Saturday, October 12, 2019

MSNBC guest claims it's 'explicit' that White House dictated Shepard Smith ousting at Fox

by Mike Brest
October 11, 2019 
08:15 PM

An MSNBC guest claimed that the Trump administration strong-armed Fox News into getting rid of network anchor Shepard Smith, who has been a vocal critic of the president.

Smith announced during the conclusion of his show that he was leaving the network imminently on Friday. A number of colleagues at the network were shocked by the news. Many outside the network speculated that his ouster could have been a result of Rupert Murdoch meeting with Attorney General William Barr at the former's home earlier this week.

Danielle Moodie-Mills, a co-host of the Democracy-ish podcast, pushed the unsubstantiated claim and alleged that the administration "explicitly" forced Smith out during a Friday evening appearance on The Beat With Ari Melber.

"One of the questions here is whether implicitly or explicitly, the government is dictating programming," Melber said to Moodie-Mills.

"It is explicit. The government is dictating program," she replied. "Fox News has turned into state television. It is Trump TV. The reality is that why is William Barr who is the Attorney General of the United States going to meet with Rupert Murdoch? Why is that something he is doing? Was there something that was happening with Fox News and the American people that he was going to talk about or was he going to talk about the fact that the polls came out and Trump didn’t like what he saw?"

She went on to further discuss a Fox News poll, which was released earlier this week, in which slightly over 50% of respondents favored Trump's impeachment and removal from office.

"So now all of a sudden, a day after that meeting, he is gone and resigned out of nowhere, 23 years," Moodie-Mills added. "You know the media game. People don’t leave in the middle of their contract for no reason, right? Like you have to be pushed out or told to do something that then you decide, 'You know what, maybe my integrity is too much at this point, and so I am going to walk away.'"

Melber did push back a little, saying, "I have to note as a reporter, of course, we’re reporting what Shep said today, which is that he asked to leave, and that they asked him to stay. He pressed and left. I want to get that in there."

A Fox News spokesperson previously told the Washington Examiner that any insinuation that Smith's departure is related to the Murdoch-Barr meeting is "absolutely not true."

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