Shep returns

Shepard Smith is back in New York. After seeing raw nerves and blunt honesty, it was too bad seeing him last night packaged in the studio again. But the fire is still there.

He faced Bill O’Reilly — whose ego-bloated bombast he cut through last week — again. O’Reilly had earlier in the evening talked about criminals in New Orleans and, with characteristic charm, asked: “Are they driven by rage because their lives are so worthless?” Worthless to whom, Bill? That’s the question these days, eh?

O’Reilly condescends to Smith, treating him the way a good ol’ boy treats an angry woman: “You had some emotion,” O’Reilly smirked. “Upon reflection, what have you learned from the storm?” The implication is that Shepard was just having a hissy fit when he tore into O’Reilly: it was just emotion, not the product of reflection.

O’Reilly can’t ever help saying that he knows what’s happening and no one else does: “I knew, I knew that a huge bureacracy like the federal government couldn’t move that fast.” He tries to defend the feds and blame the locals; Shep won’t jump to conclusions and he just gives Bill a cold stare that, I believe, will become his trademark. He cuts O’Reilly down with silence and the authority of experience: He was where O’Reilly wasn’t.

Later, Shep appeared on Letterman, telling the story of spending the night on I-10 as “there were thousands of people coming out of the sewage with nowhere to go… and we weren’t seeing this…. things you never dreamed you would see in the United States.”

Next he says he’s headed to Mississippi.

“We gotta get the news to the people, Dave.”