A comment made by a Fox News Channel anchor in the hours after news broke Monday of the death of Robin Williams has prompted an apology.
The Boston Herald reports that the anchor, Shepard Smith, sparked an outcry on social media when he used the word “coward” to talk about Williams’ apparent suicide. Smith later told TVNewser:
“The last thing I would ever suggest about a man I know nothing about personally, is that he’s a coward. That goes against everything I am. If those words, I used so innocently, offended his family, from the bottom of my heart, I could not be more sorry.”
The Herald gives an account of Smith’s original telecast, saying: “Near the end of the live show, Smith read a quote from Williams about how the actor’s three children ‘gave him a great sense of wonder.’
“Smith then followed the quote by saying, ‘And yet, something inside you is so horrible or you’re such a coward or whatever the reason that you decide that you have to end it.’”
As we are reporting separately, authorities today indicated that Williams, 63, died of asphyxia due to hanging.
The Herald report adds: “Other media outlets have taken heat on social media for their coverage on the comedian’s death. Earlier Tuesday morning ABC News issued an apology for streaming video of Robin Williams’ home on Monday.”