Fox's Shephard Smith:Wisconsin Fight Has Nothing Do With Budget, All About Busting Unions





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Uploaded on Feb 26, 2011

On Wednesday's "Studio B," Shepard Smith said the battle over union rights in Wisconsin was all about busting unions and securing Republican political power, not about the state's budget deficit.

It was a take that placed Smith squarely in agreement with people such as Rachel Maddow, who has repeatedly argued essentially the same thing on her show.

Speaking to a mostly-in-agreement Juan Williams, Smith said the fight was "100 percent politics."

"There is no budget crisis in Wisconsin," he said, adding that the unions "[have] given concessions." The real point of the fight, Smith said, could be found in the list of the top ten donors to political campaigns. Seven out of the ten donated to Republicans; the other three were unions donating to Democrats.

"Bust the unions, and it's over," Smith said. He then brought up the Koch brothers, the billionaires who have bankrolled much of the anti-union pushback in Wisconsin. The fight, Smith said, "started" with the Kochs, who he said were trying to get a return on the money they donated to Walker's campaign.

"I'm not taking a side on this, I'm just telling you what's going on...to pretend this is about a fiscal crisis in the state of Wisconsin is malarkey," Smith said.


Shepard Smith's conversation today with commentator Juan Williams would likely surprise loyal viewers of both Fox News and MSNBC. Shep's repeated assertion that there is no longer a budget crisis in Wisconsin and that the battle in the state is all about politics and union-busting was most shocking because that's the exact argument many of MSNBC's commentators have made, and continue to be suggesting.

Shep suggested that the Democratic party could be in big trouble if their biggest donors, the unions, lose their power and summed it up as "bust the unions -- it's over." Furthermore, Shep brought up the fact that the "Koch brothers, among others, were organizing to try to bust labor -- it's what big business wants to do." Given that the Koch brothers contributed to the campaign of Wisconsin Governor Walker, Shep said people should not be surprised that now they want unions busted. Despite Shep claiming "I'm not taking a side on this, I'm telling you what's going on," Williams warned Shep that "just by telling the facts, you're angering a lot of people."

Oddly, it seems Shep's unexpected disclosure of facts does give some credence to at least the Koch brothers component of Ed Schultz's argument that the union showdown is part of a right wing "master plan." However, given that Shep adamantly declared "to pretend this is about a fiscal crisis in the state of Wisconsin is malarkey," it seems like Fox News' participation in such a "master plan" isn't what Schultz might have suspected.



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