In his first public speech since quitting Fox News, Shep Smith donates $500,000 to press freedom
There has been a war on the freedom of the press in America since Donald Trump was elected president.
He infamously called the press the "enemy of the state" during his inaugural speech. He did nothing to punish the Saudi Crown Prince after he directed the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Kashoggi.
Back in September, New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger revealed that the paper had to turn to the Irish government for help after one of its reporters, Declan Walsh, was threatened with arrest in Egypt.
The paper turned to Ireland for assistance out of fear the Trump administration wouldn't help a paper that had been critical of him.
This prompted Sulzberger to criticize President Donald Trump for seeding a "worldwide assault on journalists and journalism."
Shep Smith is the keynote speaker at the #CPJ dinner tonight. I'm not sure this table is paying particularly close attention to his speech pic.twitter.com/GRY2DH6Kbx
— stuart emmrich (@StuartEmmrich) November 22, 2019
In his first public statements after leaving Fox News, former anchor Shep Smith spoke out against the current state of the free press across the globe at a Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) fundraiser.
He backed up his words with a $500,000 donation to the CPJ, a nonprofit group that advances press freedoms around the world.
In his speech he gave a not-do-subtle jab at the Trump Administration's efforts to curb press freedoms.
"Intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomenon. We don't have to look far for evidence of that," Smith said at the group's annual dinner.
He also referenced the presidents use of the term "fake news" during his speech.
"Our belief a decade ago that the online revolution would liberate us now seems a bit premature, doesn't it?" Smith said.
"Autocrats have learned how to use those same online tools to shore up their power. They flood the world of information with garbage and lies, masquerading as news. There's a phrase for that," he continued.
“Intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomenon. We don't have to look far for evidence of that," Smith said at an event in New York.
Read more: https://t.co/tdwZi9mvhm pic.twitter.com/Qet5QKhWo6
— Global Analytica (@AnalyticaGlobal) November 22, 2019
Smith was one of the few thorns in the president's side at Fox News. Towards the end of his tenure he would routinely call out the president for his outright lies. Smith's candor stood in sharp contrast to Fox's prime time commentary which bends over backwards to support the president.
Carl Cameron, a former Fox News reporter who was with the channel for more than 20 years, believes that Smith's departure means the station is now mostly propaganda.
"Most of the rest is predominantly talk. It's predominantly supportive of a president who is violating all kinds of American values, laws, rules, precedents," Cameron told CNN, "and the American people need to hear that so they can make good judgments."
"Otherwise, it's just propaganda, and that's the stuff of third-world nations, not the one that prides itself as a leader of all nations" Cameron continued.