Fox News is rarely seen as an inclusive network, but that may change soon.
That's because Shepard Smith finally came out of the closet in a new interview with The Huffington Post!
The longtime anchor has never publicly acknowledged his sexuality before, though the late Gawker reported two years ago that he had planned to until Roger Ailes stepped in (something both men vehemently denied).
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Of course, Fox News is now Ailes-free after the CEO's ignominious exit in the midst a sexual harassment scandal.
But surprisingly, in the same interview in which he finally confirms his sexuality, Shep actually DEFENDS his old boss, saying there wasn't a homophobic bone in Roger's body:
"He treated me with respect, just respect. I wasn't new in the business when I came here ― I'd been doing reporting for 12 years ― but I wasn't old in it either, and he gave me every opportunity in the world and he never asked anything of me but that we get it right, try to get it right every day. It was a very warm and loving and comfortable place… He was as nice as he could be to me. I loved him like a father."
That is… not what we expected to hear about Fox News. Then again, we're accustomed to hearing stories about the on-air antics of Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, to whom Shep refers as "the opinion people."
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Of course, not all the Ailes talk was positive; the anchor says everything changed when the accusations started:
"I trusted him with my career and with ― I trusted him and trusts were betrayed. People outside this company can't know [how painful that betrayal was]. This place has its enemies, but inside, it was very personal, and very scarring and horrifying."
Shep also says he firmly believes Fox News needs to face the scandal head-on, in regards to both reporting and internal treatment:
"It's not over. This was a real shock to the system, and it upended a lot of things that we thought we knew. We were wounded and horrified and very emotional, and we realize that as leaders we need to come in and face up to what we've learned… We have to make sure there aren't young victims wandering around here who need us. We have to get appropriate counselors in here. We have to make sure legally everybody's protected and have to make a commitment to be the most transparent, open and welcoming organization of our kind in the world, and I'm determined to be a part of the team that makes it happen."
Will Shep help change the way people look at Fox News?
Only time will tell…
[Image via FoxNews.]
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