Fox’s Shep Smith: It’s being framed as players attacking the anthem, troops, & the flag….that’s not what they’re doing and we’re complicit pic.twitter.com/Ia31dz5Zka
— Media Matters (@mmfa) September 25, 2017
There have been a lot of meaningful opinions shared since Donald Trump’s angry appearance in Alabama on Friday night, with some that you wouldn’t expect to speak up on national television almost taking a lead off of the NFL protests that dominated the weekend. But the most surprising — or unsurprising if you’ve followed along for the past year — take on the controversy might come from Fox News and anchor Shepard Smith. The longtime Fox personality has never hesitated to share his opinion before, even if it conflicts with the narrative that you might hear elsewhere on the network.
“It’s very clear, that from his base, this is the red meat of all red meat, because they’re able to reframe this. They’re able to say, ‘Oh, they’re attacking the national anthem. They’re attacking the troops. They’re attacking the flag.’ None of which they’re doing. They’re not doing any of that. They’re upset about racial injustice in the country, and they’re upset about the things that the president has said. And he’s able to turn it around for his base.”
While chatting with Politico reporter Rachel Bade, Shepard agreed that the situation was “bad all around for Republicans” and making it clear that the players aren’t protesting the national anthem or the flag:
“That’s not what they’re doing, and we’re complicit!”
Smith has spoken out against the president’s comments and actions in the past, showing disbelief in the ongoing revelations of the Russia investigation and becoming one of the first to dispute the president’s claims that Trump Tower was wiretapped before the election — though it has since been reported that Paul Manafort was indeed being wiretapped and the president could’ve become involved through him.
None of that has any true connection to the events of the past weekend or the comments shared by Trump on Friday, unless it is meant to be the “distraction” that Smith and Bade discuss in the clip. Even if it wasn’t intentionally used to stir up his supporters at the rally, Smith’s claims during his broadcast on Monday are supported by what has happened in the aftermath.