Did Fox News Force Shep Smith to Stay Closeted?

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WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: FOX News host Shepard Smith poses on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Shepard Smith
Photo: Brendan Hoffman/2009 Getty Images

Gawker says yes: "Shep wanted to and was ready to come out, and [Roger Ailes] just said no," claims a "Fox insider." The trouble allegedly started when Smith brought his boyfriend to a company picnic and Bill Shine, executive vice-president of programming, "flipped out." Smith was later "demoted," the insider said. "And the coming out thing was a significant part of that." Expect Fox News viewers to protest such treatment never. (Update: "This story is 100% false and a complete fabrication," say Smith and Ailes in a joint statement.)