PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Michael Smerconish, the author of a novel about a talk radio host called Talk, criticized the talk radio industry on CBS This Morning.
On Friday, WPHT’s Chris Stigall resonded to Smerconish’s comments.
In the “CBS This Morning interview,” Smerconish made the claim that talk radio hosts are not sincere in their beliefs.
“I think it’s entertainment masked as news, and I wanted to expose it, because I think it’s had a horrific impact on polarization and incivility in the country,” he said.
But Stigall says the entertainment factor is what keeps shows and stations on the air.
“That’s not a big expose. We’re first and foremost supposed to be entertaining. That’s not some exclusive dirt you just uncovered. If you’re not entertaining in this business, you’ll lose your job and maybe go to, oh, I don’t know, satellite radio,” he said.
Stigall also defended the sincerity of his daily broadcast.
“I’ve come to have a foundational core care and concern for the direction of the country, and I believe there is a right way and a wrong way forward. I believe it in my heart and soul. I didn’t sit at home and craft – ‘Now, what’s the most successful way going forward for me to survive in this business? Ah, I know! I’ll become a conservative.’ [Conservatism] spoke to me. It made sense to me, as it does to millions and millions of Americans, whether you like it or not,” he said.
Smerconish also called talk radio a closed minded “clubhouse,” insulated from mainstream America.
“What is mystifying is, today, with all the choice — with cable, with satellite radio, with the internet — people still gravitate toward the like-minded…People need to change the dial, sample some opinions. Too many folks rely on Drudge, on talk, and FOX, and too many others look only MSN and at HuffPo. My God, explore some independent thought,” he said.
Stigall said statements like that explain why no one wants to listen to Smerconish.
“You’re an elitist snob, and the sooner you realize you’re an elitist snob with no core convictions, the better off we’re all going to be. Just own it. I know who I am,” he concluded.