Shep Smith, who's been doing his "awesomest bro on Fox" thing for years now, is finally getting some attention from the elite liberal media! The Times reports that he is not crazy, and therefore hated by his audience. Really?
Shep's insistence on being entertaining, even when taking umbrage, make him perfect for Fox. It's only his equally strong insistence on, you know, reporting actual facts and not allowing bullshit to go unremarked on that makes people think he is a secret liberal infiltrator. Who knows (or cares!) what his personal He is a newsman!
But Fox viewers—specifically the subset of Fox viewers who spew torrents of death threats and hate mail to anyone Bill O'Reilly calls names—do not like Shep, because he calls them crazy. They are crazy, of course, but they don't want to hear this from a guy on the only network that truly understands what it is to be crazy. What a weird sensation it must be, to have your craziness coddled and encouraged by Glenn Beck and then to be told you are an unbalanced lunatic by this Shep character on the same channel.
So the Times asked Shep to explain this weird contradiction. And he is polite. Because he is southern!
He said he was trying to counter "an ideological base" that argues: "The president is illegitimate. The country is off the rails. It's been hijacked."
Some of those points seem consistent with the message delivered nightly by Mr. Beck. Mr. Smith said he had a warm relationship with Mr. Beck. "He's about the nicest guy in the building," he said.
Anyway, yes, he gets this hate mail. But his ratings are good and he gets very nice press from people like us so his job is in no danger, even though the wingnuts are all pissed at him. Because Fox is primarily about entertainment and secondarily about destroying the discourse, and Shep is very entertaining, as the above clip, from earlier this month, illustrates!