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NEWS AND ISSUES

Host-to-Host: Pete Dominick interviews Michael Smerconish

December 14, 2013

What happens when two radio powerhouses meet? Nothing less than a lot of in-depth commentary and a lot of deliberating.

This is exactly what happened when SiriusXM Indie Radio host Pete Dominick welcomed the POTUS channel’s Michael Smerconish onto his show. The two had a spirited conversation, piecing apart everything from the political make-up of this country to whether cursing on air is appropriate.

Dominick kicked things off by telling his listeners all about Smerconish’s extensive background. Not only is the POTUS host a newspaper columnist and a New York Times best-selling author, he’s also a contributor at MSNBC and a 2011 Marconi award finalist for Best Syndicated Host. (Despite Dominick having a distinct background, primarily in stand-up comedy, he and Smerconish do have one thing in common: both hosts have broadcasted on the POTUS airwaves).

Besides giving us an inside view on Smerconish, what else did the two talk about? One of the primary topics at hand was the “polarization” of not only the political climate but also the current-day media sphere. Smerconish — who started off on AM/FM radio 23 years ago — compared the differences between satellite radio and terrestrial radio; which he defines as highly polarized. He believes that almost all forms of media (terrestrial radio, cable television news) have become equally polarized at the same time that Washington has. According to Smerconish, the two basically go hand in hand.

“I think individuals with microphones… set the tone for what’s going on in DC and not in a good way,” Smerconish said. “And the irony is that most of the country doesn’t follow that model.”

What model does the country follow? According to Smerconish, the majority of Americans aren’t ones to necessarily go by label. He revealed that currently the US is at an all-time high for people who call themselves Independent; neither Republican nor Democrat.

“These are people that defy the labels. That’s the majority of the country,” he said.

Dominick applauds these Americans who don’t follow the pack, admitting that labels are the last thing to think about when there are problems at hand. “Let’s talk about the issue, not about the team,” Dominick said.

So how does one avoid an “insular” reception of the news? Smerconish gives his listeners pretty straight-forward advice. “Go to all of these sources… Don’t be afraid to change that dial,” he said.

This year Indie Radio’s Pete Dominick interviewed various SiriusXM hosts for an exclusive series on Stand Up! With Pete Dominick. To listen in on more host-to-host interviews check out the below playlist. And stay tuned here for even more exclusive host chats.