By AMANDA PRATS
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith surprised many with a biting criticism of President Donald Trump on his show Thursday. Smith’s comments were in response to the president’s continued criticism of the news media, most recently during his Thursday press conference, which Smith described as “absolutely crazy.”
During the press conference, President Trump berated CNN’s Jim Acosta, averting his question and going on an extensive, dizzying rant about the news media.
Smith was critical of the president’s response to the question, defending Acosta and the news media as a whole.
“We’re not fools for asking the questions and we demand to know the answer to this question. You owe this to the American people,” Smith said on his show, pressing the president to take reporters’ questions seriously.
“We have a right to know. You call us fake news and put us down like children for asking these questions on behalf of the American people,” Smith said, referring to the president’s habit of referring to widely regarded organizations as “fake news.”
Smith’s response is only the latest in the saga of conflict between the president and the news media. Throughout his campaign, President Trump has repeatedly alleged that a plethora of news outlets are dishonest, ineffective or failing. The only program spared from the criticism seems to be the morning show “Fox & Friends,” for which the president has previously expressed his praise, and which he specifically mentioned during the press conference for being “very honorable people.”
Despite the president’s many attempts to discredit CNN, the news organization has not suffered, according to CNN President Jeff Zucker. In a state-of-the-company luncheon on Thursday, Zucker and other top executives from CNN and Turner announced that ratings are high, no advertisers have pulled out, and there has been no harm to the CNN brand.