Fox Reportedly Sides With Tucker Carlson Over Shep Smith In On-Air Trump Feud
Tension between news anchors and opinion hosts at Fox News are boiling over in light of new revelations that President Donald Trump might have abused the powers of his office for personal benefit.
That tension became all too clear this week as anchor Shepard Smith — known in the Trump era for debunking claims put forth by certain primetime hosts — engaged in an on-air feud with opinion host Tucker Carlson.
And according to Vanity Fair reporter Gabriel Sherman, Fox management is siding with Carlson on the issue.
One Fox staffer told Sherman that the network is experiencing “management bedlam” since the Ukraine scandal hit and impeachment proceedings began, adding, “This massive thing happened, and no one knows how to cover it.”
Indeed, Carlson and Smith have taken entirely different approaches to the matter, resulting in an on-air back-and-forth that management reportedly stepped in to stop.
It started Tuesday when Fox legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano told Smith on-air that Trump committed a “crime” by pressuring Ukraine’s president to get dirt on Biden. That night, Carlson brought on former Trump lawyer Joe diGenova, who called Napolitano a “fool” for claiming Trump broke the law. Yesterday, Smith lashed back, calling Carlson “repugnant” for not defending Napolitano on air.
Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and president Jay Wallace subsequently communicated to Smith that he needed to stop attacking Carlson, according to a source familiar with the matter.
“They said if he does it again, he’s off the air,” the source told Sherman.
However, Sherman also reported that “Fox News spokesperson Irena Briganti denied that management had any direct conversation with Smith.”