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SMERCONISH

Trump Tweets About Double Standard On Rosanne VS Samantha Bee; Jobs Report In, Unemployment At An All Time Low; New Book Tailspin Talks About Making America Great Again; Students Punished for Freedom of Speech; Philadelphia 76ers Basketball President of Operations Twitter Scandal; New Study Shows Political Divide and Partisan Issues Affect Decisions on Consulting Experts. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired June 2, 2018 - 09:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[09:00:00]

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia. We welcome our viewers in the United States, and around the world.

Rosanne goes too far and gets canceled but Samantha Bee's still got her job so President Trump is complaining about a double standard. He's right, but not for the reason he thinks.

And unemployment is down to historic lows. But American's are also much less likely to out earn their parents. What's the cause of that economic divide and can that tail spin be reversed?

Plus a senior about to graduate, places a joke add on Craigslist offering his High School for sale. But in today's school shooting climate administrators think there was nothing funny about it. What's the lesson learned there?

And Rosanne wasn't the only celebrity in a Twitter jam this week. Anonymous tweets about the NBA have been linked to the Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations or his wife, and his job hangs in the balance.

But first the President wants to talk about double standards and Samantha Bee. So let's do that. This week Rosanne Barr's bar show was canceled because of her racist tweet. Shortly thereafter TV host Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump the c-word on her TBS show. The President was quick to weight in.

Quote, "Why aren't they firing no talent Samantha Bee for the horrible language used on her low-rating show? A total double standard but that's OK, we are winning and we'll be doing so for a long time to come."

There's defiantly a double standard here, but not the one the President is complaining about. A month before the 2016 election I interviewed Jennifer Lynn a former reporter at the "Philadelphia Inquirer" about her 1988 interaction with subject Donald Trump. Here's what she recounted.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER LYNN, BROADCAST JOURNALIST: I got a phone call. I -- the woman said hold for Mr. Trump and then Mr. Trump began to yell at me. He told me I had shit for brains. He told me I worked for a shitty newspaper. And he said what sort of shit was I writing?

I was stunned. He hung up. He called my boss in Philadelphia. And he treated my boss to the same sort of rant. But then he added that he referred to me as the c-word. A word I will not use, Michael, because in my opinion it's the worst word in the English language to refer to a woman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SMERCONISH: So White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Bee's language vial and vicious and said executives at TBS and corporate parent, Time Warner, which by the way is CNN's parent as well, quote, "Must demonstrate that such explicate profanity about female members of this administration will not be condoned."

Bee soon thereafter offered up her apology on Twitter. "I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line and I deeply regret it."

But given that the President himself used the c-word according to Jennifer Lynn. Where exactly is the line? And I want to know what you think. Go to my website this hour and answer today's poll question. Should Samantha Bee be fired for referring to Ivanka Trump as the c-word? That's posted now at smerconish.com

Joining me now to discuss comedian Spike Feresten, who's written for "Seinfeld," "SNL," "Late Night With David Letterman." Was the host of his own talk program on "Fox", and I should mention Spike you are part of comedic lore, because you wrote the "Soup Nazi" episode. You know no matter what you do for the rest of our life this is your epitaph my friend.

SPIKE FERESTEN, COMEDIAN AND WRITER: And the c-word isn't in it. So there you go.

SMERCONISH: It is not in it, no. Although I'm sure you could have worked it in if you had thought of it at the time. Hey I stayed up later than I normally do last night. I watched Bill Maher. And in his opening commentary he said something very relevant. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL MAHER, TV HOST, COMEDIAN: It was a tough week for the line. You know the line, the one that comedians sometimes cross that -- tough week for the line.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SMERCONISH: What is the line? Can you define the line? Is this like Potter Stewart knowing pornography when he sees it? Define it. FERESTEN: The line is a combination of what you're writing about. And let's take Samantha Bee as an example. She's writing about a horrible situation that's happening in our country. Where children are being torn out of the arms of their parents at the border, an immigration issue, which is a very extreme issue and a combination of how you feel about that, how you're going to write about that. And also your network broadcast standards. How much their going to let you say about that.

[09:05:00]

So you know I watch the Samantha Bee joke. And I watched her audience react to it. She's a comedian. She's a comedy writer. They very carefully choose their jokes and for me the joke landed and you hear the audience laugh. You hear the audience applause. And it's commenting on a terrible situation and it's using a bit of extreme language to make her point.

You know I don't know that she crossed the line. For me that's a personal thing; I thought she nailed the joke. And I think her apology has more to do with maybe network politics than whether she really needed to make one in the first place.

SMERCONISH: Well I guess by that explanation then you find her apology and her admission of crossing a line to be disingenuous?

FERESTEN: Not disingenuous. I don't think it was needed. Again I don't know Samantha and I don't know the situation. But I can only imagine how the network is panicking. The network, who by the way, was most likely at rehearsal and heard the line and let it go anyways.

She might be making a decision that it's easier to apologize and keep my job and keep my staff employed. And she also maybe just exploring the very edge of the line that TBS has. That she -- maybe there is a line for her with that network and maybe she did cross it and now she knows. I think what's important to point out --

SMERCONISH: Hey Spike.

FERESTEN: She's not doing it all the time.

SMERCONISH: Yes. So David French writing for National Review has a different take. And one that I hear from many folks on the right, I'd love you to respond to that. Put it up on the screen.

"No reasonable person thinks Samantha Bee would still have a job at TBS if she used the same terrible language to insult Chelsea Clinton, or Michelle Obama. No reasonable person believes that MSNBC would stick with a conservative for so long in the face of anything like the steady drum beat of outrageous revelations, excused in part by dubious claims of hacking about Joy Reeds old work."

Respond to that.

FERESTEN: David French known for his humor critiques around the world. That would be my first response to David French. You're talking about Joy Reed; you're talking about political shows. There's this popular misnomer that comes from the right, that these are liberal writing rooms, and there not.

The writing rooms that I've been in, the Letterman writing room, "Saturday Night Live," my own show, what we're doing is right and wrong, not left and right. When I'm sitting down and going hey let's tow the whole -- tell the water, tell the line for the left today.

We look at news and we're social judges. And this is a right or wrong issue that she's commenting on and I don't think we should be caught on the word she used because I think we're all fine with it. We're all OK; our ears aren't bleeding.

We should be caught up with what she was talking about. What she was trying to point out with her humor. And that is this horrible Administration policy, where children and parents are being separated.

SMERCONISH: Sally Fields speaking of the word it's self, if we're really going to go there I thought had a unique take by twitter. Dare I put it up on the screen? She pretty much says you know we should embrace the c-word. They are powerful, beautiful, nurturing, and honest. Your take?

FERESTEN: OK. I guess. I mean for me personally if you were to ask me. But as a writer and as a performer I find that word hard on my ears. I prefer not to use it at all anywhere.

SMERCONISH: Yeah, me too.

FERESTEN: I think the British, and the Austrians, and the Scottish use it best and it's usually for one man to insult another man and it means moron. But still I don't use it. And by the way we don't have any swears past this swear. So once we've become resistant to this word we've got nothing. So use it sparingly.

SMERCONISH: Yes. It is the last one left. Your right, the F bomb has totally its sting.

FERESTEN: It's the last one.

SMERCONISH: I mean Bono was right with what he said about the F bomb. Hey Spike Feresten, thank you so much for being here.

FERESTEN: Thanks for having me man.

SMERCONISH: Spike by the way currently hosting "Spikes Car Radio," the cars and comedy on podcast one. I want to know what you think. Go to my website at smerconish.com this hour and answer the question. I'll be very interested to see which way this goes.

Should Samantha Bee be fired for referring to Ivanka Trump as the c- word? What are your thoughts? Tweet me at smerconish or go to my Facebook page. I will read some during the course of the program.

What do we have Katheryn? Smerconish no Rosanne and no Sam Bee are not the same. One is racism and other is boy talk. Right? I mean are racism and so called comedy, I mean I guess I should have said to Spike when I listen to Samantha Bee it's not entirely clear to me that at that point of her monologue it was comedy. To me it seemed like a pretty strait forward political argument that threw in a c-word reference to Ivanka to boot.

[09:10:00]

One more quickly if we can, what do we got? Although I don't agree with what Rosanne said I don't believe the show should have been cancelled. Our society has become too sensitive. Hey Robert, I agree with you in so far as it's got to be all one way or the other. Either we're going to let it all happen and stop trying to parse between all these things, or not.

A buddy of mine Liberal Paul said to me we now have double standards of double standards. That's how far gone it is. Up ahead the Jobs Report couldn't have been better for President Trump. Unemployment at an historic low, yet many American's have been locked out of the upward mobility enjoyed by previous generations. Why is that?

And would you not go to a doctor or hire an electrician if their politics aren't the same as yours? A new study suggests that's where we're headed thanks to the partisan divide.

(COMMERICAL BREAK)

SMERCONISH: Good economic news this week. The unemployment rate fell to just 3.8 percent, matching the lowest rate in nearly half a century, and the unemployment rate among black Americans is now at 5.9 percent; that's the lowest ever recorded. And maybe more importantly the black unemployment rate has never been closer to the white unemployment rate.

[09:15:00]

The White House continues to be characterized by tumult but it was James Carville who said it's the economy stupid right? As the President tweeted this morning, even the "New York Times" is giving him some credit. Quote, "We ran out of words to describe how good the Jobs numbers are" Neal Irwin of the "New York Times."

Still my next guest says that for the past half century the rich and powerful are getting more rich and more powerful. We've separated into the protected and unprotected and those in the former have thwarted opportunities for everybody else, leaving most Americans less and less likely to out earn their parents.

I spoke earlier with Stephen Brill, founder of both "Court TV" and the "American Lawyer Magazine." He's the author of a brand new book "Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year-Fall -- and Those Fighting to Reverse It."

Stephen you had an epiphany after landing at Kennedy. What was it?

STEPHEN BRILL, LAWYER ENTREPENEUR: Well it was about two and half years ago. My wife and I landed on Kennedy; we were coming in from Europe and we trudged through one of the terminals and there was water leaking, it was crowed, the bathrooms were filthy and we got into a cab and took what's called the Van Wyck Expressway which is the expressway that goes from Kennedy into the city.

And it was ugly and filled with potholes, jammed with traffic and in the middle of the Expressway there's a tram that I know cost $3 or $4 billion dollars and the tram goes all the way from Kennedy Airport about eight miles into Queens, not in the center of the city.

And I made a joke about that to my wife. And said what would someone from France, or Germany, or anyplace else arriving in America for the first time think of the greatest country in the world arriving in the gateway city and going though that airport and being on this highway, and looking at the poor excuse for mass transit that we have.

And then I rattled off a couple of other things about our health care system and everything else, and I said you know would they really think that we're the greatest country in the world? And then I stopped and I said you know what happened to us? How did we get that way? And she mumbled something about well you know maybe that's a book.

SMERCONISH: And indeed it is. And in "Tailspin" I'll put this up on the screen. Here's how you sum up the situation. Key measures of the nation's public engagements, satisfaction and confidence, voter turnout, knowledge of public policy, faith that the next generation will fare better than the current one, and respect for basic institutions especially the government are far below what they were 50 years ago and in many cases have reached near historic lows. You come up with a I think provocative theory as to how things got so bad. What's the Cliffs note version?

BRILL: Well things got so bad because the very things that make America great, to steal an expression, like the First Amendment, or meritocracy, or even due process under the rule of law. Those values, even democracy, were high jacked in a way that there weren't any guardrails to protect us.

So for example the First Amendment became a way for corporations to contribute as much money as they want to the political candidates who support them and also to avoid regulations that had been in place restricting deceptive advertising, or even how they market prescription drugs.

Meritocracy has become something where the generation like me and you who benefited from meritocracy, because we were suddenly offered places in all the elite educational instructions. That became a new kind of aristocracy the difference being that with smarter more able people who got into these institutions on their merits now filling the law firms, and the banks, and the consultancies, and the corporate board rooms, they were smarter and more aggressive and more driven to defend what they had won and build moats around themselves and that's the country we have today.

SMERCONISH: Was it done with malice? BRILL: No not at all. This was, these were smart people striving and achieving and they were doing what makes America great. It's just that the usual guard rails didn't work because they were so smart and so driven that they were able to go too far.

For example the legal engineers, the lawyers were able to have much greater influence than they ever had and their idea of trail blazing legal strategy was to create a corporate take over's and mergers, and tender offer fights. Or to create arbitration clauses that keep people out of the courts when they have a consumer dispute.

[09:20:00]

So everything was tilted toward what I call "the protected" in this country at the expense of the vast majority of the people in this country who would be unprotected. And that's where we are and those unprotected became so frustrated that 46 percent of them decided to vote for someone who was not part of the meritocracy, someone who promised them -- who promised that he would make it better by rejecting the elites.

SMERCONISH: Before you leave me, give me the good news.

BRILL: The good news is the -- the book is incredibly hopeful because it has stories and portraits of people and organizations who are actually fighting and creating effective plans and strategies in every sphere that I write about whether its campaign finance reform, reform of Wall Street, the fixing -- the way our civil service system is broken, fixing where our government is broken, fixing the federal budget.

There are people out there and they're not naive. They're just as determined and resilient as they could possibly be and it's that determination and that resilience of all those people who I portray in the book, who I think are going to bring us back once the country gets frustrated enough that it turns away from simple solutions and sloganeering (ph) and says, "All right, we have to get back to being who we were."

SMERCONISH: I think that "Tailspin" is eye-opening. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you for being here.

BRILL: Michael, thanks for having me, as usual.

SMERCONISH: Up ahead, when a high school senior plays this joke Craigslist ad offering his school for sale, he was banned from graduation. What kind of lesson is to be learned here? And another cautionary tale about Twitter -- the president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers finds his job on the line when a bunch of anonymous Twitter accounts full of teen gossip are exposed.

As the probe closes in on his wife, if she did it, should he take the fall?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:25:00]

SMERCONISH: It's a high school prank that backfired bigly and confusingly. Just before graduation, Kylan Scheele, a senior at Truman High School in Independence, Missouri placed this ad on Craigslist: it offers the school for sale for less than $13,000 and lists such amenities as playing fields, central aid, a nearby Wal- mart, and a huge parking lot for those looking to party.

Obvious joke, right? The worst you can say about it is that there were a lot of misspellings for a soon to be high school graduate, but that's not how his school chose to view it. Instead, Scheele was suspended for the last few days of school and forbidden from participating in his graduation ceremony. At issue? Apparently this line in the ad, "reason for sale due to the loss of students coming up."

In this era of rampant school shootings, the school chose to view this as a threat but what Scheele meant was that the school would be missing all the seniors who were graduating. The ACLU took on Scheele's case but a judge ruled in the school's favor and Kylan did not get to participate in his diploma ceremony. Was that the right call? The case was brought to my attention via a blog post by my next guest.

You know Jonathan Turley. He's a professor of law at George Washington University and a constitutional scholar. Professor, I had to re-read the ad three times because that line never jumped out at me.

JONATHAN TURLEY, PROFESSOR OF LAW, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Well, that's because you're clueless. You don't realize that al-Queda often -

SMERCONISH: I am.

TURLEY: -- that their new tactic is to sell high schools at a discounted price. That's the -- apparently the new terrorist threat in America. You know, the problem with this Michael, is that it is not unique. As I mentioned on the blog, there's a series of cases now where the first responses -- those last responses to call police. You know in Arizona, you had a kid who was charged with 69 indecent exposure charges because of a prank photo he took with his football team.

In Missouri, you had a kid who faced criminal charges because he snuck the word "masturbate" into a -- the final draft of a yearbook. In Indiana, a kid was arrested because he snuck into school to put a blow up doll in the girl's bathroom. And so what we're having is this sort of CYA (ph) trend, you know. Everyone just calls the police, gives these kids a criminal record for something used to be basically the subject of a student-parent meeting.

And that's what's so disturbing about this. You know, the school says, look, we called police out of an abundance of caution. It was really -- a sort of a shockingly sharp lack of humor that led to this. SMERCONISH: Sounds like the Delta House legacy is secure. Let me ask you this. From a legal standpoint, so OK, the ACLU get involved, a TRO (ph) is sought. What was the issue for the federal judge?

TURLEY: Well, here's the problem, Mike, and you're familiar with this yourself is that the Supreme Court has made a mess out of Free Speech for students. And the issue for the judge was that if the ACLU said, look, this was not a threat. No -- no logical being would view this as a threat of any kind.

And so he was being disciplined because it was embarrassing or annoying to the school. Now in 1969, the court is really the high point of free speech rights for students, said in a case called Tinker that you can't discipline for students for things that are not disruptive, things that are not really interfering with the school's mission. That unfortunately was the high point.

[09:30:00]

After that, the Supreme Court continually rolled back on student's rights. The worst moment came 10 years ago in a case called Mores, the so-called "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case. This was a case where a kid standing outside of school -- he hadn't even gone to school that day held up a sign saying "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" as the Olympic torch passed by and the Supreme Court said, no, of course they can discipline that student.

SMERCONISH: Look, it's -- I'm laughing at it because I think all the ones that we have identify -- that you've identified are so obvious. I applaud the school's vigilance but what they're lacking is common sense.

TURLEY: Right.

SMERCONISH: I mean, they need in the room, like you Professor Turley, who can say my God, it's a joke.

TURLEY: Well that's the -- that's the terrible thing. It's not just that we've lost the sense of humor but you're doing really rotten things to these kids. You're arresting them. You're giving them criminal records. In this case, this kid couldn't be at his graduation. That might seem like a trivial issue for some people, but it's not. I mean -- there that kid spent four years and wanted to graduate with his friends and a bunch of school officials decided that they were going to punish him because they were annoyed.

That strikes me as violating a fundamental obligation you have to your students and I think that the officials should be held accountable here. But nothing's going to happen until the public says all right, look, there's a difference between protecting our schools and doing this type of nonsense where our -- our -- our kids are being subject to arrests and police questioning.

I mean we can't surgically implant humor into school officials, but we can hold them accountable. SMERCONISH: Final question. Is there anything on the horizon for the Supreme Court that could change this -- the case law that you've cited?

TURLEY: I got to tell you, I am not optimistic. Look, I don't -- I'm not trashing this judge. The judge had the case precedent that the Supreme Court created but even liberals on the court are not good on this issue. You know, Sotomayor when she was Court of Appeals judge, signed on to a really notorious case where she said that a student could be disciplined for stuff that she wrote on social media outside of the school.

So there's just this disconnect on the Supreme Court and the loss is Free Speech. We're raising our students, not only in this fishbowl of surveillance, but also in this really sort of censorship-rich environment and what type of citizens are they going to become if they believe that they can't speak freely?

SMERCONISH: Professor Turley, thank you as always.

TURLEY: Thanks, Michael.

SMERCONISH: Apologies for my sophomoric humor, but you should know what you're dealing with. I was suspended in the 9th grade for mooning. Look it up, kids. Let's check in on your tweets and Facebook comments. What do we have Katheryn?

Smerconish -- perfect, perfect, perfect example of PC gone wild. Joseph, you're absolutely right. You know, I'm trying to be sympathetic to the school administrators, right? They don't want to be the ones called on the carpet for some parent saying, and you didn't do anything about it. All of the warning signs were there. But that wasn't this case.

I want to remind you to answer today's survey question, its smerconish.com. I'm told that there is a ton of voting on it. I have no idea how this one's going to go. Should Samantha Bee be fired for referring to Ivanka Trump as the c-word? Still to come, is Twitter about to cost somebody else a job after an expose linked anonymous tweets about the NBA to Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations. The team's investigation suggests the culprit might be his wife.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:35:00]

SMERCONISH: If we learned anything from the news this week, it would be this: think before you tweet. A quick recap: Roseanne Barr tweeted a racist slur and within 12 hours, her show was cancelled and 200 people were out of work. President Trump, so overeager to brag about the new unemployment numbers, that he jumped the gun, flaunting federal laws about employees not tipping such news before the official release. And then there's the case of the Philadelphia 76'ers President of Basketball Operations, Bryan Colangelo. This report in the website The Ringer, "The Curious Case of Bryan

Colangelo and the Secret Twitter Account" made a pretty convincing case linking Colangelo, a two time past NBA Executive of the Year, to several twitter accounts that criticize NBA players, debate the decisions of his own coaching staff, and criticize former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie as well as leaking trade information and disclosing private medical information and gossip about players.

This triggered the Sixers to launch an internal probe which included Colangelo's surrendering his cell phones. Colangelo insisted he had nothing to do with the postings and he was unaware of them until The Ringer brought them to the Sixers attention prior to the publication of the story.

It's now looking like the culprit might be his wife, Barbara Bottini. According to ESPN, Colangelo has "discussed with ownership and upper management the possibility that his wife, Barbara Bottini may have been involved in the postings of the tweets from the so-called 'burner accounts.'"

[09:40:00]

This is highly reminiscent of a story that broke last fall about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's wife, Jane Skinner, who admitted she'd used a fake Twitter account to defend Goodell against his critics. Soon after, former FBI Director, James Comey, confirmed what many had suspected that he had been tweeting for years under a pseudonym, Reinhold Niebuhr.

It's the lesson we try to teach our kids, right? In the era of social media, a couple of impetuous keystrokes can haunt you for life. We check in on your Facebook and Twitter comments now. What do we have? No tweets. Oh, for the next block, my mistake.

I want to remind you answer the survey question -- its smerconish.com. Should Samantha Bee be fired for referring Ivanka Trump as the c-word? Of course having said that, yes, tweet me your thoughts. Maybe it will be my wife who responds. When we come back, still to come, the partisan divide is actually changing the way we judge the world to the point where we won't trust seeing a doctor if their politics don't align with ours. That doesn't sound healthy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:45:50]

SMERCONISH: So you need a doctor or a new roof on your house. Do you care whether the specialist you hire is a kindred political spirit? A lot of people seem to and it doesn't always help them get the best medical care or home repair. That was the topic of a recent study by four scientists at University College London and Harvard Law Professor.

As the paper states, "On political questions, many people are especially likely to consult and learn from those whose political views are similar to their own, thus creating a risk of echo-chambers or information cocoons." As two of the authors explain in a New York Times op-ed, people sought and then followed the advice of those who shared their political opinions on issues that had nothing to do with politics, even when they had all the information they needed to understand that this was a bad strategy.

Joining me now is one of the co-authors, Dr. Tali Sharot, Associate Professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London. She's also the author of the book, "The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Powers to Change Others." Dr. Sharot, this was a shape categorization task and people seemed to conflate politics and expertise for the task at hand.

TALI SHAROT, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON: Yes, good morning, Michael. What we found was that knowing about people's political orientations interferes with your ability to assess their expertise on related domains such as logic games or categorizing shapes.

And as a result, people were more likely to seek information from politically like-minded on these tasks that have nothing to do with politics even when the evidence in front of them clearly shows that those people were not the experts in the room and there's someone else that is better at the task but they would pass on information from them because they were politically different.

And let me really quickly tell you what we did. So we had people play a game where they need to categorize shapes and they played the game with four others -- players online. And they got feedback so they could really see who was doing well in the game and who wasn't doing well in the game. But throughout the game, we also asked them political questions such as, for example, do you think immigrants are abusing the welfare system?

So they could learn who's politically like-minded and who was politically different and then came the really important part. They played the game again, the same thing, and we paid them for how well they were doing. And importantly, they could pick who they wanted to learn from about shapes to help them out.

And people were more likely to pick the politically like-minded who wasn't very good at shapes over the person who was very good at shapes but had different political views.

SMERCONISH: So how do you think that applies to the so-called real world? Take me out of -- out of shape categorization and take me into the marketplace?

SHAROT: Right, so we think it probably means that people are giving bonus points to those that are politically like-minded and penalizing those that are politically different and I think you could really see that from the comments to the New York op-ed -- New York Times op-ed.

Our piece really kind of triggered a national debate and there's over 1,000 comments to the op-ed and if you read those comments, you can see that people have very, very strong views on the question of whether we'd go to a doctor who voted for the other party. There's a lot of people who are saying, no, I would absolutely not feel comfortable being treated by someone who voted for the other party.

And then there's some people who said -- who say, well, it doesn't matter. And everyone has their own reasons why their answer is yes or no, and although we didn't necessarily set out to trick -- yes, go ahead -

SMERCONISH: I was going to say -

SHAROT: -- so we really -

SMERCONISH: -- you really think a landscaper -- you know then maybe it's OK to factor in politics. I would never do that, but my God, if I'm looking for an oncologist, I would think I would want the best oncologist regardless of whether they're a liberal or a conservative.

SHAROT: Right. So I mean it's apparent that we're now living in a nation where the divide is so great that a large number of people are saying, no, I would not go to a doctor that voted for the other party. And it really highlights that polarization has now entered hospitals. I speculate they probably entered schools.

It's probably -- I'm speculating, affecting the hiring decisions in almost every field.

SMERCONISH: Right and I would just close on this. I think it's also an

[09:50:00]

explanation as to why some feel a particular allegiance to my cable competitors. You know, those on the left at MSN, those on the right at Fox News, even -- even if somehow they recognize they're being fed information at odds with the truth, they're still cool staying where they are.

You get the final word. Make it quick.

SHAROT: Right, I think also, you know, on an individual level what this means and that's the theme that I talk about in the book is if you want someone to listen and trust you, you have to see -- find what you have in common with that person. And we always have something in common.

So once people believe that they're like you in some kind of way, they're more likely to -- to trust and listen to you.

SMERCONISH: Dr. Sharot, thank you so much for being here.

SHAROT: Thank you for having me, Michael.

SMERCONISH: Still to come, your best and worst tweets and Facebook comments. What do we got?

Smerconish, my wife and I changed our dentist because they proudly presented a 'Make America Great' hat on their counter. Forty-five represents hate. So you and your business represent the same. Rodney (ph), really? So the dentist -- hang on a second -- hang on a second, I've got to just visualize this.

The dentist -- put that back up, Catherine (ph), for one second. This -- I'm so intrigued with this. So the dentist has a "Make America Great Again" hat on the counter and you changed your dentist. I -- I mean, I get your beef. I'd think I'd want to know, does he clean your teeth? Can he work the gums? That would be the way I would approach it.

Maybe in a different category I would say, oh, OK, I'll allow it to impact my thinking, but my dental care and my eyes and my internist and so forth? It wouldn't factor in in my case. We will give you the final results of the survey question in just a moment. Last call. Should Samantha Bee be fired for referring to Ivanka Trump as the c- word?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:55:00]

SMERCONISH: Hey I'm feeling bold. I've made a prediction as to the outcome of the poll question. I don't see the answer. Should Samantha Bee be fired for referring to Ivanka Trump with the C word? You want to see my prediction or the answer first? Which one Kathryn?

Here it is tell me, prediction? OK, I say it will be very close within the margin of error. This is not scientific; there is no margin of error. Oh my God! Was I wrong. Oh, well -- 77 percent say no -- 150,333 -- well gang look you know how I say I don't see the result. You just found out that's true.

What else came in? Smerconish, your ninth grade mooning would surely land you on the sex offender's registry, sad. Do you know that it was captured on video and they made my mother identify me? They called my father and said we need to suspend him from school because he's exposed himself.

My dad thought I came out of the men's room wearing like a London Fog trench coat with nothing underneath it. By the way I tell the whole story in my book which came out last week. "Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right".

What else do we have time for another one or two? I cannot believe that prediction, holy smokes. A good friend of mine taped a Playboy centerfold to the roll down periodic table in chem class. Come on Mike that's an old one. It worked. A smart guy, he became a MD and flight surgeon for a shuttle flight some years later.

I love that. That is beautiful stuff. That's "Animal House" -ish. One more if we have time for it, maybe even two more. Smerconish getting fired for your spouse's secret twitter account is like an Uber driver getting fired because his roommate doesn't have car insurance. Spike is it really? I don't know.

If you delve into the Brian Colangelo story what you'll see is that the tweets seem to really mirror his thought process and other opinions that he has expressed. Which at first blush makes me say, well it's him. And then you say well no.

He lives with his spouse. They love each other. She knows all of his viewpoints and so forth. And so she's therefore able to speak for him. I don't know I'll be very curious to see whether professionally he's able to hang on.

Another one if we've got time for it. Smerconish I hired someone six months ago without knowing their political views. I did make it clear however that we do not want political discussions in the work place. Hey Laura, here's my question. Do they know how to make widgets?

And if they bring politics into your workplace in a manner that's disruptive then they got to go, but otherwise I would -- like the dental question how well does he clean your teeth?

One more, I'm loving it. We've got time for social media today for a change. Well no more time? OK. Remember you can catch up with us anytime on CNNGo and on demand. Please check out smerconish.com. The book is out "Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right". I'll see you next week.