Shep Smith shuts down French commentator suggesting Notre Dame fire wasn’t an accident | TheHill – The Hill
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith abruptly cut off an interview on Monday with a French commentator floating conspiracy theories about the fire burning at Notre Dame.
Smith’s guest was French media analyst and former elected official Philippe Karsenty, who said the blaze burning at the Parisian landmark was “like a 9/11.”
“It’s like a 9/11. It’s a French 9/11. It’s a big shock,” Karsenty said. “The church was there for more than 850 years. Even the Nazis didn’t dare to destroy it.”
He said there have been churches “desecrated each and every week in France, all over France” in recent years.
“So, of course, you will hear the story of the political correctness which will tell you it’s probably an accident,” Karsenty said before Smith interrupted.
“Sir, sir, sir, we’re not going to speculate here of the cause of something which we don’t know,” Smith said. “If you have observations or you know something, we would love to hear it.”
Karsenty said that he was warning viewers that they “need to be ready” before Smith cut his guest off again.
“No, sir, we’re not doing that here, not now, not on my watch,” Smith said before ending the interview with Karsenty.
Smith noted that officials suspect that the fire started in the rear of the cathedral, reportedly linked to restoration efforts.
“We are thousands of miles away, and the man on the phone with us has absolutely no information of any kind about the origin of this fire, and neither do I,” Smith told viewers.
“The fire investigators will at some point come to a determination about what caused this, and conspiracy theories about anything are worthless and in many cases counterproductive and injurious to society,” he added. “And those who entertain them are not acting in the best interests of the people of this planet.”
Karsenty took to Twitter to share the harsh interview.
Truth will come out. https://t.co/ihqXLQvzAp
— Philippe Karsenty (@pkarsenty) April 15, 2019
Karsenty was elected deputy mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburb near Paris, in 2008. He is also a controversial media figure who owns the group Media-Ratings.
Karsenty was found guilty of defamation in 2013 for saying that TV channel France 2 had staged a video report that accused Israeli troops of killing a Palestinian boy in Gaza in 2000, the BBC reported.