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Fri Aug 3, 2012, 01:39 PM

God Bless You, Shep (a tribute to Shep Smith) [View all]


By Chez Pazienza: I’ve been putting off writing something like this for a very long time. True, for quite a while I’ve kept a running tab of his scathing, subversive and generally balls-out brilliant comments — the ones that have gotten him justifiably tagged as the lone voice of reason at his place of work — but never have I come right out and written a full-fledged paean to Shepard Smith. The reason for this is that I feel strange doing it because Shep isn’t simply somebody I watch on TV and whose work I admire from afar — he’s someone I know very well. I came up through the ranks with Shep at WSVN in Miami almost 20 years ago; he and I moved to Los Angeles roughly around the same time soon after and we played poker and drank beer on the weekends; I saw him as recently as last year at a party on South Beach. He’s a good guy — a great guy, actually — and he’s been a terrific friend. That’s probably why I get even more satisfaction than the average person every time Shep opens his mouth and launches a spitball made of nitro glycerin into the well-oiled machinery of his employer, Fox News.

The latest example of Shep playing the endlessly entertaining role of Loki, the God of Chaos, over at Fox comes to us just this week — a couple of days ago, in fact. During a segment on his afternoon show, Studio B, Shep mentioned, apropos of nothing, that Wednesday was “national badminton day,” but he then went on to say, “Let’s forget National Day of Intolerance; let’s just stay with badminton,” an obvious reference to the resentful, right-wing ridiculousness that was “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.” That Shep took a swipe at an event that was surely dear to the enlarged hearts of Fox’s audience of white, bitter middle-American Christians was amusing enough — but when you throw in the fact that the day-long pledge of allegiance to Jesus’s favorite chicken sandwich was the brainchild of Mike Huckabee, who happens to also be a host on Fox News, you’ve got a moment of truly glorious on-air insurrection. Thing is, it’s exactly the kind of behavior we’ve come to expect from Shep.

For the past several years, Shep’s been building to the point he’s at now — one where he’s perfectly secure in his position and knows damn well he can say whatever he wants and get away with it. You can see the sense of liberation all over his face; it’s written in the mischievous smirk that’s become his trademark. Whether it’s mustering up just the correct amount of flippant disrespect or righteous indignation and bucking the Fox News group-think or playfully and hilariously derailing a conversation he finds tedious by throwing out a totally bizarre non-sequitur — “It’ll make you crazy, the V… You guys watch True Blood?” — Shep injects either the necessary amount of sanity or just the right amount of insanity to the proceedings, always highlighting just how crazy things regularly are at Fox News.

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Reply God Bless You, Shep (a tribute to Shep Smith) [View all]
swag Aug 2012 OP
center rising Aug 2012 #1
Wait Wut Aug 2012 #2
COLGATE4 Aug 2012 #3
Taverner Sep 2012 #4
just1voice Oct 2012 #5