With Hurricane Matthew closing up on Florida after ravaging Haiti, there has been a lot of sensational coverage of what could be one of the most historically disastrous storms. Currently a Category 4, the hurricane is likely to either hit the state directly or tear along its coastline.
Either way, there will be extensive damage – that’s the point Fox News anchor Shepard Smith was trying to make on Thursday when he went a little overboard and began issuing quite ominous predictions.
It started out like normal storm coverage.
Smith showed footage of a house being torn apart and explained how some people don’t want to evacuate despite repeated warnings from the state officials – “because freedom and stuff.”
Then, things took a drastic turn.
Instead of simply detailing the potential destruction the hurricane might cause, the host decided to shame those who were staying, threatening that Fox would not “cover their funerals” or “feel sorry for them.”
“Despite the warnings lots of people in the United States have said they’re not going anywhere. We will not cover your funerals and we will not feel sorry for you,” Smith exclaimed. “They’re stocking up supplies, boarding up their homes, and hoping – which is moronic.”
He then showed the viewers some of the other areas that Matthew might hit.
“See this? Melbourne? Daytona Beach? Jacksonville? This moves 20 miles to the west, and you and everyone you know are dead – all of you,” he continued. “Because you can’t survive it. It’s not possible. Unless you’re very, very lucky. And your kids die, too.”
As if this wasn’t disturbing enough, Smith also spoke to a Floridian woman who did not want to leave her home.
"I'll ask her why she's staying, and if she expects us to cover her funeral," he said before the segment.
Hurricane Matthew killed at least 140 people in the Caribbean, mostly in Haiti.
“If you're reluctant to evacuate, just think about all the people... already killed,” warned Florida Governor Rick Scott, urging some 1.5 million people to vacate their houses. "Time is running out. This is clearly either going to have a direct hit or come right along the coast.”