On "The Five" last night, Fox News anchor Shep Smith shot down the glib comments and questions about the riots in Baltimore made by co-hosts Greg Gutfeld and Eric Bolling.
It started with Bolling asking why "one of the higher profile civil rights leaders -- who tend to come in after the fact -- came in during the thing and said, 'Hey, let's call for peace!'"
"I'm confident they're all watching and, on your instruction, do exactly that," a dejected sounding Smith replied. He did not note, however, that one of "higher profile civil rights leaders" about whom Bolling complained -- Jesse Jackson -- spoke earlier that day at the funeral for 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
When Gutfeld cut in and asked, "Where are the parents?" Smith could barely contain his annoyance.
"I've not been on the phone with them," he said. "If we want to sit here and indict the civil rights community and indict the parents for what we’re watching right now, instead of just covering what happens and then later talk about whose fault it is, because we don’t know whose fault it is."
Bolling cut in, saying that they were merely "watching the pictures" and "asking legitimate questions," but Smith would hear none of it.
"The question was 'Where are the parents?'" he replied. "Surely, you don't expect me to know that."
"I agree," Gutfeld said, giving up the game, "it was a hypothetical." Bolling tried to turn the conversation back to what he imagines is the main issue -- the absentee civil rights leaders -- but Smith refused to let him change the topic.
"We’ve got a major American city that has decades -- decades -- of turmoil within this neighborhood," he said. "They feel powerless and hopeless. One quarter of the youth locked up. Clearly there is a big problem. Then, all of the sudden, an African-American man is taken into a vehicle, and he comes out of it and dies -- and you get nothing from authorities except a suspension. There is no escaping that reality."
"Certainly," he continued, "people will need to come forward and ask for calm. But no one on these streets would be able to listen to that call."
Watch the entire exchange below Media Matters for America.