The most tolerable anchor on Fox News apparently woke up on the wrong side of the bed on Friday, as the usually calm and collected Shep Smith lost it on New York Times London bureau chief Steve Erlanger. During a segment about a warning by officials regarding a possible second attack in the wake of the massacre that killed 12 at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, Smith spoke with Erlanger via phone.
And this happened:
Erlanger: Well, we need to be careful in the moments after—
Smith: You don’t have to tell me that.
Erlanger: That’s, I hope, true.
Smith didn’t leave it there. Later in the exchange, he showed a short fuse with his production crew before turning his ire back to Erlanger, whose voice does sound incredibly snooty:
Smith: I’m sorry. I didn’t know the mic was up. I need the prompter to go back to this guest, not to that.
And I’m very curious about, you said we need to be careful. On what matter did you think we were not careful based on what you just said and what we just reported, Mr. Erlanger?
Erlanger: I mean frankly I have been doing, I have not been listening very, very carefully to you.
Smith: Aha. So you just said that because what?
Erlanger: No, no. I’m not getting in a fight with you.
Smith: That’s good.
Erlanger: I’m simply saying, look you asked me to come and talk to you and I’m telling you what I think I know.
Smith: [Talking over Erlanger] Well you told me that you thought we needed to be careful and what I can report to you sir is that we’re being very careful. Steve Erlanger from The New York Times, it’s nice to speak with you.
I don’t know if there’s a backstory to this, but if there isn’t, Smith may have taken Erlanger’s use of the word “we” way too personally, internalizing it as a knock on Fox News. But the fact of the matter is, “we” is used as a throwaway pronoun all the time. And we need to be careful about reading too much into it. Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean we as in you. I meant we, as in all of us. Ok, well maybe not you, but definitely the rest of us. It’s not you. It’s me. I mean it’s us. But that us definitely doesn’t include you. Just all of us. Out here.
Anyway, it looks like Shep could really use this weekend to relax a bit with a funny movie:
Well, maybe not that movie.