Fox News host Shepard Smith snapped at the head of the New York Times‘ London bureau on Friday over the implication that the network was not being “careful” in covering the hostage situation at a Jewish grocery store in Paris.
“What you told me is that you thought we needed to be careful,” Smith told bureau chief Steve Erlanger. “What I can report to you, sir, is that we’re being very careful.”
“You’re either going to let me talk, or you’re not,” Erlanger protested, only to have Smith cut the interview off.
The segment began with Smith relaying a Sky News report that there was a second gunman inside the market. One suspect, identified as Amedy Coulibaly, and four other people were reported as dead following a police raid on the market earlier in the day. Another four people were listed as being “critically wounded.”
Authorities did not mention a second gunman at the market, Smith said. Coulibaly’s girlfriend, Hayat Boumedienne, remains at large and is also considered a suspect.
The incident at the market came less than a week after the mass shooting that killed 12 staff members at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The two suspects in that incident, Cherif and Said Kouachi, were killed during a separate raid by police at a print shop in the northern city of Dammartin-en-Goele.
Smith asked Erlanger about the chance of a “second Western attack,” following a warning to that effect from French authorities.
“Well, we need to be careful in the moments after such a thing,” Erlanger said.
“You don’t have to tell me that,” Smith replied.
Erlanger then explained that British officials had expressed similar concerns regarding an attack in London.
“It’s very easy to draw a line between all these things and make them one,” Erlanger said, adding that the attack against the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo had left people shaken. “There’ll be lots of questions about why intel didn’t know what’s going on,” Erlanger said. “Did they take these two brothers seriously enough? Could this have been prevented?”
Smith then asked Erlanger to explain his initial comment.
“On what matter did you think we were not careful, based on what you just said, and what we just reported?” Smith asked.
“Frankly, I have not been listening very carefully,” Erlanger conceded.
“So you just said that because what?” Smith demanded.
“No, no, I’m not getting in a fight with you,” Erlanger replied. “Look, you asked me to come and talk to you. I’m telling you what I think I know.”
Several of Smith’s Fox News colleagues have come under criticism for the network’s handling of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, which has included not only criticism of French gun laws, but attacks against President Barack Obama and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Watch the discussion, as posted online on Friday, below.