The segment is called “Wednesdays with Juan,” but today it was a venting session for Shepard Smith, the host of Fox News Channel’s “Studio B” and FNC contributor Juan Williams, for whom the segment is named.
On his Wednesday broadcast, Smith expressed frustration that the so-called birther conspiracy theory had gone this far and asked Williams if he thought such “theorists” were happy now that President Barack Obama has released his long-form birth certificate.
“No, they are not happy,” Williams replied. “Now they are on another conspiracy theory. Now they want to know if he committed Social Security fraud, if his transcripts were his university education out of — California to transfer to Columbia, then how did he get into Harvard Law School. I think it reveals it for what it is, there’s just a lot of people [who] are angry with President Obama. Is it racial? It looks like it has a racial tinge but for some reason they just want to keep beating and beating him about the head on his basics of his biography. They just don’t like the guy, I guess.”
Smith castigated his colleagues in the journalism profession for offering any credibility to the subject of birtherism.
“Over nothing – because this was from the very beginning absolutely nothing and the people pushing it knew it was nothing,” Smith said. “So you don’t do something like that without a reason. You do it to get him off the game. It is bad for the country. I just wonder now, Juan, if the news media ought to look in the mirror, every single one of us and say, ‘You know what, your journalism professor in Journalism 102 taught you, you do not report rumors because all of this was a load of crap and all of our colleagues knew it from the very beginning.”
Williams said he wasn’t just disappointed with the media, but the country as well.
“And someone like Donald Trump has used this issue to raise himself in the polls and today he said he accomplished what no other American could do and forced the president to release the long-form, it is just so cynical, and is cynical to the point you just want to cry for the country,” he said.
Smith did say there was a distinction between opinion commentators and news hosts, but blasted all the networks for elevating Donald Trump to the level of Obama when he made his announcement this morning.
“I was frankly saddened to see when you come out and report what is absolute truth that it is like some sort of revelation, sort of news,” Smith responded. “The opinion people want to knock up things up and they things around for political reasons, well, that is what opinion people, but what the networks break in and Donald Trump is on one side of the screen talking about how proud he is of himself and the president is sitting in the back watching it over absolutely nothing when we are stuck in three wars, the economy is in the dumper and nobody seems to be paying attention to what is going on in the world, it is flat sad, or I thought it was.”