Talk:Shepard Smith

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Controversy section[edit]

In this section, it states that a man replied by saying, "that's none of your fucking business". How exactly is this controversial for Smith? Is it Smith who said this line; or was it controversial for him to provoke the resident, and ask him those questions? I just don't see how this is controversial for Shepard Smith -- because he wasn't the one who said it.

Added some references to this section. Not sure how to reference the links, but here they are below. The Tallahassee Democrat article is now just a summary in an archive, but hope it suffices.

1. St Petersburg Times

2. Tallahassee Democrat, Archived Summary"shepard%20smith")&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no

Sorry, this link doesn't seem to work right from here. Can also see the summary by going to and search Archive for "Shepard Smith"

Sexual orientation again[edit]

The article covering Anderson Cooper states (and sources): "Independent news media have reported that Cooper is gay". If such independent reports exist for Smith, (does this count?, it may (?) be appropriate under a "Personal life" section to include. I have to think about it. No reason to out someone for no reason, and such information may be totally irrelevant. Then again, this is a public figure and one who works for a highly conservative news network that advocates for public policy including gay rights and so forth. So it may be notable after all. It's way too late for me to think clearly on this. --Replysixty (talk) 09:06, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

As is commonly said on Wikipedia, just because it is present in one article, doesn't make it right. So far, the only sources I've seen are from a gay-oriented magazine editorial, and from Shankbone's blog, which you link above. Neither are appropriate sources, especially the blog, since they represent personal opinions and observations, and not objective reporting. Smith has, thus far, been almost completely mum on his own personal life, though we know he was once married. Dunno, there just isn't enough information one way or another. Huntster (t @ c) 00:53, 26 June 2010 (UTC)
The standard for a living person shouldn't be anything less than that person declaring "I'm gay." I never read the Shankbone blog post before,but it is odd that he posted in 2009 something he says happened in 2002. He says Smith was with a woman, yet he claims Smith told him he was gay and just coming to terms with it. Doesn't really add up, certainly not for wiki purposes. In late 2005, Smith had a serious enough girlfriend his co-anchor Jane Skinner pressed him on the air to learn if he had received an "engagement watch". For all we know, he's bi. I don't understand the urge to out him when all we really know is he's 46 years old and single. Misstory (talk) 18:16, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
"The standard for a living person" includes whether the person's sexuality has become a notable subject in the media, irrespective of what the person says. Smith was discussed in the documentary Outrage as being a gay journalist who is hostile to gays. His homophobia was said to be so hypocritical that he was included even though the film was primarily about closeted gay politicians who vote against gay rights. No other closeted journalist was outed—just Smith—because the others are not so hypocritical. Being mentioned in the film makes Smith's sexuality more notable than otherwise. Certainly, we cannot put him in any gay categories, as that requires him to declare, but we can bring to the article the allegations in the film. Binksternet (talk) 13:56, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
It seems that care/BLP should be used when deciding how notable gossip is and if it rises to the level of inclusion worthyness. I don't think this gossip/coverage/whateveryoucallit is as notable/widley mentioned as a gerbil being removed from an actor's azz, and we don't include that in a bio. How widely/big a deal is this "really" and according to whom exactly? --Threeafterthree (talk) 15:35, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
It's only widely known in the gay media, but there it is widely known. Other media have shown the story but it did not get great coverage. Our best bet at this point is to examine sources and determine notability. Binksternet (talk) 17:50, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Again, until it is confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt, or sources don't consist solely of rumours and gossip, this remains a BLP violation. To be perfectly blunt, I halfway suspect he's being targeted for "outing" (whether true or false) like this because he works for Fox, and that Naff and Shankbone are pushing some kind of agenda. As for the sources below, you can immediately discount any blogs or editorials as unreliable and unproveably fact-checked. Everything else seems to be simple commentary about the Naff and Shankbone blogs anyway, besides the movie, which I understand (as I've not seen it and have no plans to do so) simply outs him without any proof. Huntster (t @ c) 06:12, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Of course Shep is being targeted for outing, just like Woodward and Bernstein were targeting Nixon, to hang the Watergate scandal on him. Nobody thinks Woodward and Bernstein finding a check which incriminated Nixon is any less significant because they were looking very hard for something like it. You appear to be confusing these two concepts: "he is gay" and "some media sources say he is gay". I agree we cannot put the first in, but the second is true "beyond a shadow of a doubt". Though Kevin Naff may not have been telling the truth, other media sources such as the Houston Post thought he was and they elaborated on it. Blogs which are picked up in print news gain notability. Though the film Outrage may not have been telling the truth, it is still a documentary film seen at notable film festivals, and commented on widely by major news sources. Binksternet (talk) 14:16, 26 October 2010 (UTC)


Sources, in chron order[edit]

Terribly sorry, guess I should have come here first before my internal link to the Outrage film. On reflection, I feel his inclusion in a movie is relevant, much more so than the actual truth about his personal life (which I hardly think is relevant), so I'll let the edit stand and fall on its own merits. Happy arguing and/or revert-warring.Pär Larsson (talk) 20:34, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry Parj, but I reverted your edit. Until and unless Smith outs himself, inclusion here is a potentially a big, giant WP:BLP violation. All the talk about this seems to revolve around the Naff and the Shankbone pieces, neither of which I would consider reliable...there seems to be a lot of self-serving in both of them. There's simply not enough reliable evidence that Smith is gay, just heresay. Huntster (t @ c) 23:56, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry Hunster, but I've reverted your reversion. Parj's edit was non-biased and reported what a film reported. Considering Out magazine has now included him as one of the most powerful gay men in America, to not include something about his alleged sexual orientation seems irresponsible. He also has been accused by the right for being too soft on gay marriage, with commentators like Rush Limbaugh then referencing his sexual orientation. While it's important that we include the fact he has never stated he is in fact gay, the allegations are clearly an important part of his status as a cultural icon at this time.Cat spasms (talk) 21:29, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Controversial claim about a living person[edit]

Yes, a notable film makes a controversial claim about Smith. It is a controversial claim a living person. The film is not a reliable source. As such, it does not belong here.

By way of comparison, a notable individual claims that numerous world leaders are lizard-like aliens from outer space. We do not include that controversial claim in any of their bios. - SummerPhD (talk) 00:20, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Agreed; good point. Badmintonhist (talk) 20:25, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
WP:WELLKNOWN gives the proper guidance here, telling us that it is right and proper to tell about widely reported and notable allegations about a well-known public figure, even if those allegations are not proven. Binksternet (talk) 22:46, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
I absolutely give up. I cannot comprehend why some people are so damn intent on outing others, regardless of truth. Huntster (t @ c) 23:30, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
How would you personally know the truth about this situation? Wikipedia does not try to determine the truth, so that is a dead end argument, anyway. Instead, we report the main themes related to the topic. One of those themes is that Smith has been said to be gay by various persons, in prominent media. It does not matter whether he is gay—we just report the media fuss about it. Binksternet (talk) 00:41, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Nope. It is a "contentious claim" which requires extremely strong sourcing for claims about a person's sexuality. And we do not report that someone thinks he is gay - this has been discussed many times at BLP/N etc. and is a matter of policy and not one of optional usage. Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:53, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Actually, we do in fact report that someone (who is prominent) thinks he is gay (if widely reported.) The relevant part of BLP is WP:WELLKNOWN. You refer to contentious material but the BLP guideline WP:BLPREMOVE specifies the immediate removal not of merely contentious material but of "unsourced or poorly sourced" contentious material. The material under discussion is well sourced, so its removal is not automatic or immediate. Binksternet (talk) 17:00, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
This removal of yours was without basis in policy. Binksternet (talk) 17:03, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Regarding the BLP noticeboard, the only Shep Smith discussion is this old one which was not initiated because of allegations of homosexuality, nor did it resolve such an issue. Binksternet (talk) 17:07, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you missed the many discussions about speculation about sexuality over the years on MANY BLP's? Please remember that this is not optional. Collect (talk) 17:13, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
You are confusing WP:BLPCAT with WP:WELLKNOWN. The bar for BLPCAT is high because it involves an absolute categorization. The bar for WELLKNOWN is different because nuanced prose can be so much more informational, presenting contradictions to the reader. Binksternet (talk) 00:41, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
But are the allegations really that important to the content of the article? Smith's notability is as a reporter, not as a potential gay man. Ducknish (talk) 00:50, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
It was important to filmmaker Kirby Dick and all the reporters who published articles. We take our lead from the media coverage. Binksternet (talk) 04:44, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
But quite a few of these sources seem to intend to disparage Smith (you can usually tell when they start using the oh-so-clever term Faux News). Ducknish (talk) 11:50, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
There was no intent to disparage Smith in the Goldstein/Rainey column in the Los Angeles Times. They defend Smith as not so hypocritical. Binksternet (talk) 14:32, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Extensive search: No mainstream media make the allegation. Zero. Nada. Rien. When faced with that WEIGHT (zero per cent of mainstream sources), it is clear that the sources Binksternet is pushing are only seeking to promote rumour and innuendo, and thus run very afoul of WP:BLP. Cheers.

Patrick Goldstein is a notable mainstream professional reporter, the film critic for the major metro newspaper the Los Angeles Times. He and columnist James Rainey discuss the Outrage film in their regular film critic column "The Big Picture." They mention that Shepard Smith is outed in the film and even comment on how it is not fair to Smith as he is not very hypocritical compared to the majority of other allegedly closeted politicians depicted in the film. Binksternet (talk) 14:30, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
You are now severely beating a dead horse here - and I suggest that this will not impress anyone at all. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:50, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Funny how three hours ago you were eager to show that "zero" mainstream news media are covering this issue, but now that you are proved wrong it is dead horse time. Binksternet (talk) 14:54, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
No -- youhave showed a movie reviewer mentioning the allegation is in a movie. Amazingly enough, movie reviews do not qualify as sources for claims of fact about living people. Or do you think films are "fact" as far as Wikipedia is concerned? If so, I fear you have no concept of what a "reliable source" for a "contentious claim" about any person is. Cheers. Collect (talk) 15:00, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
You have mistaken the search for truth with the existence of media coverage. We can clearly see the existence of media coverage, in major media such as the Los Angeles Times. There is no need to establish further facts than that. What we need to tell the reader is the undeniable fact that Smith has been said to be gay in various media. Binksternet (talk) 15:05, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
It seems to me that Cheers is correct in saying that "no mainstream media make the allegation." Goldstein isn't making an allegation about Smith here. Goldstein (in an entertainment column, not a hard news story) is mentioning an allegation made by someone else in a movie. No "reliable third-party" source is making an allegation that Smith is a closeted homosexual as per the first example in WP:WELLKNOWN, nor is there a "public scandal as per the second example in WP:WELLKNOWN. Badmintonhist (talk) 15:18, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
So Kevin Naff, the editor of the four-decade-old Washington Blade, is not reliable, nor is he third party? Naff is filmed in Outrage describing how Smith came on to him in a gay bar in 2005. It was Naff who originally outed Smith, as far as I can tell. Naff "spent four years at The Baltimore Sun, helping launch the paper's web site in 1996. He has worked as a financial reporter for Reuters..." He has a journalism degree and is a legitimate newspaperman. Of course I understand that his newspaper has a small circulation of about 30,000 but the waves rippling out from his outing of Smith have been covered much more widely, with Naff filmed by Kirby Dick, and the film covered by the Los Angeles Times among others. Binksternet (talk) 15:52, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
The LA Times does not even index that "review" at all - talk about grasping at straws! Nor is it indexed in Google news. Your (BN's) claim is actually literally unverifiable as to existence at all'. I suggest that when a person cites a non-existent soure for a contentious claim in a BLP they have gone well past the dead horse stage. Collect (talk) 15:32, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
You are trying to establish a novel criterion for WP:V, one that does not exist at the V policy guideline. At WP:V it says "Source material must have been published (made available to the public in some form)." The L.A. Times film review was certainly published: Sorry about your wish to refer to indexing. Binksternet (talk) 15:52, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Addressing Binksternet's comment directed to me above, Kevin Naff is definitely a third party source here, just not a "reliable third-party source" for a direct allegation. The relevant guide here, I think, is this from WP:NEWSORG: "Editorial commentary, analysis, and opinion pieces, whether written by the editors of the publication (editorials) or by outside authors (op-eds), are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to the editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of facts." Badmintonhist (talk) 16:35, 12 April 2013 (UTC) PS: This is off subject but does Wiki consider the Washington Blade to be a reliable source for anything other than its own opinions? Badmintonhist (talk) 16:53, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

By itself, the Washington Blade is a pipsqueak newspaper. Importance is conferred on Naff's outing of Smith in 2005 because it was covered more widely, especially when filmmaker Kirby Dick put Naff on screen in Outrage. Binksternet (talk) 17:10, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Then show us the news coverage. What you've shown so far is a couple of entertainment columns. Does any of this really amount to much of anything? As David Letterman might ask "Is this something or nothing?" Badmintonhist (talk) 17:31, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Just because his allegation was covered doesn't mean that people supported his allegation. If somebody's film alleges that Washington is run by dinosaurs, I'm probably going to mention it in my film review, but that doesn't mean that I consider it a valid allegation. Ducknish (talk) 20:01, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
The direct allegations come from two people: Kevin Naff, editor of the Washington Blade, and David Shankbone, a noted gay blogger and photographer. Naff said that Smith talked to Naff in a gay bar and invited Naff to have sex with him, but Naff declined. Shankbone says that Smith and he sat in a gay bar and discussed what it means for Smith to be gay. Naff was filmed by Kirby Dick in the Outrage documentary repeating his story about Smith; in this fashion Dick reinforces the prominence of Naff's allegation. Were there photographs of these encounters? Video taken? Audio recordings? No, there were not. Yet some in the media thought there was enough in the allegations to address them in print. In Patrick Goldstein's case, he defended Smith as being a poor target for Kirby Dick's wrath as Smith is not so very hypocritical. Kirby Dick defended his targeting of Smith by saying in an interview with Huffington Post‍ '​ Brad Listi, "The film does report on one journalist, Shepard Smith, who was first reported on by Kevin Naff of the Washington Blade. Shepard Smith works for Fox News, which has been a major factor in the rise of anti-gay hysteria in this country over the past two decades. As one of the most prominent people in Fox News—according to the New York Times, Smith makes 7 to 8 million dollars per year—his complicity with the network's homophobic agenda rises to a level of hypocrisy that I felt was worthy of reporting." Indirect allegations come from Out magazine which places Smith in its top ten list of powerful gay people: "The Power List 2013". Binksternet (talk) 22:38, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Nice summary of the allegations, Binksternet, but none of what you've said here seems to counter the reasons given for not including the information on Smith's Wikipedia biography . Badmintonhist (talk) 23:01, 12 April 2013 (UTC) PS: Looking at my outdented comment above I realize that I erred in calling Kevin Naff a third party source. Actually he claims to be a primary source. Badmintonhist (talk) 23:32, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

BLPN discussion[edit]

Some here have also offered their opinion about this issue at Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons/Noticeboard#Shepard_Smith. If you wish to participate there, feel free. Binksternet (talk) 23:40, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

At that discussion, 11 editors opine that the allegation does not belong here -- and one and only one seems determined to plaace it in this and other articles. While I think it would be nice to have further !voters there, the likelihood of your position prevailing are somewhat under zero. If we add the 2 here who have opined on the issue here and not at BLP/N, the count is now 13 to 1. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:14, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
I get a much smaller ratio (4:3) because I only count those editors who argued the "noteworthy" and "relevant" points (Bbb23, Ducknish and Arthur Rubin recently, Threeafterthree in the past), not BLPCAT or BLPGOSSIP which do not apply, nor do I count those who misinterpreted policy. Me, Pär Larsson and Cat spasms think the issue is relevant and notable enough for this bio. Note that Rubin allows for the possibility of the Shepard Smith outing staying in the Outrage article. He has not commented on the Outing article. He did imply that you had WP:canvassed him, which bears examination.
Veteran editor Darkness Shines did not give a direct opinion here or at BLPN, but recently removed some BLP-violating material about Carole Rome and Charlie Crist from the Outing article, while leaving the Shepard Smith material in the same section. Binksternet (talk) 14:53, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
The other articles don't really matter here. Neither of those are BLPs, and they don't have to fit to the same standards as we should apply here. And you can rework the numbers all you want, but the fact remains: consensus is clearly against including the information in Smith's article. Ducknish (talk) 15:53, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
And in addition, I think the question we really need to ask is, which would harm the wiki most: Omitting this information, whatever its accuracy, or maintaining allegations that turn out to be false? Ducknish (talk) 15:58, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
This is another example of the common confusion found in the arguments here. We are not trying to figure out what is false or what is true about Smith! Our decision here should not be based on a personal assessment of whether the outings are false or true. No, the only thing we are discussing is whether to tell the reader the inarguable fact that Smith was outed by Kevin Naff who was filmed in Outrage, a notable documentary. Binksternet (talk) 16:15, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
If it's not true, I'm not sure it counts as outing, as much as slander. Ducknish (talk) 16:17, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
We have no policy about whether the outing should be true or false. No decision here should be based on such judgement calls. Again, the only thing under discussion is whether to tell the reader what is absolutely true, which is that Kevin Naff appears on screen in the notable documentary Outrage to describe why he thinks Smith is gay, based on Naff's personal experience. Binksternet (talk) 16:42, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
Which doesn't go to show why this belongs in the Smith article, and not just the Naff or Outrage articles. Ducknish (talk) 17:56, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
  • It doesn't belong on this article. You failed at BLPN. Disregarding editors because you (wrongly) disagree with their reading of BLPGOSSIP etc is not a legitimate reason to disregard the clear consensus that it doesn't belong. Further, you put waaaay too much stock in that film. You keep emphasizing "notable", as if that makes it reliable. has an article on Wikipedia, thus making it notable. It is blacklisted too. The National Enquirer and Weekly World News have articles, making them "notable", but usually not reliable sources. A nobody source (Naff) makes a claim in a minor documentary that barely seen and you act like it is an ironclad fact. Put the whip away, the pony is dead. Niteshift36 (talk) 14:16, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Arrest for aggrevated battery[edit]

Why does this keep getting edited out? It's a verifiable fact that he was arrested and charged. Later the charges were dismissed. The reason this especially looks noticeable for being left out is because it's specifically referenced as a controversy for the Fox news organization for editing it out from their office. Lacking this information displays a bias to the editors. There is no BLP violation I can read as its an accounting of an incident of a celebrity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:24, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Probably because the charges were dismissed. Why is a dismissed charge that relevant to his biography?Niteshift36 (talk) 02:30, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
    • Perhaps because it shows a portion of his personality? By that logic why include information about him family. Why have anything at all on people? I don't follow the logic of having less information available. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:56, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Being arrested means the police did something. That tells us that the police did something. The article should discuss what, if anything, reliable sources say Smith did. - SummerPhD (talk) 13:33, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Saying 'it shows his personality' sounds much more like someone making a point than someone improving an article. An arrest often means that someone merely signed a complaint. In the end, it didn't even go to trial. Niteshift36 (talk) 18:21, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

This is inappropriate. (talk) 17:24, 25 November 2014 (UTC)


  • Huntster Said the image was WP:UNDUE so I changed the caption so it didn't mention that it was a mugshot at all. I don't agree with WP:UNDUE but fine, I understand how it could've been interpreted that way; I made the compromise.
  • Collect Says claims it is a "really really bad photo" but, it is a much higher quality image than the one currently residing in the infobox; which is incredibly blurry and out of focus, the subject is obscured by a television set and shown at distance, it is a low res crop, and generally not a very quality image overall.

(as an aside: many other images for articles in Template:Fox News personalities are poor quality as well - anyone from New York got a camera?)

The rationale for usage of File:Shepard Smith.jpg is because it illustrates the physical appearance of the article's subject better than the current image in use. It also serves as a historical image, which is common in many biographies (eg: Cher, Geraldo Rivera, Joan Rivers, Willie Nelson(WP:GA)). I would have put it in the infobox were the thing not so dated. We only have the two Free images available for Shep; if there were better ones I'd include those instead. We could throw a fair use image up but that is not particularly desirable. -- dsprc [talk] 09:11, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Using a non-free image in a BLP is not just undesirable, but against our policies. I maintain that using a mugshot for an article where there was no conviction or, I believe, even a trial, violates UNDUE, but others may disagree. Huntster (t @ c) 09:39, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Using the mug shot under any name is not a great idea - it is a truly horrid image. And calling it "historical" is risible. Collect (talk) 12:26, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Per WP:MUG (part of BLP), "Images of living persons should not be used out of context to present a person in a false or disparaging light. This is particularly important for police booking photographs (mugshots)..." Using a mugshot creates the impression, rightly or wrongly, that the person has a significant criminal record. While this is appropriate in Al Capone (where he is notable for his criminal activities), it is not appropriate at (for example) Mel Gibson, even though the arrest was high profile, because the arrest was only of note because Gibson is notable. In the present case, Smith is clearly not notable for anything other than being on Fox News. That we don't have a good image without it does not excuse presenting an inaccurate and disparaging impression. - SummerPhD (talk) 14:14, 26 August 2014 (UTC)