For some time Philly radio host Michael Smerconish has been a fill-in host for Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, but he never quite fit in at the far left-wing cable network. But this month he debuted on CNN where he feels more in line with the network’s culture.
MSNBC chief Phil Griffin didn’t exactly boot Smerconish off the air, but he also didn’t go out of his way to stop the radio host when he announced last month that he was moving to CNN.
Smerconish told Politico that MSNBC President Griffin, “didn’t hold me back, he was always very clear with me saying ‘This is your role here, we’re liberal and we’re nerdy and you’re neither but we love having you. You could guest host Hardball as long you’d like’.”
He went on to say that MSNBC “respected the fact that maybe I was not going to lean as far forward as they were looking to,” but claimed that his ratings were somewhat respectable regardless.
This is the same Michael Smerconish who in 2012 claimed that the incivility we see in Washington D.C. today is essentially conservative talk radio’s fault. Specifically he blamed Rush Limbaugh for destroying the tranquility radio experienced during the days of the Left’s muzzling of the medium under the Fairness Doctrine.
He is also the same man who on MSNBC dutifully pushed the narrative that voter ID laws are racist and meant to “suppress” the vote despite the total lack of any proof at all that anyone has lost their right to vote because of such voting integrity laws.
Only a few months ago, Smerconish excoriated the GOP saying that it is Republicans that should apologize to Obama for the President’s disastrous rollout of Obamacare late last year.
So, if Smerconish isn’t far enough left for MSNBC, this just shows how far left MSNBC really is.
Regardless, Smerconish hopes that his new Saturday morning 9AM CNN show will be more a reflection of his radio show, mostly political, but sometimes veering into other topics like entertainment, TV and movies.
“The radio show is a place where you see what people are most passionate about, that ought to give me an advantage in knowing what really is an issue that strikes a chord,” Smerconish said. “You’ve got to have the right content. You’ve got to present it in an engaging way where people know you’re not trying to sell them an ideological view.”
The new show host also said that he hopes to convince people that being a political “independent” doesn’t mean that one has no real convictions. “I have lots of convictions–it’s just that they don’t stack up neatly,” he told Politico’s Hadas Gold.
Explaining what he hoped to do with the new show, Smerconish said, “The format’s going to be topical, conversational, it will give me the opportunity to express opinion like I do on radio but not to beat you over the head with it and I think it will give me the opportunity to get into a wide range of subject matter. It’s most exciting for me to see it’s no one’s environment but mine and CNN has tried to adapt what they’re providing to me.”