With his elevation to $7 million salary level, Fox News reader Shepard Smith has now surpassed Campbell’s Soup pitchman and Food Network producer Gordon Elliott as the most successful graduate of the tabloid television series A Current Affair reporting ranks.
He can also be seen as Fox News’ answer to CNN’s $5 million boy, Anderson Cooper ("DC" to their "AC?").
Both made their telegenic bones in 2005 during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Coop with his dewy-eyed reports and Shep, who just happend to be staying in the French Quarter at the time (days before New Orleans’ annual Southern Decadence weekend), with his self-righteous (but right-on) Blanche DuBois hissyfits and tantrums.
In the months to follow, Cooper made history as television’s first openly-gay news anchorman– a role that made him Tabloid Baby’s 2005 Person of the Year. Smith kept his "soft Southern drawl" at bay, but for some reasonfound himself "outed" numerous times in recent years by various gay publications and websites (including regular "snarky" comments by the New York City media site Gawker).
And in today’s New York Times there are numerous "double entendres" hinting that Roger Ailes is positioning his network for the more liberal Democratic White House years in the post-O’Reilly era.
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