An Open Letter to Shepard Smith, Fox News Anchor

Dear Shepard Smith,

Like everyone else, I was in disbelief as I watched the news reports announcing Robin Williams’ tragic suicide. Thankfully, I do not watch Fox News because it is too conservative and biased for my taste, but others do watch your news station. On national television as a news anchor, I am under the assumption that your job is to inform the public of current events. Whether or not you put a biased spin on those events, you are still required to present the facts. However, when you announced Robin Williams’ death and called him “a coward,” you were not doing your job.

Shepard Smith, I have never met Robin Williams, and I have never met you. I will not judge your character or personality. Yet when I stumbled across a clip of your Fox News broadcast and heard your vile attack on Robin Williams, a man who is no longer here to defend himself, in those moments, you were ignorant and disrespectful. You were disrespectful not only towards Robin Williams and his memory, but also towards his family, friends, and fans who loved him.

I cannot judge you because I do not know you, but I can make assumptions. While most of the world was shocked, maybe you felt angry. Everyone processes death and loss in different ways, and maybe you process it through anger. However, you had a job to do, Shepard Smith. Your job was to inform your audience of Robin Williams’ death. Your job was to report the facts. Instead, you insulted the memory of a man so loved by the world, attacked him, and shoved your heartless opinions down your viewers’ throats.

While I know nothing about your education or life experiences, from the words you expressed about Robin Williams’ suicide, I can make another assumption that you have a narrow minded, misconstrued outlook on depression and addiction. According to the World Health Organization, more than 350 million people around the world suffer from depression. Depression is common and treatable, but it potentially can end in suicide.

Despite the commonality of depression, a stigma surrounds the disorder, and myths continue to perpetuate our culture, preventing open communication and understanding of those suffering in silence. Mr. Shepard Smith, you have already apologized for your comments, saying that you regret it, but I do not believe your apology to be 100% genuine. Your initial comments prove to America that you need to let go of your anger and join the rest of the world in our hope of ending the stigma of depression and suicide. If news anchors like yourself continue to spout hateful comments about people contemplating suicide or who have died from it, then you are allowing the stigma to perpetuate our culture.

I will continue to never watch Fox News, but I hope that for the sake of your viewers, you keep your opinions to yourself and strive to only report the facts. Everyone mourns death differently, but we must respect the memory of Robin Williams, his friends, family, and work to make the world a warmer place for the millions struggling with depression.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rebecca Meyer

 

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13 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Shepard Smith, Fox News Anchor

  1. Rebbecca,
    The clips you have seen of Shepard Smith taking about Robin Williams are completely out of contrxt…to show Sheps words in the worse possible light.
    Shep had given a glowing and compationate Trubute to Robin for an hour !! Then Right at the end…those words were taking out of context…and run wild all over the internet . I watched the whole show.
    Just Briefly…this is a summary..

    Shepard Smith did Not say Robin Williams committed suicide because he is a Coward !! !! That’s out of context
    Ouote: SHEP :
    “And yet, something inside you is so horrible or ]you’re such a coward or whatever the reason that you decide that you have to end it. Robin Williams, at 63, did that today.”

    Shep said that “whatever the reason” Robin Williams “ended it today.

    In his Apology…Shep said
    Quote: SHEP:
    “To the core of my being, I regret it. It just came out of my mouth. And I’m so sorry. And to anyone and their families who see that, I am sorry.”

    He apologised to “Anyone and their Families”…and that Anyone is to people suffering, anywhere, !!

    • I’m sorry, but even though the clip circulating the internet isn’t the whole hour of his coverage, but the clip we see isn’t out of context. It shows him in the “worst possible light” because he said disrespectful things while Robin Williams’ family is mourning.

      • It wasn’t Shepard Smiths intention to cause pain to Robin Williams family. He didn’t use the word “coward ” in reference to Robin..but he did regret using the word anyway…and his apology was heartfelt.
        You have to have a mindset where one realises , that this is an unfortunate occurrence…and there is not ONE amongst is to hasn’t said something we deeply regret.
        Shep apologised and said..”“To the core of my being, I regret it. It just came out of my mouth. And I’m so sorry. And to anyone and their families who see that, I am sorry.”

        I have it in my heart to forgive, and accept an apology , I wish others did too. They will surely need forgiveness many times in their lives, As do we ALL .

      • Yes, everyone says things they regret. But Shepard Smith was on national television. He could have kept his opinions to himself until he was off camera. It’s his job to report the facts, not to imply (maybe on accident, but still implied) that Robin Williams was a coward and insulted his memory.

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  3. Being on National Television, doesn’t suddenly make one Perfect. Shepard was just looking at Pictures of Robin , and being sad and reflective, as he spoke. But no further discussion is necessary. People who are judging Shep in such a vile manner…will themselves one day be judged.
    God forbid those who cannot forgive , and wish such vile things on another human being , whose main fault was to make a human mistake .
    These things will happen…until the news is read by robots.

  4. You’re a good person for refusing to judge Mr. Shepard’s character. I have no such qualms–like Limbaugh and the rest of that rabble, he’s a dick and a callous opportunist desperately striving to prop up his own waning cultural significance without thought or care for the effect his actions have on others.

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