Shepard Smith stunned viewers and colleagues on Friday when he announced his resignation from Fox News after 23 years with the network. Smith, 55, addressed his departure at the end of his final show.
"Even in our currently polarized nation, it's my hope that the facts will win the day, that the truth will always matter, that journalism and journalist will thrive."
Smith's resignation hit social media like a mini tornado. The news was welcomed by his detractors who despised Smith's left-leaning bias.
Many on Twitter.com celebrated Smith's resignation, including President Trump.
"I don't know. Is he leaving? That's a shame," Trump joked on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday.
"Is he leaving because of bad ratings?" Trump continued. "If he's leaving, I assume he's leaving because he had bad ratings."
Probably no one was happier to see Smith leave than Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Smith lashed out at Carlson after Fox legal commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano got into it with Carlson and one of his guests during a live broadcast 2 weeks ago.
Smith thought Carlson should have defended the judge.
"Attacking our colleague who is here to offer legal assessments on our air, in our work home, is repugnant," Smith said during his show the next day.
Later that night, Carlson mocked Smith on the air, repeatedly calling Smith a "daytime host" and never addressing him by name. Carlson ended his rant by taking a jab at Smith's sinking ratings: "When you dress up partisanship as news coverage, people tune out."
While some believe Trump's constant criticism of Smith may have intimidated the anchor to leave, others say Smith was upset about the stinging personal attack by Carlson.
Smith reportedly asked Fox to accept his resignation after only 1 year into his $15 million-a-year contract.
Smith's fans wished him well on Twitter and praised him for keeping his boot on Trump's neck over the past two years. But others thought he was too hypercritical of the president.
Shepard Smith had low ratings but he was a good actor I’ll give him that.
His face when illegals died under Obama vs his face when illegal immigrants die under Trump. pic.twitter.com/iEst9svbOt
— Melissa A. (@TheRightMelissa) October 12, 2019