CNN’s Michael Smerconish announces he has renewed through Inauguration Day

CNN host Michael Smerconish celebrated five years on the air at CNN on Facebook Live today. But he also dropped a bit of news, in addition to his five year anniversary: on Friday, he had re-upped with the network, signing a contract extension that will keep him on the air at least through Inauguration Day.

Smerconish, who hosts his one-hour Saturday show from Philadelphia and also serves as a political commentator across the network’s programming, has long described himself as a political moderate.

Prior to joining CNN as a host, he served as a commentator on MSNBC and was the fill-in for Hardball with Chris Matthews. He also serves as a SiriusXM host.

Michael Smerconish locked out of his Facebook page, in a “purgatory”

CNN Saturday morning anchor Michael Smerconish revealed a quandry: he is locked out of his own Facebook page. Instead of going live on Facebook like he typically does before his CNN show, he had to settle for a taped video instead.

He explained that “TC” (presuambly a staffer) had access to his Facebook page through her own account, where she was able to publish the video Smerconish had taped.

His own privileges, however, are revoked, leaving him in what he called “purgatory.”

Even after his show, which he ended it with letting Facebook know that he was in fact Michael Smerconish, he still doesn’t have access to his page, he told Mediaite.

Michael Smerconish goes to primetime to fix the divide

During President Trump’s first week in office, CNN’s Saturday morning talk show host, Michael Smerconish, took his eponymous program to 9pm on Friday night. That special performed moderately well, with 361,000 demo viewers tuning in, putting it in first place for CNN primetime for that night. (Comparatively, it put CNN in third place in the demo overall, behind both Fox and MSNBC).

Tonight, Smerconish will again air at 9pm, examining the first four weeks of Trump’s presidency, and offering his take on how to “fix the divide.”

Chris Cuomo compares being “fake news” with being called the “n-word,” walks it back

CNN’s New Day co-anchor Chris Cuomo is known for making questionable statements on air and on Twitter, as has been documented in this space. In the past, he’s compared Megyn Kelly to monkeys at a zoo, misinterpreted the First Amendment on hate speech, and plenty more.

But today, following President Trump tweeting CNN was fake news and lambasting Cuomo for not asking Senator Blumenthal about fabricating his military record (even though, to Cuomo’s credit, he did ask the senator about that), he mentioned his thoughts on being labeled fake news on Sirius XM.

Appearing on his CNN colleague Michael Smerconish’s XM program, Cuomo said, “The only thing that’s bothersome about it, is that I see being called ‘fake news’ as the equivalent of the n-word for journalists, the equivalent of calling an Italian any of the ugly words that people have for that ethnicity. That’s what fake news is to a journalist.”

He went on to say, “It is an ugly insult and you better be right if you’re going to charge a journalist with lying on purpose and the president was not right here and he has not been right in the past.”

But after the controversy ensued, Cuomo walked back the rhetoric on Twitter, saying “I was wrong.”

Piers Morgan calls CNN’s post-debate coverage “dull,” turns to Fox News

Former CNN primetime host Piers Morgan turned to CNN for analysis after the CNBC Republican debate, but he wasn’t impressed with what his former network was offering.

This makes the second former CNN employee who criticized CNN this evening.

CNN’s coverage, led by CNN’s Anderson Cooper (who Morgan doesn’t like anyways), had a panel with chief national correspondent John King, senior political reporter Nia Malika-Henderson, chief political analyst Gloria Borger, Saturday host Michael Smerconish, and CNN contributors Amanda Carpenter, Jeff Lord, Ana Navarro, and Donna Brazile.

In a later tweet, Morgan called CNN’s coverage “dull.”

Bob Beckel joins CNN

Former Fox News loose-cannon Democratic pundit Bob Beckel has joined CNN after months of appearing on the network, reports The Daily Beast’s Andrew Kirell.

Beckel, who worked in the Jimmy Carter administration, will serve as one of CNN’s Democratic political commentators.

Since late August, Beckel has appeared on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, as well as Michael Smerconish’s Smerconish.

CNN host Michael Smerconish sues over fake autograph

CNN Saturday host of Smerconish is a self-described Winston Churchill “aficionado” — and unfortunately for him, he bought a fake autograph of Churchill from an art gallery. In a complaint filed on July 26, Courthouse News Services notes he was a regular customer of Walter Graham Arader III between 1992 and 2004.

Smerconish owns an original watercolor painted by Churchill; and according to the complaint, Smerconish paid $5,000 in 2000 for a photo of Churchill purportedly taken by Yousuf Karch, who specialized in portrait photos of world leaders, great thinkers and movie stars in the mid-20th century. The photo came with a certificate of authenticity stating that Churchill had in fact signed the photo: “Yours Sincerely, Winston S. Churchill, 1942.”

When the autograph began to fade, he sought out someone to restore it, only to be told it was not actually an autograph — the print was reproduced from a book published in 1980, and Churchill died in 1965.

As Courthouse News Service reports, Smerconish sued Arader Galleries for fraud and intentional misrepresentation, citing the certificate of authenticity’s statement that the print was “the only one of this, the quintessential photograph of Churchill we have ever seen offered for sale in the United States.” He also sued for breach of contract and breach of warranty, asking for a total of $150,000.

(H/t Johnny Dollar)

Tapper interviews Marco Rubio

On yesterday’s edition of CNN Newsroom, in a conversation with political commentator Michael Smerconish, Brooke Baldwin challenged Republican candidate Marco Rubio to go on CNN as opposed to going the “softball” route and going on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program.

Smerconish opined, “[Republican candidates] can go [to Fox News] in primary season, and that can be a successful strategy, that is not how you win a general election. Sooner or later, you better be on CNN.”

And that happened.

Of all the people to pick at CNN, Tapper was the best choice; not only does he keep any personal political ideology out of his questions (and anchoring), he actually said “I think he should [run for president],” on the Hugh Hewitt Show in January.

The Lead‘s Jake Tapper conducted a very good interview with Rubio a little over a halfway through his hour-long program.

On the issue of same sex marriage, Tapper pointed out, “On that issue, same sex marriage, senator, you’re the candidate of yesterday.”

“Well, a couple of points. That’s an issue that will be largely determined at the state level,” Rubio countered. “Marriage laws have always been defined by the state, I’m not, for example, ever supported a constitutional amendment to define marriage. I believe states define marriage in their laws.”

Later on, Tapper posed: “Do you pledge to support the Republican nominee, whoever it is, even if it is somebody you disagree with so strongly on foreign issues… like Senator Rand Paul?” Pausing, he added, “Just as an observation: I think you probably agree with Hillary Clinton on more matters pertaining to foreign policy than you do with Rand Paul.”

Watch the full interview:

Minutes after appearing on The Lead, Rubio appeared on sister station CNN en Espanol, where Juan Carlos Lopez did an interview with him.