Oh my: Al Sharpton on MSNBC could provide comedy relief for years to come
I can’t tell if the teleprompter got scrambled or if Al Sharpton’s brain is just scrambled. I think his show went live a couple of days ago, and already, there is an opportunity for profitable cottage industry to be developed.
I’m thinking a daily Al Sharpton Moment on the Vicevich show would be appropriate. I bet he could even get a sponsor.
So how did Rev. Al pick up this one hour show on MSNBC? Back on July 27, Wayne Barrett wrote about Sharpton’s affirmative action win.
Sharpton has a long and well-documented history of leveraging his civil-rights profile for his own benefit. Grabbing a prime-time anchor spot in exchange for cheerleading for a controversial merger would be the capper on that career. …
A Comcast spokesperson told The Daily Beast that Comcast has given $140,000 to Sharpton’s National Action Network [NAN] since 2009—the same year the merger was first proposed. Though MSNBC president Phil Griffin was honored with a top prize at the April 2011 annual conference of NAN—and he, Chris Mathews, and other NBC notables had a table at NAN’s dinner—NBC would not answer questions about how much it’s given Sharpton. Comcast also insisted in an email to The Daily Beast that the company “pledged we would not interfere” with NBC news operations, and “we have not and we will not,” a response similar to the only answer we got from NBC. Neither, however, directly answered the question of whether there was any connection between Sharpton’s merger role and his anticipated selection for the show.
Sharpton also has a radio syndication deal paying him $700,000 a year. Larry O’Connor at Big Journalism notes Sharpton is not on Talker’s Magazine list of Top 100 Heavy Hitters. Sharpton is in the top 250, along with WTIC’s Ray Dunaway. Don’t ask me why Vicevich is not in the Top 250.
So how about Sharpton’s radio deal? Back to Wayne Barrett at The Daily Beast.
Al Sharpton wasn’t just pleasing prospective employer MSNBC when he became the first major black leader to endorse the controversial Comcast/NBC merger. It turns out he was also enriching his current employer, Radio One, the largest black-owned radio company in the country, which has paid him more money than he’s made anywhere else in his life. …
The Daily Beast has already reported that just months after Sharpton played a pivotal role in pushing the merger, he became a regular substitute host and appears now to be in line for a fulltime anchor post on Comcast’s MSNBC. As awkward as that coincidence is, how about a conflict of interest he did not disclose in his letters to the Federal Communications Commission—or his other pro-merger activities?
He was trumpeting a merger that’s already paid dividends to Radio One and its affiliate TV One, which reportedly pay him $700,000-a-year for his six-year-old radio show, commentary, and other appearances on TV One, and occasional blogging on their joint website, NewsOne.
P.J. Salvatore thought he had captured Sharpton’s greatest hits in a post from yesterday morning, only to be blown away by last night’s performance above. Embedded below if you missed it.
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