Fox News anchor Shepard Smith blasted the White House on Friday after it barred a number of major news organizations from a briefing by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Spicer’s off-camera briefing, or ‘gaggle,’ replaced the usual televised daily news briefing on Friday in the White House briefing room.
Reporters for CNN, The New York Times, Politico, The Los Angeles Times, The Hill, Daily Mail, BBC and BuzzFeed were not allowed into the session in the office of press secretary Sean Spicer. He did not say why those particular news organizations were excluded, a decision which drew strong protests.
Additionally, the President renewed his attack on the mainstream media during his speech on Friday at CPAC calling them ‘fake news,’ mentioning CNN by name, calling it the Clinton News Network.
This is not the first time that Shepard Smith has spoken out against the administration’s attacks on the media. Earlier this month, he responded to Trump’s attacks telling the President that he owes answers to Americans.
On Friday, Smith defended his colleagues from other outlets that had been excluded, speaking about CNN specifically.
“For the record, ‘fake news’ refers to stories that are created, often by entities pretending to be news organizations, solely to draw clicks and views and are based on nothing of substance,” Smith said during his show.
“In short, fake news is made up nonsense delivered for financial gain. CNN’s reporting was not fake news. Its journalists followed the same standards to which other news organizations, including Fox News, adhere,” he added.
The White House, and Trump — including during his CPAC speech — have criticized media outlets over their citing anonymous sources accusing outlets of making up sources, and calling on them to name them. Smith maintained — as have virtually all other legitimate news outlets — that talking with officials off the record does not fit into the category of fake news.
“Senior administration officials regularly speak without attribution so that the public can be informed of what our government is doing, off the record,” he said.