CNN host Brian Stelter slammed “left-wing” conspiracy theorists for spreading claims that recently departed Fox News anchor Shep Smith — one of the few journalists at the outlet who critically covered President Donald Trump — left the network due to an agreement between News Corp president Rupert Murdoch and Attorney General Bill Barr.
While Murdoch and Barr did meet in person recently, Stelter attempted to put to rest the allegations that have arisen regarding their meeting.
“There was also a left-wing conspiracy theory out there about Shep Smith the other day, and I want to debunk it,” said Stelter on Reliable Sources on Sunday. “There was a report in the New York Times that Rupert Murdoch had a meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr. That’s true they did meet, but it had nothing to do with Smith resigning a day or two later.”
“In fact, Smith had been thinking about this for several weeks. So I want to put that to rest,” CNN’s top media critic continued, before noting that it does speak volumes “that people wonder is someone pulling the strings.”
Hours after Smith resigned on Saturday, theories connecting the dots between the Thursday Times report and his exit began popping up on Twitter, including from a number of media personalities and celebrities, such as liberal comedian Kathy Griffin.