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On October 15th edition of Shepard Smith Reporting, Shep Smith called out “irresponsible” Ebola fear-mongering in the media, telling viewers: “Do not listen to the hysterical voices on the radio and on the television or read the fear-provoking words online. The people who say and write hysterical things are being very irresponsible.”

Smith’s monologue comes after his Fox News colleagues Bill O’Reilly and Laura Ingraham compared CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden to a propagandist, and after Fox’s Sean Hannity said on his radio show that he would ignore the CDC press conference because he doesn’t trust them.

Smith has a long track record of bucking the trend of fear-mongering on Fox News. Here are 7 times Shep Smith was Fox’s voice of reason:

Credit: Media Matters


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Americans are not buying the shit that Fox “News” produces about this Ebola outbreak which has been the worst in history. President Obama has sent the military to the West African nations that are going through the outbreak to help out with the effort to stop the spread of the disease. But Fox and their right-wing alliance aren’t buying what the administration is trying to do. A Pew Poll shows that many Americans are not buying into the scare tactics that Fox is putting out with the Ebola outbreak.

The man with a fake hair piece, Donald Trump appeared on Fox yesterday and said:

I think very few people trust our government as being competent,” Trump told the hosts. “Let’s not kid ourselves. I mean with the five billion dollar website for Obamacare, which is still not working frankly and it’s a disaster. And so many other things: Benghazi, wars… IRS.”

But a new Pew Research poll undercuts all of that:

Most Are Confident in Government’s Ability to Prevent Major Ebola Outbreak in U.S.

The findings, released on Monday, indicate a majority of Americans, including 48 percent of Republicans, have faith that the federal government can deal effectively with the Ebola situation, and that only a small percentage of people are “very worried” about their well-being.

From Pew:

So far, the Ebola virus has not led to widespread concern about personal health: Just 11% are very worried that they or someone in their family will be exposed to the virus, while another 21% are somewhat worried.


Public concern over the possibility of contracting the Ebola virus is lower than for other recent public health threats. In August 2009, 45% were worried about the possibility of being exposed to swine flu, and in November 2005, 38% worried about contracting bird flu.

In terms of the government’s ability to curb an American outbreak, 57 percent have a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of confidence that it can. That includes 69 percent of Democrats, 57 of Independents and 48 percent of Republicans. That public opinion finding damages the right-wing media talking point that the Obama administration is widely viewed as incompetent and no longer able to deal with challenges.

To make that point, Fox’s Gretchen Carlson on Monday tried to tie the Ebola story to Benghazi:

And do we trust that we know all the answers yet about Benghazi? What more and more people seem to be asking about Ebola now isn’t that they are necessarily scared about actually getting the disease, but that they’re scared the government agencies responsible with helping us if we do get sick might not be up to the task. So if Ebola becomes a bigger issue, the question still remains: will we be safe?

During his October 4 broadcast of Huckabee, former Arkansas Republican governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee also referenced Benghazi when he said “the Ebola scare goes to the heart of a simple question: do you trust the government. Audience, do you trust the government?”

And it’s not just openly partisan players making that claim. National Journal’s Ron Fournier repeated the same Republican talking point in a recent column:

How much faith can the public summon toward an administration that used incompetence as a defense in scandals involving the IRS, Benghazi, and Obamacare; that lied about its surveillance of Americans; and that just recently acknowledged dangerous misjudgments regarding the Secret Service and ISIS?

It’s all part of a media campaign to paint the government as inept and undependable. But step away from the Fox News echo chamber and it’s clear, Americans trust the government to deal with the Ebola danger.

“So you can see that I’m lying about this because I’m not a journalist because I work for Fox News and I’m just pulling shit out from my ass.”


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