Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, May 01, 2014

The Gawker web site claims that Fox News anchor Shepard Smith was demoted from his primetime slot to the afternoon after Smith approached network president Roger Ailes about wanting to public outing himself. Smith attended a small company picnic attended by top executives and on-air talent with boyfriend, Fox producer Gio Graziano, causing one top executive to freak out, Gawker reports: "According to multiple sources with knowledge of the picnic, the most dramatic reaction came from Bill Shine, the channel's executive vice president of programming. Shine 'flipped out,' one source said, after Smith introduced Graziano to attendees."

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Smith and Ailes gave this response to Gawker's story: "This story is 100% false and a complete fabrication. As colleagues and close friends at Fox News for 18 years, our relationship has always been rooted in a mutual respect, deep admiration, loyalty, trust, and full support both professionally and personally."

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

Shine, meet Sterling.

#1 | Posted by Harry_Powell at 2014-04-30 07:15 PM | Reply | Flag:

We have professional sports athletes coming out with great risk to their careers yet they find the courage to do it. Same in most professions. Shep Smith is a coward and I don't respect his willingness to live a lie just to appease his bigoted audience. Find a new audience Shep.

#2 | Posted by danni at 2014-04-30 07:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

such hatred....do not EVER accuse me of hating anyone...ever again !!! you have NO IDEA about all of the things involved.....

#3 | Posted by afkabl2 at 2014-04-30 07:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

"such hatred....do not EVER accuse me of hating anyone...ever again !!!"

Never said I hated Shepard Smith, I just don't respect his willingness to remain in the closet. I would celebrate his coming out, realize he is a great role model for many gay men, women too, his willing to remain closeted while others come out and make the world safe for gays is very disappointing. He should be a leader.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2014-04-30 07:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Never said I hated Shepard Smith"

Plenty of folks have been accused by others of hatred for calling Obama a Coward.

The left hates any black or gay person who has the audacity to not be a leftist.

#5 | Posted by eberly at 2014-04-30 07:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

The left hates any black or gay person who has the audacity to not be a leftist.
#5 | POSTED BY EBERLY AT 2014-04-30 07:51 PM | FLAG:

I can't speak for all the left, but hate is a bit strong.

OTOH, no. I certainly don't understand those who would climb in bed with those who hate them and will vote against their best interests simply because they sometimes agree on fiscal policy. More to life than money, or national debt even. Shocking to us politicophiles here, I know.

If the Republican platform would lose the backwards social conservative nutjobs, who even if they aren't the majority have been given far too big a bullhorn, then I might understand such a position.

I'd understand it even more if Republicans weren't the party of big government, only so long as it benefits the rich and no one else. Repubs are not conservatives.

#6 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-04-30 08:26 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Shine, meet Sterling.

Stop trying to equate the gay movement with the civil rights movement.

#2 and #4

Why the hate toward Smith? And yes, it is hate. Just because he isn't liberal, why isn't he allowed into the gay club?

I just don't respect his willingness to remain in the closet

Why not if it's a choice? Everyone doesn't have to be on the battlefield for gays, do they?

Your attitude seems very bigoted and racist to me..

#7 | Posted by boaz at 2014-04-30 08:26 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Like Danni, Shepard married a member of the opposite sex.
You'd assume she'd have a little empathy.
Unlike Danni, Shepard works fer da right...so, he is the enemy.

This totally explains his crying dramatically on air when Katrina kicked off. What a sis...

#8 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2014-04-30 08:44 PM | Reply | Flag:

Why the hate toward Smith? And yes, it is hate.

Hate and lack of respect are two different things.

And think there is such a thing as a "gay club".

I think it is more of a sliding scale. From fully gay to maybe a little gay to full hetero and all points in between...

I think the question here should be why should Fox News be allowed to get away with an discriminatory policy of demoting reporters who are just asking to be allowed to be honest.

#9 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-04-30 08:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

demoting reporters who are just asking to be allowed to be honest.

FOX News sued for that right - and fired reporters over it. They won.

#10 | Posted by YAV at 2014-04-30 09:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Unlike Danni, Shepard works fer da right...so, he is the enemy."

Baloney. Danni would be out and proud. I don't care who Shepard works for, I actually would have expected Fox to be ok with it and to use it to prove they aren't homophobic. It would have been a pretty smart move for them.

#11 | Posted by danni at 2014-04-30 09:09 PM | Reply | Flag:

What do you mean you would have? You weren't. You've told your story here, and never did it include your hubby knowing you were gay, or am I horribly mistaken?

#12 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2014-04-30 09:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

"and never did it include your hubby knowing you were gay, or am I horribly mistaken?"

I'd have to get into personal stuff to answer that but I'll just say he wasn't surprised.

#13 | Posted by danni at 2014-04-30 09:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

Kept asking him to put it between his legs and do the dance from Silence of the Lambs?

Sorry Danni. It will clue them in every time. :P

#14 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-04-30 09:26 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Danni,
I only brought it up because I thought it was old news (I wasn't trying to put you on the spot). Consider it dropped.

#15 | Posted by 101Chairborne at 2014-04-30 09:34 PM | Reply | Flag:

The left hates any black or gay person who has the audacity to not be a leftist.
#5 | POSTED BY EBERLY AT 2014-04-30 07:51 PM | FLAG:
I can't speak for all the left,

Don't worry, Eberly can and does.

#16 | Posted by 726 at 2014-05-01 08:30 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

"But the discussion worried enough Fox executives to prompt Smith's removal, in September 2013, from the channel's coveted prime-time lineup. According to a Fox insider with direct knowledge of negotiations, Smith's desire to come out was a large factor in the dramatic move."

I don't know the details of his contract, but I hope that when it does come up for renewal he seeks to move to a network that would not punish him for being honest.

I have a feeling though that when his contract is up, he will be done at Faux Nooze anyways.

#17 | Posted by 726 at 2014-05-01 08:37 AM | Reply | Flag:

Afkbbl - it is wonderful and fantastic that you are such a strong supporter of gay rights.

Too bad Shepard Smith does not share your enthusiasm, but you are still Fabulous!!!

#18 | Posted by Prolix247 at 2014-05-01 01:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

Afkababble has more cred than anyone here on gay rights. As a music teacher, he's been supporting them since long before it was cool.

#19 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-05-01 02:01 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

"he is a great role model for many gay men"

You've got to be kidding me.

He's morally only a hairs breath better than Mark Foley or other creepers that like boys.

#20 | Posted by Tor at 2014-05-01 08:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

All to often we learn about conservative hypocrisy, in this incident there was none ! The folks at Fox News did exactly what righties are supposed to do. I am sure that they knew that this ugly demotion would become public info. But and they did what their owners-investors would want them to do The result will be an increase in ratings-profits and support from the vast majority of their older antique audience

#21 | Posted by SammyAZ_RI at 2014-05-01 09:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

I think Shep should just "come out" and deal with the consequences just like most other gay people do. Some folks will applaud some won't, he'll be surprised, I think, even most of his Fox fans will support him. It's not such a big deal today. Fox News would be more respected not less afterwards. The only thing worse than a bigot is a pretend bigot.

#22 | Posted by danni at 2014-05-01 09:25 PM | Reply | Flag:

Can a gay man really read the news? I'd have to see it to believe it.

#23 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-05-01 09:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

It is not at all known if this is why Smith was demoted.

Hannity was demoted in favor of Megyn Kelly. Was it because he's gay?

No. They took a calculated risk - move Hannity and risk offending his loyal following. The fact that Kelly File very quickly become the #2 evening cable news show tells me that it was a gamble that paid off.

If Smith's replacement performs better as well, then....

#24 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-05-01 09:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Hannity was demoted in favor of Megyn Kelly. Was it because he's gay?"

No, it wasn't because he is gay it was because his show was ridiculous nonsense that even most Fox viewers didn't buy any more. Kelly is more believable.

#25 | Posted by danni at 2014-05-01 10:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

Shepard Smith is the most tolerable host on Fox News, and that has nothing to do with him being gay. I will never forget his on-air anger over what was happening to the people in New Orleans days after Katrina, when help wasn't coming in sufficiently and thousands were suffering in and around the Superdome.

#26 | Posted by rcade at 2014-05-01 10:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

I will never forget his on-air anger over what was happening to the people in New Orleans days after Katrina, when help wasn't coming in sufficiently and thousands were suffering in and around the Superdome.

His Katrina coverage was top-notch, arguably worthy of an award.

No, it wasn't because he is gay it was because his show was ridiculous nonsense that even most Fox viewers didn't buy any more. Kelly is more believable.

#25 | POSTED BY DANNI

You and I are in the awkward position of being in complete agreement.

#27 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-05-01 10:08 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

If this story is true I think it sucks.

I understand the business side of it. Ratings are GOD in this industry.

If this is true I think they are under-estimating their viewers.

#28 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-05-01 10:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

Danni,

I take it you've watched Kelly's show?

How do you rate it?

Personally, I think she does a pretty good job. I much prefer her format to that of Hannity, or O'Reilly.

Hell, I can't stand Hannity regardless of his medium.

#29 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-05-01 10:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

Never said I hated Shepard Smith, I just don't respect his willingness to remain in the closet. I would celebrate his coming out, realize he is a great role model for many gay men, women too, his willing to remain closeted while others come out and make the world safe for gays is very disappointing. He should be a leader.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2014-04-30 07:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

I understand your point of view, I wished he would have come out (assuming its all true), but isn't that his personal decision? So if he doesn't act as you think he should act, as a private citizen mind you, then he is a coward? Who are you to judge him and the personal, private decisions he makes? Why do some many people in this country feel they have a right to judge others personal decisions?

I call it the "Jerry Springer" syndrome, the people on his show are crazy, and most are amateur actors, but the crowd goes crazy with judgement. I think you suffer from "Jerry Springer" syndrome.

#30 | Posted by danv at 2014-05-01 11:43 PM | Reply | Flag:

Ok, I am a little confused... It is known that he has a boyfriend, but people think he needs to come out as gay? Maybe he just thinks "well, people already know that I'm gay, no real point in coming out of the closet" or something along those lines. Did I miss something?

#31 | Posted by mariosanchez at 2014-05-02 01:37 AM | Reply | Flag:

How did anyone NOT know Smith was gay?

#32 | Posted by Alexandrite at 2014-05-02 01:49 AM | Reply | Flag:

It is known that he has a boyfriend, but people think he needs to come out as gay?

It's known at places like Gawker, but hasn't been publicly acknowledged in wider media nor by Smith himself. Anderson Cooper being gay was treated like that too up until a couple years ago.

The average Fox News viewer likely has no idea.

#33 | Posted by rcade at 2014-05-02 07:18 AM | Reply | Flag:

Hannity was demoted in favor of Megyn Kelly. Was it because he's gay?

He does have nice hair.

The average Fox News viewer likely has no idea.

Ain't that the truth!

#34 | Posted by 726 at 2014-05-02 09:48 AM | Reply | Flag:

No, it wasn't because he is gay it was because his show was ridiculous nonsense that even most Fox viewers didn't buy any more. Kelly is more believable.

#25 | POSTED BY DANNI

Hannity is encroaching on Glenn Beck territory these days.

#35 | Posted by 726 at 2014-05-02 09:49 AM | Reply | Flag:

If this is true I think they are under-estimating their viewers.

#28 | POSTED BY JEFFJ AT 2014-05-01 10:11 PM | REPLY | FLAG:

Fox News does not appeal to the demographic that supports gay rights.

www.theatlantic.com

Half of Fox News' Viewers Are 68 and Older

#36 | Posted by 726 at 2014-05-02 09:51 AM | Reply | Flag:

Half of Fox News' Viewers Are 68 and Older

#36 | Posted by 726 at 2014-05-02 09:51 AM | Reply | Flag:

47% of the country doesn't pay income tax - you have a problem with old people 726? Their opinions don't matter?

The left is the MOST intolerant group in the US. It's disgusting how they hide behind themselves.

#37 | Posted by e_pluribus_unum at 2014-05-02 10:06 AM | Reply | Flag:

#37

I think what he was suggesting is that it's likely that the older crowd are less accepting of gays than the younger crowd.

#38 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-05-02 10:08 AM | Reply | Flag:

Kelly is more believable.

#25 | Posted by danni

How would you know........... You don't watch FOX.

#39 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-05-02 10:51 AM | Reply | Flag:

Eberly, Shephard Smith is a lefty. How you haven't caught that is beyond me. I have known ever since Katrina.

#40 | Posted by mcmlcxx at 2014-05-02 12:53 PM | Reply | Flag:

I just figured it's because he doesn't buy into the FOX bull and knows it's just the GOP public relations promotion channel.

#41 | Posted by drewl at 2014-05-02 02:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

My guess is Shep doesn't feel like he needs to "come out" to make a career in the news industry. He's done pretty well so far without blaming his shortcomings on his sexual preferences. Add to that the fact that he actually appears to give a damn about the subject matter (conveying the news in an acuarte manner) and doesn't want to tarnish that by setting himself up for everything he says or does being viewed through the prism of a gay conservative from Oxford, Miss. who should have......but because he's gay.....

And for the record, I do not see his spot as a demotion. For one thing, I'm guessing that he get's more actual breaking news than anyone else on the network because of his timeslot. Might be why he got the new high tech set.

#42 | Posted by bogey1355 at 2014-05-02 02:10 PM | Reply | Flag:

And for the record, I do not see his spot as a demotion.

It is unquestionably a demotion. The audience for a 3 p.m. show is likely less than half what he was getting at 7 p.m.

#43 | Posted by rcade at 2014-05-02 02:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Shephard Smith is a lefty."

fair point. But I still think Smith has few fans of the left considering who he works for and little, if any, sympathy for his plight.

#44 | Posted by eberly at 2014-05-02 02:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Shep Smith is a coward and I don't respect his willingness to live a lie"

I think his sexuality is his business, not ours. I've never had a problem with Shepard Smith, and this doesn't change anything.

Apparently it changes for some here.

#45 | Posted by eberly at 2014-05-02 02:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

" I just don't respect his willingness to remain in the closet."

So you have no respect or anyone who does not flaunt their sexual orientation?
If someone does not come out and say they are a proud heterosexual there is no respect?

#46 | Posted by salamandagator at 2014-05-02 02:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

If he'd just say "I'm a gay man and a gay journalist" he could start to emulate Doug Dangger.

#47 | Posted by Harry_Powell at 2014-05-02 03:02 PM | Reply | Flag:

" He's done pretty well so far without blaming his shortcomings on his sexual preferences."

#42 | Posted by bogey1355

What do you blame your shortcomings on?

#48 | Posted by Harry_Powell at 2014-05-02 03:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

Have you noticed that lack of tolerance and fairness becomes an especially sensitive issue, when its use by the left becomes obvious, but only because of politics? The left who dominates the media have made a career out of blanket trashing hard working whites of Christian heritage, because they view "Christianity of any dimension or shade" as the global threat to increasing their own political dominance.

#49 | Posted by Robson at 2014-05-02 04:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

"It is unquestionably a demotion. The audience for a 3 p.m. show is likely less than half what he was getting at 7 p.m."

Maybe you're right. But things are changing. Who's watching and when. What they are interested in (facts vs opinion or "spun" facts). And in all reality, most people simply do not want to lay thier personal lives out thre for all to see and pass judgement on. It may have been more of a combined "here's how we'll get through this". In any case, it's between them and the only reason it is news is because someone reported that someone else was offended because someone else was gay.

#50 | Posted by bogey1355 at 2014-05-02 05:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

Harry,

My apologies. After re-reading, what I wrote what not what I meant. Was more trying to relay that he isn't trying to use his sexual preference to get attention ala the basketball player (forgot his name). Sorry if I offended.

#51 | Posted by bogey1355 at 2014-05-02 05:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

I remember tuning into Fox News one day and being surprised they had a flamboyant gay guy hosting his own show. Then I found out Glenn Beck was just Mormon, or something.

#52 | Posted by sentinel at 2014-05-03 01:11 AM | Reply | Flag:

Q: Was this the reason, or maybe his ratings were not high enough to maintain that prime spot?

#53 | Posted by MSgt at 2014-05-03 12:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

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