Al Sharpton on television. Sure, but as a host?! First, he can’t read a prompter. Seriously, he can’t read a prompter. Why is that important, you ask? You’re kidding, right? Television is all prompter-fed and scripted. Mechanized transmission. But you knew that. No, the righteous Reverend is on for reasons most mortals can only speculate on. My guess: pictures of network heads with barn owls, miscellaneous blackmail, who knows. But it sure as hell ain’t talent. He redefines the depths of bad, real bad. Amateurish at a new level. Horrid. Dreck. I’ve seen hostage videos with more persuasive soul than Al at his relative best. Wow.
So, why’s he not in jail? Great question. The New York Times piece on his Eminence, the tax prevaricator and BFF of POTUS’s and AG’s, the Geppetto to de Blasio’s Pinocchio, NYPD Commish Bill Bratton’s boss, provides a bill of particulars that would land you or me in the hoosegow without a doubt, yet he remains unscathed. “The recent Treasury report that called that sort of practice abusive also said only 1,200 organizations in the nation owed more than $100,000 in unpaid payroll taxes, which would put Mr. Sharpton’s group among the most delinquent nonprofit organizations in the nation.”
MSNBC has all but invited this embarrassment. As the Erik Wemple Blog has reported, Sharpton negotiated his contract with MSNBC under the stipulation that his work as an activist would continue. In remarks in D.C. last year, Sharpton recalled what he told MSNBC President Phil Griffin about his status: “I said, well, I’m still going to run NAN, I’m still going to be an activist.” Griffin responded positively. “He said, ‘Put it in the contract. We’d never interfere with what you’re doing, your civil rights work,’” Sharpton quoted Griffin as saying.
On one level, Sharpton’s various hats carry implications for the ethics of his work at MSNBC. Being an anchor on a news network while also serving as a big shot at the White House and the head of a civil rights group creates a jumble of undiagrammable — and almost unknowable — conflicts of interest.
Yet the other level of concern is precisely what the Times has exposed: Sharpton Inc. is a sprawling concern, clearly more than one overbooked man can handle. By employing Sharpton as a prominent figure in its news rotation, MSNBC must own the failings of his empire. A spokeswoman for MSNBC says the network has no comment on the situation.
And then there’s Lemon. A lemon historically was “a person who is a loser, a simpleton,” which is perhaps from the notion of someone a sharper can “suck the juice out of.” Don Lemon is a cretin. A Boeotian. A dullard of Olympic proportion. This is the same feller who posited a black hole as a source of missing MH370. Well, Ol’ Don may have out “Don” himself in this latest snafu.
Speaking with putative rape victim Joan Tarshis, a woman who recently accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting her 45 years ago, the doltish Don cleverly asked her why she didn’t use her teeth as “a weapon” while being forced to perform oral sex on the comedian. You can’t make this up.
Lemon: Can I ask you this, because — and please, I don’t mean to be crude, ok?
Lemon: Because I know some of you — and you said this last night, that he — you lied to him and said “I have an infection, and if you rape me, or if you do — if you have intercourse with me, then you will probably get it and give it to your wife.”
Lemon: And you said he made you perform oral sex.
Lemon: You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.
Tarshis: Oh. Um, I was kind of stoned at the time, and quite honestly, that didn’t even enter my mind. Now I wish it would have.
Lemon: Right. Meaning the using of the teeth, right?
Tarshis: Yes, that’s what I’m thinking you’re —
Lemon: As a weapon.
Tarshis: Yeah, I didn’t even think of it.
Lemon: Yes. I had to ask. I mean, it is, yeah.
Tarshis: Yes. No, it didn’t cross my mind.
And finally, Charles Manson’s tying the knot. In a country where 17 states have prohibited same-sex intragender marriage, an 80-year-old notorious convicted killer can marry a 25 year-old named “Star.” Think about it. The Menendez Brothers and Charlie can traipse down the proverbial aisle in matrimonium ducere, but a respectable gay couple can’t. Are you mind-boggled? You should be. This is our society. Our demented society.