Editorial by John Ziegler

Another Faux Conservative Sells Out

10/18/2008

Outside of watching Keith Olbermann become rich and famous by spewing hateful lies, very little infuriates me as much as "conservatives" pretending to be liberals to advance their own careers.

Thanks to the media's love affair with Barack Obama (who possesses a magic combination of far-left politics, ratings-friendly "hipness," and loads of race-based political correctness protection) this presidential election cycle has created a perfect storm to entice weak-kneed, self-obsessed, and fraudulent  "conservatives" to sell out to the other side. The list of "conservatives" who have flirted (or gone "all the way") with this path is already all too long. Andrew Sullivan, Kathleen Parker, David Frum, Christopher Buckley, David Brooks, David Gergen, Matthew Dowd, Ed Rollins, Frank Luntz and Peggy Noonan immediately come to mind as commentators whose word should never be trusted again.

Philadelphia radio talk show host/ columnist/ TV commentator Michael Smerconish added his name to this shameful list on Friday with his on-air endorsement of Barack Obama.

I know Michael pretty well. I used to fill in for his radio show when I was in Philadelphia,  we have appeared on TV with each other, and we had lunch once. He asked me to contribute to his book "Muzzled," but it didn't work out. I found him to be very smart, talented, and, I thought at the time, credible. But, like most people in the "business," I also felt he was almost all about his own career.

It is very obvious to me that his endorsement of Obama is a complete sham that has been in the works for quite a while. He pretended to be undecided during the entire campaign to create contrived drama and controversy for his radio show and to draw attention to himself. He is clearly doing this (as so many "conservatives" are tempted to do to gain favor with the "mainstream" media) as a career move.

Most incredibly, Smerconish is trying to portray his backing of Obama as "courageous" because he says it may harm his career!

Hurt his career nationally???! That is HILARIOUS! He has been sucking up to MSNBC (the Obama network) all election cycle!! Thanks to his being sweet on Obama, fellow Philly-hack Chris "Thrill Up My Leg" Matthews and others there have rewarded Smerconish with increased visability and precieved credibility.  (BTW, speaking of MSNBC, Joe Scarbourgh, while he has recently redeemed himself somewhat, deserves to be on this list of sellouts and Olbermann himself  was hardly a liberal in his post- 9/11 ABC radio commentaries which, if they ever surfaced,  would horrify the very same nutroots who worship him now.)

Smerconish obviously planned all of this to INCREASE his national profile and frame himself as an "open-minded" "non-racist" "conservative" (to the media, support for Obama by a "conservative" is an automatic seat at "cool people" table). It was hardly a coincidence that Obama appeared on his radio show a couple of times (knowing he would only get softball questions from Smerconish). To anyone with an ounce of common sense this endorsement proves Smerconish (like most radio talk show hosts) is a total fraud and only concerned about his own self interest. I hope (but, since he has no real competition there, I doubt) the radio listeners of my home town Philadelphia will show Smerconish that he has badly miscalculated his cynical gambit.

I really think that there needs to be a line drawn when it comes to "conservatives" who abandon ship to promote their careers. Endorsing a socialist fraud like Obama, who is likely to have massive majorities in Congress, all for your own self aggrandizement, is clearly way over any reasonable line. There must be consequences for such blatant betrayals. If there are not, they will only continue and probably excellerate.

I say this as the author of "The Death of Free Speech" and Director of "Blocking the Path to 9/11." Obviously, I am a champion of free speech. But this is not a free speech issue. This is a credibility issue. There are presidential elections where supporting a Democrat would not clearly reveal a "conservative" to be a fraud, but thanks to the special nature of Obama and our times, this is not one of them.

 

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