Fox News host Shepard Smith smacked down attempts by the hosts of The Five to blame activists for the outbreak of violence in Baltimore on Monday, Media Matters reported.
“Where are the parents?” Greg Gutfeld asked over images of looting from the city on Monday evening.
“Well, you know, I’ve not been on the phone with them,” Smith replied. “But if we want to sit here and indict the civil rights community and indict the parents for what we’re watching right now, instead of for now, just covering what happens and then later talk about whose fault it is, because we don’t know whose fault it is.”
“No one’s indicting anyone,” Eric Bolling told Smith. “We’re watching the pictures. We’re asking the legitimate questions. A lot of our viewers are probably asking the same questions.”
“Bolling, the question was, ‘Where are the parents?'” Smith shot back. “Surely you don’t expect me to know that.”
“I agree, Shep, it was a hypothetical,” Gutfeld offered, before Bolling asked where civil rights leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were, apparently unaware that Jackson was a speaker at the funeral for 25-year-old Freddie Gray earlier in the day.
Gray’s death in police custody earlier this month was the catalyst for a round of demonstrations leading up to Monday’s unrest. But, Smith explained, multiple factors are also coming into play that have been festering for years.
“We’ve got a major American city that has decades of turmoil within this neighborhood,” Smith said, pointing at an image of the rioting and citing Fox reporter Doug McKelway’s accounts of residents saying police had made them feel “powerless and hopeless.”
Gray’s arrest and subsequent death, Smith argued, set the stage for “those who would do harm” to take advantage of the unrest.
“It’s what happened between all of that and today that has led to this,” Smith said. “There is no escaping that reality.”
Watch Smith’s remarks, as posted by Media Matters on Monday, below.