Fox News’ Shepard Smith took the media to task for its Ebola hysteria during his broadcast on Wednesday. “Given what we know, you should have no concerns about Ebola at all. None; I promise,” he told viewers.
Fox News, along with CNN and MSNBC, went with non-stop coverage of the disease after a nurse caring for Thomas Eric Duncan — the first American diagnosed with Ebola, who ultimately died from it — contracted the disease.
Shepard seemed to be calling out his own network, as well as other media outlets, in trying to bring reason and fact to the Ebola discussion.
“Do not listen to the hysterical voices on the radio and the television, or read the fear-provoking words online,” he said. “The people who say and write hysterical things are being very irresponsible.”
He clarified that there is no factual evidence of any Ebola outbreak in the U.S. As of this writing, one person (Duncan) has died from it and two healthcare professionals who cared for him have contracted it and are in isolation.
Smith said there’s an element of politics in the “irresponsible” fear-mongering going on in the media. “With midterm elections coming, the party in charge needs to appear to be effectively leading. The party out of power needs to show that there is a lack of leadership,” he said.
“I report to you with certainty this afternoon that being afraid at all is the wrong thing to do. Being petrified, and that’s a quote, is ridiculous,” Smith continued. “The panic that has tanked the stock market and left people fearful that their children will get sick at school is counterproductive and lacks basis in fact or reason. There is no Ebola spreading in America. Should that change, our reporting will change.”