After Rush Limbaugh mocked FNC’s Shepard Smith for pointing out there might have been something to the DHS report about right wing extremists, the right wing blogosphere has called for Smith to either quit or be fired from Fox News.
Here is the video of Smith’s original claim that the right wing went bonkers after the DHS report, and that his email has gotten more and more frightening over the last few months:
Here is Limbaugh mocking Smith on his radio show yesterday:
Of course, Republican blogs are following Limbaugh’s lead. Allahpundit over at Hot Air wrote, “I don’t know how else to read this clip except as Shep warning America that his own viewership is teeming with would-be presidential assassins. If he truly believes that, why doesn’t he quit? How can his conscience stand it?” (Interestingly, Smith doesn’t refer to the emailer to his show as a potential presidential assassin. This point is the author’s own creation.)
Pamela Geller over at Atlas Shrugs called for Shepard Smith to be fired. She said, “FOX could do so much better than this pompous elitist. If Beck proved anything, it’s that if you are halfway talented, your numbers will go through the roof. Beating the competition when you’re on FOX is no biggie. The competition of CNN, MSNBC et al drives people to FOX. Leading the leftwing media asshats is not the bar to beat. FOX numbers are the bar. I am sure, for example, if FOX dropped Beck into Greta’s spot, he would increase their numbers at 10pm by 30%.”
Geller continued, “Shep sucks. And Shep has always sucked, and it’s time to get rid of the deadwood. I don’t know where he gets off talking down to us, but it’s not his job to defend Obama and to try to tie African American racism into this Jew hating incident. Funny thing, though, he didn’t discuss Jew hatred at all. Nope. An 89 year old Nazi goes into the Holocaust museum and shoots up the place, and Shep is whining about the lack of O-love. And that racism is driving that lack o’love. Earth to Shep: Americans are angry because Obama is destroying the country. And what does that have to do with an 89 year old nazi shooting up the Museum devoted to mass extermination of the Jews?”
What Geller has given us is an example of the classic right wing projection and expansion tactic. Watch the clip. Was Smith defending Obama? The answer is no. Smith was pointing out that there might have been something to the DHS report. Was Smith talking down to conservatives? No, but to the modern Republican any criticism is the same as being talked down to.
Fox News doesn’t simply dominate the ratings because their programming is the best. The real answer is in part attributable to the fact that it is the only conservative cable news network. They own the conservative market, while MSNBC and CNN split everyone else. I have always thought that if another conservative network came along to challenge Fox News, they would split the audience share. I also have a hunch that if MSNBC was available in the same number of homes as FNC, the ratings might be a bit more competitive.
Shepard Smith’s crime against the right was that he displayed an open mind, and for this, according to some, he must be fired. This pretty much puts an end to the claim that FNC is fair and balanced. Their viewers don’t want fair and balanced. They want their beliefs agreed with and confirmed.
Smith questioned them, so instead of questioning themselves, people like Geller decided that the problem is obviously Smith. What is going on here is an expansion of the right wing purge of all things moderate to now include anyone on FNC who dares to disagree with them even once.