Fox News morning anchor Sandra Smith was the center of criticism this week over a viral video that showed her reacting negatively to remarks from a guest who said that it is not the role of the media to call election outcomes.
On Friday, nearly a week after the clip had gone viral and amidst many Fox News viewers vowing to no longer watch the network, Smith addressed the situation, The Hill reported.
Caught on a hot mic
The controversy erupted Nov. 7 when Smith and co-anchor Trace Gallagher were providing special election coverage following Fox News’ decision to call the race for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
The spliced clip shows footage of Gallagher interviewing attorney Cleta Mitchell, as well as Smith off-air.
“Remember, just because CNN says, or even Fox News says that somebody is president, doesn’t make them president,” Mitchell said.
As Mitchell spoke, Smith scrunched her face into a glare before incredulously saying, “What? What is happening? Trace, we’ve called it.” She then looked down and shook her head as Mitchell continued to discuss the Trump campaign’s intentions to scrutinize the reported results and investigate claims of voting irregularities.
Sandra Smith, off-air, reacts to her colleague Trace Gallagher indulging a nutjob who denies the outcome of the election even after Fox News had called it for Joe Biden: pic.twitter.com/gZ4nrnVHab
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) November 9, 2020
An unconvincing explanation
Smith spoke to the situation at the end of her program on Friday. First, she said she wanted to address the “leaked video of comments I made off-air during our special election coverage on Saturday. That was spliced together with our on-air segment. For the record, I was not editorializing — I was pointing out to our producers that we, in addition to other outlets, had already called the presidential race.”
— johnny dollar (@johnnydollar01) November 13, 2020
Smith also referenced a separate incident involving a “screengrab” of her program that she claimed had been “edited and distributed to fit a completely false narrative. It was not real.” She then said that she is a straight-news journalist with a great team that works hard to be inclusive of all viewpoints.
However, an inspection of the comments left in response to that video of Smith’s explanation showed that few, if any, bought what she was selling.
In fact, her remarks likely only compounded the issue and caused disgruntled Fox viewers to become even further entrenched in their belief that the once-staunchly conservative network has fully abandoned its core base of viewers.