We spent a very busy news day behind the scenes with Shepard Smith, the Fox News Channel anchor who has been with the company since its inception in 1996. Smith, 53, hosts the network’s 3 PM hour, during which he reports from the Fox News Deck, a $10 million dollar, state-of-the-art set and news gathering area.
According to Nielsen, “Shepard Smith Reporting” is, during 2017 so far, the highest-rated cable news program in its time slot, averaging 1.5 million viewers every day.
Unlike opinion-driven Fox News shows like “Hannity” and “Justice w/ Judge Jeanine,” Smith specializes in reporting the facts, and he calls on Fox News’ roster of correspondents in the field and in-house reporters to cover breaking news stories, sans opinion.
On the day we caught up with Smith, he and his editorial staff feverishly juggled the myriad major stories all contending to be featured during the show’s opening segment. We got an inside look at how the show comes together, and we also asked Smith about what makes him unique when compared to other talent at Fox News. We also asked about how he hasn’t been afraid to take Trump to task for saying what Smith calls “untrue things.” Following is a transcript of the video.
Shepard Smith: I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I’ve never been in a news cycle like this where it just – it just keeps coming. We have four lead stories today. They could all be a lead. Al Franken now has – it was 10 senators. Within the last hour, it’s now 24 senators who are calling for him to resign. Roy Moore – the president has endorsed now three times. And Southern California is burning.
John Glenn: The news cycle is on speed these days. Every few hours, there’s a new lead, and you can see today, you know, we have 34 minutes to air. There’s a good chance it will change again. I mean, I haven’t looked at my phone in two minutes, so it might have already changed.
Smith: As of right now, we lead with the president’s decision to move the embassy of the United States to Jerusalem in Israel.
[Smith has worked for Fox News since it started in 1996]
Smith: I was here a year before the channel actually started, so I’ve been here 22 years. Everything has changed in our business. When I came here, I had a pager. Now, it’s just a cacophony of news-noise and an avalanche of information. And learning to deal with it has been the biggest change in my life.
Whenever I’m not speaking (to reporters), I’ll listen to what they’re saying while looking for updates in everything else that we’re covering. Over time, you just learn to listen and type and read all at the same time, but the main thing is being up to date on what’s happening. If you get behind in today’s news cycle, you will never catch up.
Smith [From February 16, 2017 broadcast]: Continuing coverage of the president’s news conference that happened earlier this afternoon and, you know, it’s sort of our job to let you know when things are said that aren’t true. This president keeps telling untrue things, and he does it every single time he’s in front of a microphone.
Smith [from interview]: If someone were to stand up and say 2 +2 = 6, it’s beholden on me to correct that, because it isn’t 6. It’s 4. A lot of our audience is a right wing audience. They’re a conservative audience. They’re a traditional audience, but it’s not as if they don’t understand that sometimes the facts aren’t on your side. There is an enormous audience out there that won’t believe that. Those in the far right and far left, because – so often, the facts fly in the face of your own worldview.
Sometimes, your side is wrong. I’m here to give the facts, and I don’t really care what you think.
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