Former Fox News reporter Carl Cameron took a shot at his past employer by saying that the news network, following the sudden departure of Shepard Smith, is transforming into “propaganda, and that’s the stuff of Third World nations.” He also blistered Fox News for “coddling the president and his allies.”
Appearing on “The Beat with Ari Melber” on MSNBC, Cameron spoke to the news of the departure of his longtime buddy Smith from Fox. “It’s a big loss for Fox News Channel,” he said, “and it says something about the way in which the cable channel has been for years shrinking the news department and building its right-wing entertainment hosts because that gets ratings, and ratings get revenue, and that’s how they make money. It’s a real sad day for people who watch Fox News and want accurate information because Shep was somebody who you could reliably count on.”
“Does it tilt the network towards being a partisan defender of the government?” Melber asked. “Because there’s a difference between doing news, doing some discussion of ideas, opinions, and ideology, or being aligned with a government.”
“Right now I think probably the news divisions at Fox are just plain shell-shocked, and as you saw on the face of Neil Cavuto when he heard it live for the first time. So one of the things that will be telling in terms of what happens next is that Fox has said that they will have rotating hosts in the slot that was Shepard’s in the weeks or days ahead. It will be interesting to find out whether or not these are journalists who tell the truth or whether these are opinion makers who are essentially coddling the President and his allies.”
Cameron went on to talk about his friendship with Smith. “Shep and I go way, way back. We were hired together at the launch of the network. And he gave me my nickname” … which was “Campaign Carl.”
“… and – dirty little secret – Shep was never particularly happy about covering campaign politics,” Cameron said. “He thought that once the election season was on, you couldn’t really trust anything they were going to say, because they were going to tell you whatever you want to hear. And in many ways, he had to face, as I did, an awful lot of opinion hosts telling viewers what they wanted to hear as opposed to what they might need to know to be fully informed.”
Cameron veered from defending Smith into a full-on attack of the President after being asked about Trump’s comments regarding Smith’s exit from Fox News.
Is he leaving due to bad ratings, or some other less important reason? https://t.co/XBr7xVgarc
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2019
“He did not have the worst ratings at Fox,” Cameron declared. “And he did a great job covering the news. And he was all over the world, worked doggedly, had a great team. The executives know that this is a loss. When Fox would say or do things that were demonstrably untrue, Shep would be the person that they would point to as a measurement of good journalism.”
“In fact, they used to do it with me occasionally, too. The reality is that without Shep’s show, Fox News’ 24-hour news wheel is down to really the Bret Baier show, because Chris Wallace is actually on a broadcast channel. Most of the rest is predominantly talk, it’s predominantly supportive of a president who is violating all kinds of American values, laws, rules, precedents, etc. And the American people need to hear that so they can make good judgments. Otherwise, it’s just propaganda, and that’s the stuff of third-world nations, not the one that prides itself as a leader of all nations.”
Fox News responded to Cameron’s sour-grapes claims with a pair of statements reported by Mediaite, saying: “Tell that to Jennifer Griffin whose report just went viral this week. Or Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, Bill Hemmer, Martha MacCallum, or Catherine Herridge who have all done outstanding journalism.”
Later, in a counter-punch delivered to Cameron’s midsection, a Fox News spokesperson wrote: ““Carl Cameron left the network because he was no longer able to show up to work each day – he has a very short memory for our endless compassion, patience, and graciousness in dealing with his multitude of personal struggles.”
Watch Cameron’s interview here:
Video by MSNBC
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