‘He Was My Champion’: Watch Shepard Smith’s Emotional Eulogy For ‘Complicated’ Roger Ailes

Shepard Smith opened his broadcast Thursday with a 13 minute monologue on Roger Ailes, the former Fox News chairman who died Thursday at the age of 77. For much of the segment, Smith spoke glowingly of his “champion as he detailed his start at Fox News and recounted some of the major stories he covered under Ailes’ watch — including Columbine and Hurricane Katrina. “He was my champion and my mentor,” Smith said. “My father in Mississippi was there for me, no doubt. He’s the greatest man ever. But Roger was a father figure, too.” Smith was overcome with emotion throughout, saying “I’ve got to get a tissue,” at one point.
Approximately 10 minutes into his tribute, Smith addressed the sexual harassment allegations by Gretchen Carlson and other women who worked at the network — which resulted in Ailes leaving Fox News in 2016.
Then last year, last we began to learn of another side of Roger Ailes, another part of his life. I didn’t believe it could be true at first. This man I so admired despite our differences. It all came to a head as hundreds of us were in Cleveland for the Republican convention. The accusations were mortifying.

But Smith made clear where his sentiments lie.
Roger Ailes was a patriot. He was the biggest personality and the most influential and powerful man I encountered. He changed my life and everybody in my family forever, for generations to come. He guided me and supported me and protected me and told me he loved me like a father. And I love him.
Smith added, “It was complicated. So much here was and is.” Watch above, via Fox News. [image via screengrab] —— Follow Joe DePaolo (@joe_depaolo) on Twitter

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