On March 8, 2017, a slew of disreputable web sites reposted an article (first published on The Last Line Of Defense) declaring that Fox News anchor Shepard “Shep” Smith, who has been with the network since it was launched in 1996, was fired for being too “controversial”:
BREAKING: Fox News Just Fired Their Most Controversial Anchor
Fox News has finally had enough of one of their most controversial anchors. After speaking out against President Trump on multiple occasions and embarrassing the network publicly, Shep Smith has been given his walking papers.
Rupert Murdoch, head honcho at Fox, told insiders that Shep was let go for his obvious disrespect for President Trump, his unscripted outbursts on live television and allowing his personal life to interfere with his television persona:
“Shep has shown that he’s not the kind of anchor suitable for the Fox News audience. While we respect his right to have a liberal opinion and his right to choose his sexual orientation, our viewers don’t need to be exposed to it. Maybe Shep can go work for MSNBC and get a show with Rachel Maddow.”
None of the above was true, however. Fox News chairman and chief executive officer Rupert Murdoch made no such announcement.
As we have had occasion to point out before, the originator of this story, The Last Line Of Defense (full title: The Resistance: The Last Line of Defense) is a satirical website that exclusively publishes fictional stories, as noted in a disclaimer located on their “About Us” page:
The Resistance may include information from sources that may or may not be reliable and facts that don’t necessarily exist. All articles should be considered satirical and any and all quotes attributed to actual people complete and total baloney. Pictures that represent actual people should be considered altered and not in any way real.
The claim that Smith was fired garnered fresh interest in October 2019 when it was announced that he would be stepping down from his anchor post at Fox News. Smith himself put a damper on any speculation that he was fired by saying, “Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News and begin a new chapter. After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged.”