CNN host Michael Smerconish, who is well known in Philadelphia for his tenure on WPHT radio, and is now the host of a Saturday morning program on CNN in addition to a nationally syndicated radio show, had former Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling as a guest recently. The show was to talk about ESPN anchor Jemele Hill, who was admonished by the network for calling President Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter.
Schilling was an interesting guest since he had been fired by the same network for a tweet that was seen as anti-transgender.
The interview started rather tamely, with Schilling that Hill shouldn’t be fired by the network for expressing a political view point. It started to go a little sideways while he didn’t think she should be fired, he would have never hired her because of her political views. Schilling then went on about Hill:
“She has no place in any platform that represents sports. She is openly racist, I believe she has been openly racist,” he said.
After blasting Hill for her political views, Schilling, who was calling in for the interview after helping hurricane victims in Texas and Florida, then turned his anger toward CNN. Schilling and Smerconish jostled back-and-forth over why Schilling was fired by ESPN, with Smerconish stating it was because of his political tweets, while Schilling insisted it was because he was conservative.
Schilling then accused CNN of being the “vanguard” of fake news regarding the investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia during the campaign. Schilling also said that the network “[calls] Trump a white supremacist time after time, anchor after anchor with no validation.”
Somewhat irritated by Schilling’s slant, Smerconish then went on the attack.
“You were pompous in Philly and you are pompous now. You come on my program and make a number of wild assertions, none with specificity towards me or my program,” said Smerconish.
The interview calmed down after that comment, and by the end of the discussion, Schilling admitted that ESPN didn’t breach his first amendment rights.
“My First Amendment reasons weren’t abridged,” noted Schilling. “I got fired for saying things that my bosses disagreed with;
I am all right with that. I got fired for reasons of my own doing.”