Voice of Reason for Independent Minds: Talking Media & Polarization with CNN's Michael Smerconish

The Purple Principle

Feb 8 2022 • 29 mins

“I have been paying attention for thirty years,” CNN and SiriusXM host & commentator Michael Smerconish tells us. “And during that time the country has been driven into a partisan ditch.” A well-known visage from his CNN show, Smerconish is also a widely recognized voice, having started on “terrestrial” AM radio two decades before migrating to his current SiriusXM show and podcasts. The Purple Principle wanted to know more about Michael Smerconish, the individual, who features more indie-minded segments on his shows and podcasts as well as his platform, Smerconish.com.  Smerconish details his 2010 decision to break with the Republican Party he grew up in, citing the reckless expansion of the War on Terror and the nasty tone of 2010 Tea Party congressional campaigns. He bemoans the loss of moderate Republicans like Senator Arlen Specter (PA) and Congressman Mike Castle (DE) in that period, expressing current concern that incivility and vitriol is creeping down from the national and state to the local level.    “There have been a number of nasty exchanges at school board meetings pertaining to masks or vax policy,“ he observes. “And they’re probably driving reasonable people right out of the discourse.” Smerconish is also a frequent critic of the media, such as in his 2021 Reagan Library speech, “It’s Time to Change the Channel.” “Division sells,“ he states emphatically, noting the extreme voices from both parties manipulating that business model to raise money and further congressional careers without legislative success.  Join us today for this master class from Michael Smerconish on partisan politics in the media and partisan media in politics, the tightly-wound symbiosis driving polarization in our country. No magic solutions offered for this trend, but lots of enlightening anecdotes and insights in this episode, Voice of Reason for Independent Minds with Michael Smerconish.  Original music by Ryan Adair Rooney SHOW NOTES Our Guest Michael Smerconish: Twitter, Smerconish.com, CNN’s Smerconish, SiriusXM Radio’s “The Michael Smerconish Program”, and SXM podcasts “Book Club with Michael Smerconish” and “The Smerconish Podcast”.  Additional Resources CNN’s Michael Smerconish - Bio (CNN) Michael Smerconish’s Reagan Library Speech (YouTube) James E. Beasley Sr. Sen. Ted Cruz says it was a 'mistake' to call Jan. 6 a 'terrorist attack' after GOP blowback (USA Today) Sorry, but for me, the party is over: Michael Smerconish (Cleveland.com) A day of reflection in a Bucks County community hit hard on 9/11 (Philadelphia Inquirer) The Tea Party Didn’t Get What It Wanted, but It Did Unleash the Politics of Anger (New York Times) Senator Goes Face to Face With Dissent (New York Times) Specter Leaves GOP, Shifting Senate Balance (Washington Post) Christine O'Donnell: "I Dabbled Into Witchcraft" (CBS News) Central Bucks adopts state ordered mask rule, Gamble resigns board after death threats (Bucks County Courier Times) Americans’ immigration policy priorities: Divisions between – and within – the two parties (Pew Research Center) As public safety tops the agenda, Americans want both order and justice (Ipsos) The Common Ground of the American People: Policy Positions Supported by Both Democrats and Republicans (UMD School of Public Policy) GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who voted to impeach Trump, won't run for reelection (NPR) VoteSafe - Co-Chair Tom Ridge Pursuit of unity: Do history & civics education need a revamp? (CNN’s Smerconish) Problem Solvers Caucus bucks the flame-throwing norm (CNN’s Smerconish) Find us online! Patreon: patreon.com/purpleprinciplepodcast Twitter: @purpleprincipl Facebook: @thepurpleprinciplepodcast Instagram: @thepurpleprinciplepodcast Our website: https://bit.ly/2ZCpFaQ Sign up for our newsletter: https://bit.ly/2UfFSja

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