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Gawker Accuses Fox News of Demoting Shepard Smith Because He is Gay

Gawker continues its relentless push to force Shepard Smith of Fox News into publicly commenting about his sexuality, with a new “report” that he was “demoted” from his prime-time show because he wanted to come out as gay. Relying on solely anonymous sources and not including official comment from the network—until POLITICO ran a story that they called it 100% false—the article is one of a series the gossip site has published about Shepard Smith’s sexuality.

In a series of articles beginning in October 2013, writer JK Trotter has published lengthy articles detailing the personal life of easily the most respectable anchor on the Fox News network. While the first article appeared as simply a tale of Smith being rude to an NYC waitress, successive articles have been simply about exposing two men’s personal lives to a national audience. Yet, even back in October, the only question people seem to come away with is “who cares?”

In the late 1990s, there was a determined push for homosexual public figures “in the closet” to come out. At the time it made perfect sense. America then was still very homophobic, in the literal sense of the word: the public-at-large was afraid of homosexuals, because very little was understood about their lifestyle.

In just 20 years, a massive cultural shift has taken place. While not universally “accepted,” homosexuality is seen as—at the very least—normal. While Fox News is certainly the loudest mouthpiece for anti-gay views, the question again becomes “who cares?” Does Trotter think he is advocating for the allegedly unwillingly-closeted Smith? Does he think Smith is a hypocrite for living his life as an allegedly-gay man while working for Fox? How is any of this even our business?

Perhaps Smith is being coerced into keeping secrets he might not want to, although one would think that after 18 years and many contract negotiations, he could have made his exit by now. Smith could easily find another gig somewhere, although he’d take a significant portion of what little journalistic credibility Fox News has with him.

What seems more likely is that while a cable news “celebrity,” Smith has always described himself as a newsman and perhaps (foolishly) thought his personal life could remain personal. Perhaps Smith simply doesn’t think that his off-camera life—what he drinks and whomever he loves—is anyone’s business.

What is clear, however, is that Gawker is practically cyber-bullying the Fox News anchor in a tawdry and almost homophobic—in the modern sense of the word—way.

Photo via Fox News

About the author

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with news and current events, he writes about parenting, art, and personal stories. His serial fiction story "The Prophet Hustle" is available at JukePop.com and a forthcoming independent ebook about the cam-modeling industry "Dirty Little Windows" will be available later this summer.