Substituting for host Bill O'Reilly on The Radio Factor, Michael Smerconish repeatedly discussed "the sissification of America," claiming that political correctness has made the United States "a nation of sissies."
Substituting for host Bill O'Reilly on the April 4 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor, Michael Smerconish repeatedly discussed "the sissification of America," claiming that political correctness has made the United States "a nation of sissies." Smerconish also claimed, several times, that this "sissification" and "limp-wristedness" is "compromising our ability to win the war on terror." Later in the program, Smerconish taunted those who might take offense at his comments, stating: "[I]f you're offended by my use of 'sissies,' then you're exactly the person that I'm talking about." Smerconish was promoting his new book, Muzzled: From T-Ball to Terrorism -- True Stories That Should be Fiction (Nelson Current, 2006), which, according to the publisher, claims to be "the antidote to today's poison of political correctness," and purportedly shows that "today's atmosphere of censorship and multiculturalism is paving the way for serious threats to our cultural identity and national security."
Smerconish has a history of making controversial comments. He has notably argued, and continues to assert, that the government needs to encourage racial profiling to enhance the nation's security, especially at airports. He has also claimed that educating women means that "they're not going to be around to instill these lessons in their kids."
In addition to frequently guest-hosting for O'Reilly on the Factor, Smerconish has recently substituted for host Joe Scarborough on MSNBC's Scarborough Country, and been a frequent guest on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews. Smerconish is a major presence in Philadelphia's talk radio market, where he is based -- he hosts his own morning radio show on Philadelphia station, WPHT -- as well as being a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. As Media Matters for America has previously noted, in recent weeks, Smerconish has appeared four times on Hardball: February 21, February 27, March 6, and March 8. During one of those appearances, Matthews lavishly praised Smerconish, declaring, "You talk to a huge audience on the East Coast, Michael. I've listened to you, all my family listens to you." Matthews's brother Jim, who is the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania, appeared at a political event in Philadelphia that Smerconish moderated, a fact that neither Smerconish nor Matthews mentioned during Smerconish's Hardball appearances.
From the April 4 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
SMERCONISH: What I told Bill is, we've become a nation of sissies. And if you're offended by my use of that word, then you're exactly the person that I'm talking about. You want another example of the sissification of America?
CALLER: Hey Michael, I want to piggyback on what she said. Recruits now, they actually get issued what's called a stress card. And if -- it's amazing -- if the drill instructor is too harsh on them and they're being, quote, unquote "stressed out" -
CALLER: -- they can pull their stress card out and put training on hold for 10 minutes.
SMERCONISH: Oh man, what -- what is it? Is it a pink card? Is it pink? Tell me.
CALLER: I think it's pink. It might be pink or rainbow.
SMERCONISH: By the way, I'm sorry if I've offended you by intoning the color pink. Unbelievable story.
SMERCONISH: I'm Michael Smerconish in for Bill on The Radio Factor. Been sharing some of the stories from my new book, Muzzled, and more importantly, hearing some of your stories from the -- the Factor heartland as to this PC madness -- absolutely out of control all across the country. And I try and make the case -- killing us in the "war on terror" as well because we've become a nation of sissies, and this sissification -- man, I'd love to get that in -- in Webster's with a little footnote to my name.
SMERCONISH: The book's a clarion call to reject political correctness, which is really my mantra. I think that the PC movement is now invading the "war on terror." And generally, I think that the limp-wristedness -- and that's the only way I can think of to describe it -- that's going on at home, spells weakness in the "war on terror" and I'll talk more about that later.
SMERCONISH: What I tried to do is tell short stories about what's going on at home and then tie them into the "war on terror." It's my view that all this mamby-pamby, you know, limp-wristedness going on, on our domestic shores is compromising our ability to win the "war on terror."