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Wayne Lutz

Mr. Lutz is the editor, publisher and chief writer of The Tocquevillian magazine. He also writes and maintains a fitness website, and has been widely published in print media and on the web, mostly on health and fitness topics and on men's issues.

He is a member of the NRA, the Home School Legal Defense Association, the Heritage Foundation, and Judicial Watch. In his spare time he helps old ladies cross the street and is kind to children and puppies - habits which, admittedly, belie his unusual appearance.

Mr. Lutz is available to conservative organizations for speaking engagements, and may be reached at eic @


An Open Letter to Michael Smerconish

I'm Giving You the Hairy Eyeball, Mike, and You've Flunked the Smell Test.

by Wayne Lutz

Editor's Note: For those of you unfamiliar, Michael Smerconish is Philly's morning-drive guy; radio talk show host for WPHT, AM1210, "The Big Talker," in Philadelphia. Mike has made a national name for himself as (among other things) a legal go-to guy for CNN, sit-in for Bill O'Reilly's and other's radio shows, guest on virtually all of the FOX analyst programs (O'Reilly, Hannity & Colmes, etc.) and most recently as author of an in-your-face wake up-call, "Flying Blind," a book that has drawn considerable attention, from the musty back shelves of Politically Correct Barnes & Noble to the dank, echoing halls of Congress. Michael's rise into the light of national prominence seems to this author to coincide with his descent into the darkness of political, cultural and moral relativism, and this letter is a plea to Michael to snap out if it, before it's too late...

    Mike, buddy, how are ya?

    And how's Winston? Your love for that old doggie comes across in your words, and I'm pulling for him.

    Listen, Mike - I love you like a brother, I have to tell you. You don't know me from Adam, of course, but I've been spending several productive hours of my days with you for so long (ever since those days back at the old station!) that I feel as though I can speak to you openly, and hope that you'll take my words in the spirit in which they're offered, as opposed to getting all on the defense or taking offense.

    Oh, I think you know how I mean that, Mike. Lately you've been showing a tendency toward defensiveness when a caller takes you to task, no matter how tenderly. Just the other day you provided a great example. Your performance with that liberal info-babe on your show was, frankly, disgraceful, Mike. What was her name? Flavian, or Flavio, or Florence or something? That woman played you like a worn-out fiddle, Mike. She walked all over you, and you just sat there and took it. It was embarrassing, and just as I was wondering if I was the only guy in Philly who was screaming "Grow A Backbone!" at his radio, two callers restored my faith in the potential of humanity by getting on and pointing out to you this very thing.

    Both of those callers made the point that you were not responding to obvious liberal lies and Democratic talking points as they felt you should have been, Mike. Both of them, a man and a woman, were polite, deferential and articulate. And what was your response? Did you offer an explanation that, say, maybe you were smartly allowing your guest to dig her own grave? Or did you perhaps tell the callers that, yes, you are right, I should be more aggressive in the defense of my beliefs?

    You could have done those things Mike, but you didn't. Instead, you attempted to shield yourself by leveling the same charge at each of the two callers- you accused each of them of "taking a cheap shot" at you.

    Do you know what a "cheap shot" is, Mike? Here's a clue: Criticism is not, inherently, a "cheap shot," and these two respectful expressions of disappointment in your non-response to liberal blather were as far from a "cheap shot" as a caller comment can be. In fact, Mike, the two callers were right-on and deserving of the same respectful tone in your response that they offered you in their criticism.

    Your tap-dance, Mike, around the sensibilities of Falvio or Floozie or Flounder or whatever her name was, was reminiscent of your frankly shameful performance in that special broadcast during the Philadelphia Mayoral race last year. The concept of that broadcast was a good one. In one of the most racially polarized mayoral elections in the memory of one of the most racially polarized cities in the nation - in an election where the black mayor of a huge Eastern city was virtually guaranteed re-election by a majority black citizenry because of rather than in spite of accusations of corruption (the man is out to get me!), you got together with a radio personality who championed the perceived interests of the "opposing" race, and who certainly represented a political ideology that is diametrically opposed to the ideology of normal people. (Oops! That's a strong statement. Integrity and rule of law, "normal?" I can't say that! I retract it.)

    To cut the crap and make tell it like it is, the infobabe in question was a racist, a liberal whacko, and on several issues an outright liar, yet you let her ride herd over you like a sheep. It was shameful performance, Mike, and I believe it was the beginning of your decline.

    Yes yes, I know. If I knew so much I would have my own radio show. And yes, it is in fact your show, and you can treat it any way you damned well please. Me, I deliver my opinions in written form almost exclusively, and I'd have no idea how to do broadcast work.


    One thing I do know, Mike, and that's that the most successful opinion merchants, written, TV or radio, are those who have firm convictions and are not afraid to voice them.

    Not a broadcast type, but an example of someone with firm convictions who is not afraid to voice them would be a guy like, oh, say, former Reagan administration official Alan Keyes. Keys was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Social and Economic Council, 2000 Republican presidential candidate, and is a devout Christian who takes his Christianity very seriously. That may be funny to an enlightened guy like you, Mike, and you certainly have every right to disagree with him on issues. But to call Ambassador Keys, a true man of integrity, one of the most principled men I've ever met, a "Whack Job" for no better reason than his unyielding Christian beliefs?

    That, Mike, is a "cheap shot." I'd love to see you debate the man face-to-face, as opposed to taking "cheap shots" to which he is not there to respond.

    But I'm getting bogged down in minutia, to coin a phrase. The examples of your wishy-washiness are many, and seem to be increasing every day. Recently a flaming liberal caller went on a long rant, ticking off lie after lie after misconception. You, Mike, the guy I think of as my advocate when listening to talk radio, remained stonily silent all during the tirade. When you finally ran out of time, you ended the conversation with a meek "Obviously we disagree."

    Obviously we disagree?!? That's it? That's all? That's your only on-air response to a litany of lies?

    Sometimes, Mike, it seems as though you are so eager to come across as a nice guy, and as "fair," that you loose your footing. It isn't rude to cut off a caller who has just told a lie, Mike, and make him back it up before allowing him to jabber on to the next lie. In fact it's the responsible thing to do, I think. But taking a principled stand does take stones, I know.

    Your positions used to be rooted in principle, Michael, if memory serves. Your feet, once so firmly planted on the rock of that principle, now flail relativistically about in mid-air, and I'm at a loss to see why that might be.

    You will disagree of course. You may even see this letter in itself as a "cheap shot" and dismiss it. Dust from the feet, and all that. But I assure you that I wouldn't be writing it or feel the urge to share it if I didn't care about you. Your material is still relevant, and you are on-target more often than not, I think. You champion causes that benefit all of us - your work and advocacy on behalf of murdered police officer Danny Faulkner alone should qualify you for sainthood.

    This is why I (we) don't want to lose you, either to obscurity or to the black hole of moral and cultural relativism. Hence this letter. I have not yet tuned you out entirely during drive time, and it is my fervent hope that I never have reason to turn you off permanently. But I do find myself reaching for the dial more and more often - and that station change is done too often in anger or disgust - and that never used to be.

    You and I are more alike than you might imagine, Michael. We even share the same hair stylist. Don't leave me, buddy. For crying out loud, Mike, grow a set and wear 'em with pride, will you?


    The photograph of Mr. Smerconish that appears with this article is © The Tocquevillian Magazine and may not be reproduced without written permission.

    © 2004 Tocqevillian Magazine