“All together now,” Fox News anchor Shep Smith said Wednesday, inhaling and exhaling for dramatic effect. “For the next few minutes, I’m gonna give you the facts on Ebola.”
It’s hard to say if he was addressing his viewers or his colleagues.
After all, Smith’s network has been a reliable source of hysteria and misinformation on the outbreak. Only a couple hours before Smith tried to provide a voice of reason, Fox anchor Jon Scott almost seemed disappointed when an infectious disease expert didn’t go along with the Ebola scaremongering.
Before Scott’s breathless interview, the gang on “Outnumbered” pilloried U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden for supposedly withholding important information about the outbreak.
“How could he not?” asked an indignant Stacey Dash, the former “Clueless” star who’s now a Fox regular.
Similarly, Judge Jeannine Piro contended last week that the government wasn’t playing it straight on the crisis.
“Tell us the truth for once,” Piro thundered on her weekend program.
So it was hard not to interpret Smith’s “fact-dissemination exercise” as both an effort to talk his colleagues off the ledge and to swat down their baseless accusations.
“Suggestions have been made publicly that leaders and medical professionals may be lying to us,” Smith said. “Those suggestions are completely without basis in fact. There is no evidence of any kind of which we at Fox News are aware that leaders have lied about anything regarding Ebola.”
Watch Smith’s statement here: