Shep Smith takes a dig at Tucker Carlson on air

August 10, 2019

Is Shep Smith trying to quit Fox News? Because he’s literally turning against the network by trying to take out one of its biggest stars, Tucker Carlson.

Although he didn’t mention his fellow host by name, Fox News host Shepard Smith countered Carlson’s Tuesday comments about the media furor over white supremacy. “White nationalism is without question a serious problem in America,” Smith said Wednesday as he recapped comments made by Democrat presidential frontrunner Joe Biden.

Smith takes Biden’s position

While campaigning in Iowa this week, Biden accused President Donald Trump of encouraging white supremacy. “In both clear language and in code, this president has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation,” the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate declared on Wednesday.

Reporting on Biden’s Iowa speech, Smith uncritically repeated his political rhetoric, stating that Biden noted “the unmistakable rise of white nationalism and white racism in America, and saying that, as president, he will work to fight against it, calling us to our better souls, to recognize that white nationalism is real, that white nationalism is on the rise, that white nationalism is without question a very serious problem in America and beating down those who would help facilitate it and encourage it, because they are an enormous part of the problem.”

Smith’s reporting was a pretty clear dig at Carlson, who had come under fire for describing the left’s politically-expedient hype about white supremacy as “a lie” the day before. “If you were to assemble a list, a hierarchy of concerns or problems this country faces, where would white supremacy be on the list? Right up there with Russia, probably. It’s actually not a real problem in America,” Carlson said during his Tuesday monologue. “Just like the Russia hoax, it’s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power,” he added.

Trump: Smith Worse than CNN

Trump tweeted his response to Smith on Wednesday, saying that “fake news CNN is better than watching Shepard Smith, the lowest rated show on @FoxNews.”

The tweet came during Smith’s broadcast, and Smith acknowledged it during the show by saying, “Good afternoon, Mr. President. It’s nice to have you with us,” the Hill reported.

Carlson: Please calm down

A few hours later on his Wednesday night show, Carlson responded to the furor. “So we want to take a second to pass on a sincere message to official Washington and particularly to our colleagues on the other cable news channels, and it’s this: Please, for the sake of the nation, calm down.”

“Yes, America has problems. Yes, racism is one of America’s problems,” he said. “But so is a fading middle class. So is a terrifying drug epidemic that’s killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. So is the national debt that is growing by a trillion dollars a year.”

“This is not a white supremacist country plotting the slaughter of its own people. It’s a kind country, full of decent people of all races, who, like all people everywhere, make bad decisions from time to time. But they mean well, and they generally try their best,” Carlson said.

Peace out

At the end of Wednesday’s show, Carlson announced that he would be going on a fishing trip with his son for a few days. “I am taking several days off, headed to the wilderness to fish with my son, catch some Brook trout,” Carlson shared. “Politics is important; fishing with your son (is) sometimes more important.”

There was no evidence that Carlson was taking time off because of his comments or any backlash associated with them, and Fox News has defended him in the face of controversy before. As Trump pointed out, however, some feel that Fox News has become less conservative of late, and may have more problems with solidly conservative hosts like Carlson than they used to.

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Jen Krausz

Jen Krausz is a Conservative Institute staff writer. A lifelong member of the Republican Party, she has an English degree from a liberal arts college and has contributed to numerous publications including Newsmax.