First the film. If you want laughs , candor and a lesson about the joys and jeopardy of broadcasting, this film is for you. It is joyful, a slice of life in America in the last 50 years and a shining example of what hard work. and love of family and country can bring you. The stories are funny, and the host brings it you as a story that even he , who lived it, is stunned that it really happened. I’m going to get a copy for each one of our six grandchildren, as an example of he importance of working hard and the reality that success is much more than fame, but what you have left behind to help others.
This is a fabulous film of an amazing life. But to understand the greatness of a one man story for the ages, you have to understand the man. That’s my challenge, right here, right now.
In world where technology moves faster than ever, Michael Smerconish, proud son of a working class family from the Borough of Doylestown in the Pennsylvania County of Bucks, famous for a literary heritage of its own, has touched all the strands of the medium. Few have climbed the mountain of genuine creativity faster. Over a period of several decades, MIchael, who is never called Mike, has graced the mics (as in microphones) of local radio,network radio, host and expert at cable news giants MSNBC, and CNN, and the even newer field of Satellite radio. in the same period of time that Michael the husband and Lavinia, the wife, raised a large family. You could say that it all started with routine delivery of chlorine with his best buddy in the late eighties to the home of a local TV anchor, but talent like this emerges not just from coincidence, but rather real power, the power of information. And Michael has more of it than entire newsrooms. Of course. he is a friend, and I have deep respect for him, but you don’t get a great review from me by spending half a life spreading cow chips about me across the sometimes hostile media landscape.
He is, without question, a magnificent journalist, not quite completely, but with enough humility to endear himself to minions, even the jealous jerk who wrote the vacuous review of the film on this site.
So you’ll know Michael has written eight books, including the story of a notorious cop killer, an ironic and rebellious story of airline safety after 9-11, a fascinating novel and one great book called Morning Drive. He has had a cigar with Fidel Castro, interviewed Presidents, ran a Federal agency, worked in local and national campaigns, and was a rock-solid lawyer.
In TV today there is the progressive MSNBC, the sparky CNN, and Fox. And then there is Smerconish, the great equal opportunity purveyor of all things political. The song that leads into this magnetic one man cinematic giant speaks of the title of one of his books “Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right” . As he walks into pandemic-emptied Bucks County Playhouse, you know that something important is about to happen. Michael is about to talk in a building on the Delaware River, just miles where over choppy waters, George Washington crossed the Delaware and created a nation. He speaks in the same county where James Michener crafted his unique brand of history , where Pearl Buck wrote her way to fame and cultural enlightenment. Oscar Hammerstein lived in Bucks County where he created some of his music with a guy named Rogers. The bar has always been high for the kid from Doylestown. But he’s managed to clear it almost every time.
Michael is more than an information master. He is a great friend. This may surprise you, but his ambition has always been tempered by an understanding of where he came from. The subject of what he’ll do next is always a question mark. In the colors of politics he was once bright red, then blue and purple. In recent years he has abandoned all labels and really cares about one thing -a stimulating search for the truth.
Larry Kane, Dec 9, 2020