Shepard Smith of Fox News was bewildered and stunned by the comments made by President Donald Trump Tuesday about the leftward bias in Google, the behemoth online searching service.
"What is he talking about?!"
Smith was responding to comments the president made on Twitter and later at the White House.
"I think Google is really taking advantage of people," Trump said to reporters in the Oval Office Tuesday. "They better be careful because you can't do that to people, we have tremendous, we have literally thousands and thousands of complaints coming in."
"They're really treading on really troubled territory," he added.
"Well, uh Mexico will pay for the wall," Smith responded, "as we all know, and this new thing today's new thing, not a thing, but a thing."
"Google is taking advantage of a lot of people," Smith paraphrased the president, "Google, Facebook, and Twitter, you can't do that to people. They're treading on troubled territory."
"Which means nothing," Smith said, exasperated.
"John Roberts, what is he talking about?" Smith asked. "Treading on troubled territory? 'You can't do that,' do what to people?!"
"I think what he's doing Shep," Roberts responded, "is he's venting, he doesn't like the coverage that he sees, particularly in the Google search results. We pointed out some of what the president may have been either seeing on Google himself or had relayed to him."
"The fake news seems pretty good for him!"
"He sees a lot of Facebook postings that are anti-his presidency," Roberts continued, "but the Twitter thing to me was a little strange because nobody is more prolific than him!"
"What he doesn't like is the news!" Smith protested. "It's not the people who are delivering it, or the platforms on which they receive it, it seems to be the news itself because around there the news is not good, except the fake news, the fake news seems pretty good for him, the real news seems to be very unpleasant!"
Roberts continued on to explain that the president likely didn't appreciate the tone in the news, and certain comments he saw on Twitter.
Here's the video of Shep Smith's bewildered response:
At the end of the segment, Smith tried to repeat Trump's comments, and joked, "I lost the page, but you know what, it didn't make sense then, it wouldn't make sense now."
Some of the president's allies responded with approval at his suggestion that social media companies be regulated, but others warned that that kind of government-centered control of the means of communication often ends with unanticipated negative consequences.