tell people about it. Extreme partisan bickering on one side or another are destructive to our society. I don’t enjoy it. I won’t participate in it.”
Regular viewers of Smith’s broadcasts at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. know he often does add commentary or make remarks that suggest where he stands on certain issues… In early March he went on a fiery rant about the Obama administration’s drone strike policy. Last August he seemed to refer to “Chick-Fil-A Day” (a protest of sorts meant to support Chick-Fil-A’s president who had recently spoke out against same-sex marriage) as the “National Day of Intolerance.” And last May he said Republicans who didn’t support same-sex marriage were on “the wrong side of history.”
Even so, Smith said he’s “not interested” in having his own opinion program. “I’ve enjoyed doing what I’m doing now,” he said. “I know now the value of it is diluted because there are so many different ways you can seek the facts. I hope I’ve built a relationship with viewers that let’s them know if nothing else, at very minimum I’m trying to get it exactly right.”