— Shepard Smith (@ShepNewsTeam) January 11, 2017
Shepard Smith took a moment at the end of his Wednesday broadcast to criticize Donald Trump’s “belittling” of Jim Acosta and trashing of CNN earlier in the day. Trump even went so far as call CNN a fake news site.
Trump’s first press conference as president-elect appeared to be an unofficial airing of the grievances, with Acosta being an apparent prime target. Trump’s gripe stemmed from CNN reporting on intel information about Russia’s reported “compromising” information, which was followed by the “golden showers” file’s release. But it should be noted that BuzzFeed released these documents, and CNN has gone out of their way to say they didn’t touch the “golden showers” file because it contained unverified information.
— CNN (@CNN) January 11, 2017
But Trump stood his ground, not taking a question from Acosta and calling CNN fake news. This didn’t sit well with Fox News’ Smith, who felt it was inappropriate for the president-elect to belittle a member of the press:
“President-elect Trump today told CNN’s Jim Acosta his organization amounts to fake news. CNN’s exclusive reporting on the Russian matter was separate and distinctly different from the document dump executed by an online news property. Though we at Fox News cannot confirm CNN’s report, it is our observation that its correspondents followed journalistic standards and that neither they nor any other journalists should be subjected to belittling and delegitimizing by the president-elect of the United States.”
Going to bat for someone at a rival network may seem unusual, but Smith appeared to be merely sticking up for his journalistic colleague. His commentary was praised by some (and he received a thank you from Acosta).
Perhaps Smith’s will have an effect, or at least pressure Team Trump to not let this “fake news” accusation happen again. That may be wishful thinking.