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Shep Smith leaving Fox News not related to Barr-Murdoch meeting

[Shepard Smith]

Media reporter Yashar Ali was frenetically playing whack-a-mole on Twitter this afternoon, trying to get some journalists to stop spreading the idea that Shepard Smith’s sudden and stunning exit from Fox News had anything to do with a meeting the day before between US Attorney General William Barr and Fox News mogul Rupert Murdoch. He was also busy debunking a report that Smith was “escorted” by security out of the building.



It’s not known why Barr met with Murdoch, but the timing suggests it had something to do with a Fox News poll which found that 51 percent of the country favored impeaching and removing Donald Trump from the presidency. In other words, some are interpreting it as a White House push to get Fox News back on message.

So the departure just a day later of the network’s anchor most willing to voice a countering view naturally made many people wonder if they were connected.

But Yashar insisted that his sources at Fox told him that wasn’t the case. He also reported that Shep Smith is walking away from a $15 million annual contract.

OK, so it didn’t have to do with Barr’s meeting with Murdoch. So why is Smith walking away from that kind of payday, a huge audience, and respect from nearly all quarters for going against the grain at Fox?

Let us know what you think.

Update: CNN’s Brian Stelter provides an answer

Last month Shep Smith decided that he had simply had enough. With President Trump actively distorting the truth and many of his own colleagues helping him do it, the Fox News star prided himself on anchoring a newscast that countered the network’s pro-Trump opinion shows. The way Smith saw it, he was making sure that accurate information was getting on Fox’s air…But he had had enough. In September, according to a well-placed source, he went to Fox News management and asked to be let out of his long-term contract. Tensions with the opinion shows were the breaking point.

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