Shep Smith: 'Politics Is Weird ... and Creepy'

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A Fox News anchor recoils in horror at the inauthenticity of presidential politics.


Every so often, a news anchor has all he can take of the absurdity around him and calls it out for what it is. It happened to Anderson Cooper while covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Chris Matthews had his "I can't believe what I'm observing" moment when Kevin James came on his show to talk about appeasement without understanding what the word meant.

And Shep Smith?

He had that kind of moment in the video above. Said Smith:

Mitt Romney has released a statement on the departure of Newt Gingrich from the campaign. It reads in part, "Ann and I are glad to call Newt and Callista friends. We look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead." That from Mitt Romney. Politics is weird. And creepy. And now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality.    

This is a healthy reaction.

The alternative is to credulously tell your audience that these bitter rivals in the presidential contest are in fact intimates in their personal lives, that they're eager to associate with one another in the future, and that the Romneys hold Newt and Callista Gingrich in especially high esteem. News anchors ought to avoid passing along transparent fictions. So good job, Shep Smith!

See more of Smith speaking truth to Gingrich here.

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Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

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