Date: 7th December 2000

CNN backing reporter charged with felonious assault

CNN is standing behind its reporter, Shepard Smith, who was accused last week of striking with his car a woman who was trying to block off a parking space at the Tallahassee courthouse where Smith was covering the legal drama over the Florida vote count. A Fox News spokesman said Wednesday: "Shepard Smith has not been convicted, nor charged, with any crime. Thus, FOX News sees no reason why any discipline or sanctions are necessary." Smith's attorney, Eddie Bauer, told Wednesday's Tallahassee Democrat "In the State of Florida, a charge of aggravated battery requires either serious injury or the vehicle to be used as a deadly weapon. Neither occurred. Mr. Smith was inching his car forward, and the woman received only minor scratches."

Source: Studio Briefing