Shepard Smith made his first big public appearance since leaving Fox News and he made it a worthy one. Smith emceed a fundraiser for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). During his speech he remarked:
“Intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomenon. We don’t have to look far for evidence of that. That’s one reason CPJ has co-led an initiative to mobilize the American public, to stand up for press freedom and actively protect their own right to be informed. So tonight I’m donating a half a million dollars to this cause.”
And while he didn’t mention Donald Trump some of his remarks sure seemed aimed at him, and perhaps his former employer.
“Our belief a decade ago that the online revolution would liberate us now seems a bit premature, doesn’t it? Autocrats have learned how to use those same online tools to shore up their power. They flood the world of information with garbage and lies, masquerading as news. There’s a phrase for that.”
Speaking broadly, Mr. Smith called for unity in the news business to ward off government encroachment on free expression.
“We know that journalists are sometimes wary of being perceived as activists for some cause,” he said. “But press freedom is not the preserve of one political group or one political party. It’s a value embedded in our very foundational documents. Journalists need to join hands to defend it.”
Watch more from the Washington Post above.