Fox News anchor Shepard Smith says that he does not have time for his network’s morning show Fox & Friends — and whether President Donald Trump is watching the show — because he is too busy finding out what is really happening in the world.
Smith, who has resisted Fox’s surge to the right and embrace of political commentary and opinion in favour of a traditional news anchor’s approach, made the comment during an interview with TIME.
When asked about Mr Trump’s well-known morning routine of tuning in to watch Ainsley Earhardt, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade, Smith responded in a way that could be seen as thinly-veiled criticism.
“I know that he watches Fox & Friends in the morning, because he often tweets about it,” Smith told TIME. “But those aren’t the things I concern myself with. I try to find out what’s happening, as opposed to just listening to what they’re saying.”
Smith acknowledged in the interview that he is an unusual anchor for current day Fox News, because he has resisted delving into opinion programming, which has driven ratings on the network’s nightly line up. He does not really like American politics, he said, and prefers to stick to facts on his show instead of fostering a program that relies heavily on opinionated analysis from pundits.
The Fox News anchor has gained a reputation since President Donald Trump took office for his willingness to break from some of the more popular opinions on his network in favour of reportable facts.
He has directly challenged stories that some anchors on his network have frequently promoted, including the “Uranium One” conspiracy theory that has been pushed by Sean Hannity. Debunking that story led Hannity to call Smith “so anti-Trump”.
During the interviews with TIME — which were conducted this winter — Smith mused about quitting the network amidst this polarised political climate, but ultimately signed a multi-year contract to continue on in his position days ago on March 15, according to Fox News.