Reliable Sources newsletter:
Shep: "The times ahead will test all of us..."
The divide between the Shep Smith side of Fox News and the Sean Hannity side of Fox was especially stark on Wednesday. Smith was in DC, accepting a First Amendment Award from RTDNF, while Hannity was on the air running defense for the president. I transcribed what Smith said during his acceptance speech. It is worth reading in full.
"Being accurate and honest and thorough and fair is our primary mission. It's our professional calling. And everyone on my team takes it extremely seriously," he said, referring to his "Shepard Smith Reporting" colleagues.
Smith recalled advice from one of his Old Miss journalism professors about telling the truth, no matter what. "I personally believe this is the duty not only of journalists but of every person who has the honor of a platform of influence," he said. "We must never manipulate or invent. We must never knowingly deceive. Because to do so is a disservice to our audience and potentially injurious to our society."
Smith said he is convinced that "history will poorly reflect" upon those who intentionally misinform. By this point in his speech, I started to think that he was subtweeting his opinion side colleagues.
And he continued: "The times ahead will test all of us as finders and disseminators of accurate information. My team and I, like you and yours, will strive to remain on task, trying our very best to ignore the Twitter trolls and others who relentlessly pursue us, daily, and to get the facts to the people. ALL of the people. In every place, in every corner where information is taken in. The First Amendment that this award honors gives us the protection to do what is right. To do what's right, no matter what. To the founding fathers, we're grateful and mindful of our responsibility; of our purpose; and of our duty."
It was a powerful speech on a night full of them. "Good night, and get it right," he said.