We Interrupt This Program to Announce That — Yawn — Shepard Smith Is Gay

When we don’t even care that a Fox News anchor gets outed, that’s a very good sign.

shepard-smith-940

Is Fox News anchor Shepard Smith gay? Who cares?

In an unmistakable sign that we’ve evolved into a true post-gay culture, Gawker’s so-called outing of Smith last week drew a collective yawn from the media. Imagine, a gay anchor on the Red State network of choice, and barely a peep!

Maybe it’s because the “scoop” was buried in a snarky item about an alleged bar incident in New York from eight months ago. According to Gawker, Smith yelled at a waitress to hurry up with his drinks. Six paragraphs later, it noted that his date that night was a “muscular 6-foot-2… white male.”


Three days later, Gawker identified the date as a 26-year-old former production assistant on Smith’s old show, "The Fox Report." (Smith, 49, is now anchor/managing editor of breaking news, and his boyfriend, Gawker says, is a producer at Fox Business.) Neither responded to the site’s numerous interview requests.

Let me say, right off, that I like Shep Smith. He’s one of the good guys at a network that regularly pushes my blood pressure to dangerous levels. For some of us, Sean Hannity, for example, could someday be listed as a cause of death, and not just because of his hair.

Smith has reporting chops. He cops an attitude from time to time, but mostly, pardon the expression, he plays it straight. Whether he bats for my team is of little concern to me. Frankly, I’m more concerned that he comes from Mississippi, which is almost as conservative as Pennsylvania.

For the record, Smith married Ole Miss classmate Virginia Donald in 1987, according to Wikipedia, and they divorced six years later. Still, Smith, like CNN’s Anderson Cooper before him, has long been a subject of intense interest by gay media.

He’s listed among Out magazine’s Power 100, and The Advocate spotlights him as a major media player. Cooper was similarly feted for years before coming out publicly in July 2012. Though an open secret in the industry, his acknowledgement created beaucoup buzz.

That was only 15 months ago, but look how far the country has come – well, except for Pennsylvania.

DOMA is dead. A majority of Americans favor same-sex marriage; it’s legal in 14 states and Washington, D.C. "Good Morning America" celebrated the gay nuptials of its weatherguy, Sam Champion. (Could another "GMA” wedding be on the horizon? Hmmm.)

On cable, openly-gay anchors abound: Rachel Maddow and Thomas Roberts at MSNBC; Don Lemon and Jane Velez-Mitchell -- both NBC10 exiles –- and Cooper at CNN. Smith would be the first at Fox News, should he decide to accept the mission.

My guess is that it probably wouldn’t be that big a deal. Some of Fox News’ most high-profile anchors are beginning to see the light on gay equality, if their support of same-sex marriage is any barometer. I wouldn’t be surprised if Roger Ailes offered to pick up the tab on Smith’s wedding, should he have one.

All of which means that what was once a raging and controversial story is barely even a story anymore. To me, that’s the best news of all.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • KobraKai7474

    Yawn….

  • Markus

    Gail Shister in CityPaper interview: “I don’t believe in outing people”

    http://archives.citypaper.net/articles/2002-12-19/om.shtml

    So how is reporting this story not “outing” Shep Smith? I’m sure the lion share of readers of Phillymag.com don’t read Gawker, so essentially, you’ve chosen to out him here.

    Could you be a bigger hypocrite?

  • Pee Bee

    Shephard Smith is cool. He just happens to be on Fox.

  • Carlos

    I give it about 3 to 6 months. Faux News will come up with some hair brained excuse to fire him.

    • Dave Suchy

      dont hold your breath.

  • Gary

    I don’t care what the homosexual community says or does, they can’t make being gay normal, natural or right because according to God it is neither. Yes He loves them more than I can say. The only way out for them is Jesus, just as it is for every person on this planet. He died for each and every one of us. Seek Him out for youself in the bible and dicover Him and find real freedom.

    • bt1138

      As I am an atheist, I suppose for you I’m also in trouble. But here’s the question: Is a hetero atheist more doomed than a gay Christian?

      My own opinion is that any god that could create the universe, with billions of galaxies and trillions of planets would not be particularly interested in who is f***ing who on our little corner of his Universe. I don’t think he’d be waiting on baited breathe for me to worship him either, I just don’t think he would be that needy.

      I think he’d want us to make the best of what he gave us, not spending a lot of time venerating him. With a trillion planets to look after what’s the big deal about ours? He might even say with a chuckle “those Earthlings – they just think they are the center of the universe, don’t they?” .

      • margo

        I don’t think there is such a creature as a gay christian that’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

      • Ewags

        Nice of you to share your opinion on what a God that you don’t believe in has on his mind. But you’ll excuse me if I search for that information from other sources.