On-air 'speculation' on Notre Dame fire rejected

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Notre Dame cathedral burning 1During Monday's coverage of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, two hosts on the Fox News network abruptly cut off guests who speculated about arson being behind the blaze. Now there's a debate brewing about the motives of Shepard Smith and Neil Cavuto.

Flames and smoke were still pouring from the 13th-century cathedral when Shepard Smith welcomed to his show French politician Phillipe Karsenty, who gave his eyewitness account. During his explanation, Karsenty noted a number of recent arson attacks on French churches and began to speculate that Notre Dame could be another:

Karsenty: "The political correctness will tell you that it's probably an accident."

Smith: "Sir, sir, sir. We're not going to speculate here of the cause of something which we don't know."

Karsenty: "We need to be ready."

Smith: "No sir. We're not doing that here. Not now – not on my watch."

Karsenty: "Okay, okay."

Smith: "Philippe Karsenty, it's very good of you to be here."

About an hour later, Neil Cavuto on the same network shut down the Catholic League's Bill Donahue for much the same reason:

Donahue: "This is going on now!"

Cavuto: "We can't – I love you Bill, but we cannot make conjectures about this so, thank …"

Donahue: "Oh, I'm not …"

Cavuto: "Bill, I'm sorry. Thank you very, very much."

Sandy Rios, director of governmental affairs for American Family Association, says not being willing to entertain the idea of a malicious cause of the blaze has her worried about what she calls the "drift" of Fox News.

"That, coupled with them having Bernie Sanders in a town hall [on Monday night], it's kind of like – What is going on here?" she states.

Shepard Smith later explained his reason for cutting the French politician off:

Smith: "We are thousands of miles away and the man on the phone with us has absolutely no information of any kind about the origin of this fire and neither do I. Conspiracy theories about anything are worthless."


Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.

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