CNBC anchor Shepard Smith has slammed his former colleagues at Fox News Channel, saying they ‘propagated the lies’ and accusing them of spreading ‘disinformation.’
‘I don’t know how some people sleep at night because I know that there are a lot of people who have propagated the lies, and have pushed them forward over and over again who are smart enough and educated enough to know better,’ he told Christiane Amanpour of CNN on Tuesday.
Smith left Fox News abruptly in 2019 after 23 years, amid rifts with opinion host Carlson. His evening news show with CNBC launched last fall and has struggled with low ratings.
Fox News, particularly its opinion hosts such as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, have been criticized at times for amplifying President Donald Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen through widespread fraud.
‘If you feel like the Fox viewers were getting mis- or dis-information, I was there to make sure that they got it straight,’ Smith said of his former daytime news show on the network.
CNBC anchor Shepard Smith slammed his former colleagues at Fox News Channel in and interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday
‘I don’t know how some people sleep at night, because I know that there are a lot of people who have propagated the lies,’ Smith said of his former colleagues
‘There were a lot of others in there who I thought were trying to do the same thing. But I thought that to just abandon it, and to deprive those viewers of … to deny them that, with the thought that they might replace it with opinion instead, seemed a little selfish. So I stuck with it as long as I could,’ he said.
‘My goal was to just keep the blinders on and just do my job to the best of my ability,’ Smith added, before ripping opinion hosts without naming any specific names.
‘Opine all you like, but if you’re going to opine, begin with the truth and opine from there. And it’s that deviation from that that has caused me the greatest concern. I believe that when people begin with a false premise and lead people to astray, that’s injurious to society, and it’s the antithesis of what we should be doing,’ he said.
‘Those of us who are so honored and grateful to have a platform of influence have to use it for the public good,’ Smith added.
A Fox News spokeswoman declined to comment to DailyMail.com.
This week, Fox shuffled its daytime lineup and added a new hourlong opinion show at 7pm, replacing that hour’s news anchor, Martha MacCallum, who moved into the 3pm hour.
Without naming names, Smith slammed the opinion hosts at Fox News. Pictured: Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has an 8pm weekday show
‘Opine all you like, but if you’re going to opine, begin with the truth and opine from there,’ said Smith. Above, Fox host Sean Hannity interviews Trump at a rally in September
Fox’s new 7pm hour, dubbed Fox News Primetime, will be led by a rotating group of opinion hosts, with a permanent host to be named later.
For years, first with Smith and then with MacCallum, Fox had stressed news instead of opinion at 7pm, which currently leads into opinion hosts Tucker Carlson at 8pm and Sean Hannity at 9pm.
But MacCallum, who had been comfortably ahead in the ratings, had slipped behind both MSNBC and CNN at 7pm since the election, according to Nielsen data.
That’s also when competitor Newsmax has seen its greatest success with a strongly pro-Trump show hosted by Greg Kelly.
In fact, Newsmax issued a statement claiming that its improved daytime and 7pm ratings since the election had triggered the lineup changes at Fox.
Fox denied that Newsmax had anything to do with its moves, and pointed to a quote from an October article that said schedule changes were being considered.
While Newsmax has sharply increased its audience since the election, with viewers spurred on by President Donald Trump, Fox routinely has more than triple Newsmax’s viewers, and Kelly beat McCallum in ratings only one day in a single age demographic.
‘Chris Ruddy is irrelevant,’ Fox said in a statement, referencing Newsmax’s CEO.
Fox shuffled its daytime lineup and added a new hourlong opinion show at 7pm, replacing that hour’s news anchor, Martha MacCallum (above in August), who moved into the 3pm slot
Still, there’s been a dramatic change in Fox’s daytime position in the ratings.
During the first three months of 2020, Fox’s average of 2.1 million viewers during the 9am to 4pm weekday hours was essentially equal to CNN and MSNBC combined, Nielsen said.
Since the election, CNN has averaged 1.92 million viewers in those daytime hours, with Fox and MSNBC both at 1.53 million.
MacCallum is taking over the 3pm Eastern hour from Bill Hemmer, who is moving back to mornings, co-hosting a two-hour America’s Newsroom with Dana Perino at 9am.
Meanwhile, Harris Faulkner’s daily hour shifts from 1pm to 11am and changes its name to ‘The Faulkner Focus.’
CNN also announced lineup changes last week, as is often the case for news organizations with a new president about to take power. CNN’s Jake Tapper and Fox’s John Roberts are among those taking on new roles.
Tapper’s daily news show will increase an hour, running from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern, taking an hour from Wolf Blitzer’s ‘Situation Room.’ Tapper will also be CNN’s lead anchor for all Washington-based events, the network said.
Tapper will keep his Sunday ‘State of the Union’ show but time-share with new co-anchor Dana Bash. Both will anchor two Sundays a month.
Abby Phillip, a rising star at CNN, will host the Sunday morning show ‘Inside Politics’ and has been named senior political correspondent. John King will continue to host ‘Inside Politics’ on weekdays.
Jim Acosta, who became well known for his run-ins with Trump at the White House, is moving off that beat with the incoming Biden administration. He’ll become a weekend anchor and chief domestic correspondent. Kaitlan Collins is replacing him as head of the White House team.
CNN says Pamela Brown will anchor a three-hour news program each Saturday and Sunday evening.