Radio talk show host Michael Smerconish has an op/ed in today's Washington Post decrying "the media's role in shaping opinions." He indicts his industry (but of course exempts himself from the indictment) for presenting just extreme views rather than nuanced ones, and cites as examples some times when he felt he was either pigeonholed or passed over as a guest by CNN and Fox.
Smerconish knows whereof he speaks.
Six years ago, Fox News personality Michelle Malkin published a book defending the incarceration of Japanese resident aliens and Japanese Americans during World War II. She was of course received with open arms by the right-wing media, scoring opportunities to plug her revisionist nonsense with O'Reilly, Hannity, and the other usual suspects. My friend the historian Greg Robinson and I tried to use my blog to refute her thesis, but needless to say we had a harder time securing radio and TV time than Malkin did.
Life on a Fox News Farm TeamI was booked this morning to go on Michael Smerconish's radio program on WPHT radio in Philadelphia, right after a segment he did with Michelle Malkin, to rebut her claims about the Japanese American internment.I listened, on hold on the telephone, as Michelle did her fifteen minutes of allegations of "large espionage networks up and down the Coast," "Japanese American spies in the U.S. military," the critical information these Japanese American spies gathered, the lies about U.S. history that are peddled by leftists and ethnic grievance groups, and the like.
She had a receptive audience in the host, Smerconish, who has his own book in favor of racial profiling that's about to come out (and that's blurbed, on the cover, by Sean Hannity). Smerconish used the interview as an opportunity to fawn all over Malkin ("Is there anything we disagree about, Michelle, besides the Bush daughters?"), hawk his own book, and brag that he's going on The O'Reilly Factor next week. ("Wow!" exclaimed Michelle.)The interview with Malkin closed with this exchange:
Smerconish: The bottom line here, Michelle, is don't let your kids be taught that we did despicable things to the Japanese Americans during World War II, 'cause it ain't true.
Malkin: That's right, Michael.Then the show hung up on me.The producer promptly left me a phone message telling me that they had "an important call from the Republican National Convention" that they needed to take. But of course they'd be interested in having me on some other time, blah blah blah.If Smerconish is (as it sounded to me) auditioning for the Big Time (that is, a show on Fox), he's already got the "fair and balanced" thing down pat.posted by Eric 7:56 AM
PS: Smerconish's show never called me back.