NEW YORK – Fox News anchor Shepard Smith on Thursday refused reporters’ requests to ask him about his sexual orientation during a National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association fundraiser.
“I’m going to walk over here,” he said as the Washington Blade asked him about his sexual orientation during NLGJA’s Headlines and Headliners fundraiser at the Prince George Ballroom in Manhattan.
A Gawker reporter with whom the Blade spoke outside the venue said Smith took a picture of him with his cell phone as he walked to his car. The Fox News anchor rushed past the reporter as he tried to ask him questions.
Blade Editor Kevin Naff outed Smith in 2005 after Smith hit on him in a Manhattan bar. That incident was featured in the documentary film “Outrage;” he recounted the experience earlier this month.
NLGJA invited Smith as a “special guest” to attend the annual Manhattan fundraiser. He appeared in a selfie with CNN anchors Don Lemon and Ashleigh Banfield, MSNBC host Ronan Farrow, Fox News anchor Jamie Colby, “Good Morning America” correspondent Amy Robach, who emceed the event, and others.
CNN reporter Jeanne Moos and Bryan Norcross of The Weather Channel are among those who also attended the fundraiser.
“Our company’s the sponsor,” Smith told the Blade. “I’m really happy to be here and it’s great to see a lot of old friends.”
LGBT rights advocates have repeatedly criticized Fox News over the network’s coverage of LGBT issues.
GLAAD earlier this month criticized Fox News host Jeanine Pirro after the group said she didn’t challenge Rev. William Owens of the Coalition of African American Pastors’ over his anti-LGBT rhetoric during a segment on whether U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder should be impeached. Media Matters for America in February highlighted a series of guests on “The O’Reilly Factor” and other Fox News programs who criticized New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to not march in the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade because organizers do not allow LGBT people to openly participate.