The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

20 August 2009

Obama's 'Conservative' Talk Radio Invitation Isn't What It Appears


Media Portrays Obama-Supporting Host As 'Conservative'

*** UPDATE: Read The Suck-Up Session Transcript Here ***

Is Barack Obama really extending an olive branch to the opposition by inviting a conservative radio talk host to broadcast from the White House?

If they've come away with this conclusion, readers of the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times can be forgiven. After all, the Post used the word "conservative" four times between the headline and opening paragraphs to describe Philly talker Michael Smerconish in this story, as did the Times:

(WaPo) Conservative Radio Host Smerconish to the White House

By Garance Franke-Ruta

President Obama has invited conservative Philadelphia talk radio host Michael A. Smerconish to broadcast his nationally-syndicated radio show from the White House Thursday afternoon, a first for radio during his administration.

Smerconish, who unusually among conservative radio hosts endorsed Obama for president in 2008, teased the move on his Twitter account Wednesday morning, writing, "Haven't tweeted for a while....but this is big...making major announcement on air at 730am....clue: fireside chats"

A major topic of discussion on the show, which will involve a call-in component, will be the president's health care reform efforts, which have draw increasing criticism from conservatives and independent voters. "There are no ground rules. I am not prescreening with the White House on what the subject matter will be," Smerconish said in a statement announcing the show. But he used the last portion of his morning program Wednesday to seek out listeners with "pointed direct and substantive questions about Health Care," he said.

(LA Times)

Michael Smerconish to interview Obama in the White House

The president will talk with the conservative radio host, and his listeners, about the healthcare overhaul in an effort to confront criticism. The show airs live on Thursday.

By Peter Nicholas

August 20, 2009

Reporting from Washington - In a bid to confront criticism of his healthcare overhaul, President Obama has invited conservative talk-radio host Michael Smerconish to do his daily show from the White House. The president will appear from 1:10 to 1:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, with some cable networks expected to carry the program live and the conservative-leaning audience likely to pepper him with pointed questions.

"There has been a lot of misinformation that's been spread, particularly in conservative circles, about this plan," said Joshua Earnest, a White House spokesman. "It's an opportunity to set the record straight, and hopefully he'll have an opportunity to confront that misinformation head-on."

But is he really conservative? Let's ask Michael Smerconish that question. From his own website:

Q: Why radio?

A: Initially it was all ego. I was totally taken. I would have paid them to let me do a show. … I was already politically interested and involved. I can do more as a person in front of a microphone than I could holding a public job. … I can effect change by having the microphone in front of me.

Q: You’re a pretty conservative guy for this area.

A: I’m not that conservative.

Only by reading further in the Times and WaPo stories is it revealed that Smerconish actually supported Obama last year, an endorsement your Radio Equalizer covered at the time. Also keep in mind that Smerconish's syndication deal is overseen by the same libtalk suits (and liberal DC insiders) that brought you Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller and others.

In November, we discussed in detail Smerconish's transparent moves designed to win favor with liberal radio industry executives. In exchange for burning his longtime audience, he's been rewarded with a national deal and is now heard on several stations in various parts of the country.

What the stories do make clear is that Smerconish isn't there to take Obama to task. Instead, his presence is meant to "educate" and "enlighten" misguided conservatives who need to understand why ObamaCare is the best thing that could happen to them.

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  • Oh, and he preempts Rush. Obama gets a twofer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20 August, 2009 12:44  

  • The Phony from Philly is about as Conservative as Barney Frank is Straight.

    By Blogger PCD, at 20 August, 2009 19:11  

  • Compared to the massive reach of Obama's media- newspapers, television, magazines, ABC Radio Network news twice an hour, displays in bookstores, brainwashing in public schools, Hollywood, internet sites, etc., the world of talk radio is tiny-almost non-existent. So it's amazing after all these years the left is still obsessed with it. Bill Clinton was obsessed with it (mainly about Rush who after all isn't an elected official, can't force people to do anything). What many don't know is the GOP would be happier without talk radio as well--going back to Trent Lott who blamed it for amnesty for illegals losing speed. He said talk radio ran the country. Beltway types are, unfortunately, all the same.

    By Blogger susan mullen, at 21 August, 2009 03:26  

  • The Phony from Philly belongs in the same class as Lord Haw-Haw and Tokyo Rose.

    If Obama wants to stop lying and reach out, he needs to cage the union goons, FIRE Axelrod and The Emmanuels, and sit down and have a beer with other than his accolytes.

    Damn, I wish TalkSpot was still going strong. I'd be doing another "Bully Pulpit" that John Carlson put on.

    James Golden, the time is ripe for another TalkSpot.

    By Blogger PCD, at 21 August, 2009 08:22  

  • Susan -- it's the same mania that afflicts the huge arab countries regarding the tiny dot that is Israel.

    By Blogger lnthomp, at 21 August, 2009 16:07  

  • Smerconish doesn't really count as a conservative.

    By Anonymous ladyjane, at 21 August, 2009 17:19  

  • Smerconish makes me ill...apparently I am not the only one...My sister called me looking for Jay Severin..."Was he fired or what and who is this guy?"
    It didn't take long to for her to turn the for me I already knew this sellout slob was an unprincipled fence sitter who plops on the side that is most advantageous to hizzelf! No thanks Mike, and now you are part of Obamas Media shill mob!

    By Anonymous Mary, at 24 August, 2009 15:24  

  • Susan -- it's the same mania that afflicts the huge arab countries regarding the tiny dot that is Israel.

    By Anonymous oksupra, at 26 October, 2010 04:44  

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