Several members of the media have complied with the Bush administration's efforts to rebrand the "global war on terror" by adopting the administration's newest catchphrase: Islamic fascism.
Given Michael Smerconish's history of intolerant, inflammatory comments, Media Matters asks: Why is MSNBC allowing him to host one of its programs?
Guest-hosting MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Michael Smerconish trivialized reports of detainee abuse as "naked pyramid pictures" and "play[ing] Christina Aguilera music a bit too loud." Smerconish claimed to be criticizing "the people who worked themselves into a lather" over reports of detainee mistreatment while ignoring the "dirtbags" who are "thinking about whose head they want to chop off next."
On NBC's Today, Michael Smerconish selectively cited the stock market's performance and cherry-picked favorable data from a New York Times op-ed to claim that President Bush was making a "comeback." In fact, the Dow Jones industrial average has headed downward dramatically in recent weeks before experiencing a partial recovery in recent days, and other data cited in the Times op-ed led its authors to conclude that "it is increasingly hard to describe Iraq as a glass half-full."
On NBC's Today, Philadelphia-based radio host Michael Smerconish falsely claimed that "no one died at Abu Ghraib" -- a detention facility operated by U.S. forces in Iraq -- and that the abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel at Abu Ghraib was merely "a lot of ridiculous actions ... carried out by nine knuckleheads." Additionally, in a report that aired repeatedly on CNN, senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre falsely reported that "[n]one of the abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib died." In fact, detainee Manadel al-Jamadi reportedly died at Abu Ghraib during an interrogation by CIA personnel on November 4, 2003. The Pentagon has labeled al-Jamadi's death a "homicide," indicating that it resulted from the treatment he received at the prison -- not from natural causes.
Following the publication of a New York Times article on the purported state of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former President Bill Clinton's marriage, numerous news outlets ran reports and aired discussions on the story. The 2,000-word article by Times reporter Patrick Healy was based on the accounts of "some 50 people," "many" of whom "were granted anonymity to discuss a relationship for which the Clintons have long sought a zone of privacy."
On MSNBC's Scarborough Country, radio host Michael Smerconish again lamented the "sissification of America," this time in reference to the verdict in which Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison instead of death for his role in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Host Joe Scarborough appeared to adopt Smerconish's terminology, suggesting that Americans aren't "reminded every day" about 9-11 by the "news network[s]," and that "[m]aybe this is part of the -- what do you call it, the sissification of America?"
While discussing the allegations by a woman that she was raped by three men at an off-campus party hosted by Duke University's lacrosse team, Scarborough Country guest host Michael Smerconish characterized as "goofy" an e-mail sent by team member Ryan McFadyen hours after the alleged rape about exotic dancers he planned to host that read: "[I] plan on killing the bitches as soon as the [sic] walk in and proceding [sic] to cut their skin off."
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On MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Michael Smerconish suggested that "maybe law enforcement ought to step in" at pro-immigration demonstrations and consider "gathering ... up" illegal immigrants.
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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."