The much-proclaimed wall between opinion and reporting at Fox News got topped with some barbed wire today as opinionator Sean Hannity called news man Shepard Smith “clueless” about how the other half works.
“While Shep is a friend with political views I do not share,” the Hannity host tweeted this afternoon, “and great at breaking news, he is clueless about what we do every day. Hannity breaks news daily-Warrant on a Trump assoc, the unmasking scandal, leaking intel, Fisa abuse, HRC lawbreaking, dossier and more REAL NEWS!”
Hannity’s deep dive into job description was prompted by comments made by Smith in a new Time magazine profile (“Shep Smith Has the Hardest Job on Fox News” by Daniel D’Addario). “I get it,” Smith says in the article, “that some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining. I get that. I don’t work there. I wouldn’t work there. I don’t want to sit around and yell at each other and talk about your philosophy and my philosophy. That sounds horrible to me.”
Also in the Time article, Smith, who just this week signed a new multiyear deal as Fox News Channel’s Chief News Anchor and Managing Editor of Breaking News, says about the reporting-opinion divide: “We serve different masters. We work for different reporting chains, we have different rules. They don’t really have rules on the opinion side. They can say whatever they want. If it’s their opinion. I don’t really watch a lot of opinion programming. I’m busy.”
Both Smith and Hannity have been with Fox News since the channel’s 1996 start.