×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shepard Smith Calls President Trump’s Press Conference ‘Crazy’

Shepard Smith, the Fox News anchor, on Thursday afternoon seemed to have had enough of Donald Trump’s slams at the media as peddlers of “fake news” — or, when it comes to CNN, “very fake news.”

“It is crazy what we are watching every day, it is absolutely crazy,” Smith said. “He keeps repeating ridiculous throwaway lines that are not true at all and sort of avoiding this issue of Russia as if we are some kind of fools for asking the question.”

Smith then started to look into the camera and added, “Really? Your opposition was hacked, and the Russians were responsible for it, and your people were on the phone on the same day it was happening, and we are fools for asking those questions? No sir, we are not fools for asking those questions, and we demand to know the answer to this question. You owe this to the American people.”

Smith was defending CNN correspondent Jim Acosta.

Trump’s near 80-minute, blustery and bombastic press conference was in many ways the kind he would deliver during the campaign — leaving many in the media a bit disoriented at what they witnessed. The difference this time is that the gamesmanship of a campaign have given way to governing. Trump is president and is trying to cope with its demands, in particular an unfolding situation in which an apparently alarmed intelligence community is leaking information to major news outlets, much of it unflattering and disconcerting.

As long as Trump’s press conference was, just of fraction of it seemed to be devoted to answers about who-knew-what-and-when when it came to campaign contacts with Vladimir Putin’s regime. He called the Trump-Russia connection a “ruse,” and said, “I have nothing to do with Russia.” He also said that he had been warned that a nuclear holocaust with Russia “would be like no other.”

Instead, it was dominated by Trump’s attacks on the media, singling out individual news outlets, even individual shows, for scorn or praise. He tried to discredit news outlets for low ratings and the news media in general for low approval ratings, insisting what they are reporting is fake but what has been leaked is “real.” He explained the discrepancy as a matter of “tone.”

Smith’s reference to “ridiculous throwaway lines” may not have just referred to Trump’s “fake news” and “fake media” catchphrases, but his fixation on the size of his electoral college victory. When Trump boasted that his 306 electoral votes (actually 304) was the largest since Ronald Reagan, reporters corrected him. Barack Obama got more in 2012 in 2008, as did George H.W. Bush in 1988 — facts that are easily verified by a Google search.

“I was given that information. I don’t know. I was just given it. We had a very, very big margin,” Trump explained.

The reason for the press conference was to announce his new nominee for labor secretary, but Trump went through a laundry list of accomplishments in the month since he has been in office, insisting that he has been fulfilling campaign promises. But that message of reassurance got lost in many other moments, like his announcement that the White House is working on a new immigration executive order and that he’d be willing to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus. The latter came after April Ryan of Urban Radio Networks asked him about it and he responded, “Are they friends of yours? Set up the meeting.”

The kind of jaw dropping moments earned Trump a dominance of media time during the campaign. Now, there’s no doubt that Trump will dominate the news, no matter what. The question is whether it will help or hurt him in the long run — if these kinds of showy, unpredictable press conferences will his proof that he’s shaking things up in D.C. or will reinforce the idea of an administration in chaos.

For now, Trump insists that his White House is a “fine-tuned machine,” even if he’s not shy about showing his frustrations.

Nor is the “fake media.”

CNN’s Jake Tapper, in his own state of disbelief about the press conference, also looked into the camera on Thursday and said, “President Trump, if you are watching. You are the president. You legitimately won the presidency. Now get to work and stop whining about it.”

Later, CBS News’ Scott Pelley said on Thursday’s newscast, “Today, we learned the length of the president’s fuse: 28 days.”

More Biz

  • Jordan Feldstein

    Roc Nation Seeks $11 Million From Insurer in Jordan Feldstein's Death

    Roc Nation filed a federal lawsuit Friday seeking $11 million from its insurance carrier following the death of Maroon 5 manager Jordan Feldstein. Roc Nation, a joint venture of Jay-Z and Live Nation Entertainment, partnered with Feldstein’s Career Artist Management in 2016. At the time, Roc Nation says it took out a “key man” life [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Dropped by Sony Music

    Sony Music has decided to dissolve its working relationship with R. Kelly, Variety has learned. No external announcement of the move is planned in the immediate future, says a source, who added that the company took its time to wade through the issues “responsibly” and avoid legal ramifications. R. Kelly was removed from the RCA [...]

  • CAA HQ LA

    Ex-Agent Stuart Manashil Ordered to Repay CAA in Fraud Case

    Former literary agent Stuart Manashil was ordered on Thursday to repay a $23,975 commission to CAA, which he admitted he had illegally diverted to a friend. Manashil, who now runs his own management company, pleaded guilty in March 2018 to a federal wire fraud charge. In a letter to U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood, Manashil [...]

  • "The Continent," directed by Chinese racer

    Alibaba Pictures Buys Into Chinese Director Han Han's Film Studio

    Alibaba Pictures confirmed that it has invested an undisclosed amount in Chinese celebrity blogger-turned-film director Han Han’s Shanghai Tingdong Film. Han’s upcoming “Pegasus” is one of the most anticipated films of the year in China. Alibaba Pictures, part of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is now the second-largest stakeholder in Tingdong. It has a 13.1% stake, according to Chinese [...]

  • Phil McIntyre Steps Down as Roc

    Phil McIntyre Steps Down From Roc Nation Management, but Remains Affiliated With Company

    Phil McIntyre has stepped down as president of Roc Nation Management, but his PhilyMack management company remains affiliated with Roc, a source close to the situation tells Variety. PhilyMack, which McIntyre founded in 2006, partnered with Roc Nation in 2015. The source stressed that McIntyre’s role at Roc Nation Management  — whose clients include Rihanna, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content