Fox News chief news anchor Shepard Smith declared during his afternoon newscast on Thursday that “journalists are not the enemies of the people” amid escalating tensions between the news media and the Trump White House.
“For those of you at home, if I may, journalists are not the enemies of the people. It’s quite the opposite,” Smith said. “Our profession is enshrined in the Constitution and the fourth estate holds the essential job of being your eyes and often ears and, when appropriate, your voice. It’s a cornerstone of our republic.”
“Over 22 years at this network, it’s been my experience that the journalists of Fox News and Fox Business and those of our colleagues at competitors at CNN and MSNBC, NBC, ABC and CBS, Bloomberg and PBS, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The Washington Post – all of them operate in the public interests,” he continued.
“We work to discern what is truth. Then to present it to you in context and with perspective. As your representatives in the people’s halls, report to you without fear or favor while striving to hold those in power to the same standards. This is the foundation of what we do,” Smith concluded.
“Bravo to the @ShepNewsTeam. And I might add, thank you,” wrote Don Lemon, the anchor of “CNN Tonight,” while adding the hashtag #FreedomofthePress.
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) July 26, 2018
The Hill added:
The longtime Fox News anchor delivered the commentary a day after the White House escalated tensions with the news media by disinviting CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from a Rose Garden event, sparking wide outcry from journalists and news outlets.
The White House barred Collins from the event after she repeatedly asked President Trump about news regarding his former longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen and Russian President Vladimir Putin during an Oval Office meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
CNN defended Collins in a statement Wednesday, saying she spoke at a normal volume when questioning the president.
“Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of day doesn’t mean the question isn’t relevant and shouldn’t be asked,” the network added. “This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better.”
Fox News anchor Bret Baier voiced Fox’s support for its rival network, saying “Fox stands firmly with CNN.”
“As a member of the White House press pool, Fox stands firmly with CNN on this issue of access,” Baier said on Wednesday night’s “Special Report.”
In late June, CNN reporter Jim Acosta asked Trump if he would “stop calling the press the ‘enemy of the people'” after a deadly shooting at a newspaper in Maryland.