- The Washington Times - Friday, November 22, 2019

Shepard Smith made his first public comments Thursday after leaving his Fox News show in October, slamming “autocrats” for misleading the American people.

“Our belief a decade ago that the online revolution would liberate us now seems a bit premature, doesn’t it?” Mr. Smith said while emceeing the International Press Freedom Awards dinner, according to The New York Times.

“Autocrats have learned how to use those same online tools to shore up their power. They flood the world of information with garbage and lies, masquerading as news. There’s a phrase for that,” he said.

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While he didn’t name anyone specifically, Mr. Smith could be alluding to President Trump.

The two of them had a public feud before Mr. Smith’s unexpected departure from Fox News Oct. 11th, where he’d been employed since 1996.

“Intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomena,” he said. “We don’t have to look far for evidence of that.”

Mr. Smith said he would be making a $500,000 donation to the Committee to Protect Journalists to protect press freedom.

“We know that journalists are sometimes wary of being perceived as activists for some cause,” Smith said. “But press freedom is not the preserve of one political group or one political party. It’s a value embedded in our very foundational documents. Journalists need to join hands to defend it.”

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