There are just no coincidences when it comes to politics and the media.
Case in point. A day or so after Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch privately met with Attorney General William P. Barr at the his Manhattan manse, long-time newsman Shepard Smith stepped down.
While Fox claims the decision was Smith’s to opt out of his newly signed contract, Smith, a Fox employee since its inception, has been in a on-air row with the more conservative evening pundits over his Trump bashing about the phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
On Friday President Trump asked reporters after Smith’s on-air announcement of his exit, “Is he leaving because of bad ratings? He had terrible ratings. He had the worst ratings on Fox.”
While neither Barr nor Murdoch staffers would comment on their meeting, the timing of the two events seem to indicate that Smith’s future at the network was brought up.
Now my having more than a nodding acquaintance with both Smith and Murdoch, the abruptness of the decision tells me all I need to know along with Smith’s acknowlegment that he will “spend time with his family”.
However, I do not believe Smith’s rash exit has anything to do with his politics, but I will have to leave it there until perhaps federal attorneys in New York’s Southern District have something more to say on the matter.