When CNN hired Elliot Spitzer many complained hiring the disgraced former governor was a new low in cable news. Allow me to submit to you that with the hiring of “Reverend” Al Sharpton to be their 6pm host, MSNBC has smashed through CNN’s record and established a record for finding a new host in the sewer of society that may never be topped. While CNN and others have hired people disgraced by political or sexual scandals, in hiring Sharpton MSNBC has contracted with a “Reverend” who bears false witness and a racial arsonist who is responsible for the deaths of at least eight innocent people.
Let’s look at the Sharpton track record. Sharpton is the man who, in 1987, helped to make the Tawana Brawley false rape charge big news and to this day refuses to admit that it was proved a hoax.
A grand jury noted many problems with Brawley’s story. Among these were that the rape kit results did not indicate sexual assault. Also, despite her claim of having been held captive for days, Brawley was not suffering from exposure, was well-nourished, and appeared to have brushed her teeth recently. Despite her clothing being charred, there were no burns on her body. Although a shoe she was wearing was cut through, Brawley had no injuries to her foot. The racial epithets written on her were upside down, which led to suspicion that Brawley had written the words. Testimony from her schoolmates indicated she had attended a local party during the time of her supposed abduction. One witness claimed to have observed Brawley’s climbing into the garbage bag which she claimed to be her prison.
The worst part of that incident was when Sharpton falsely named Steven Pagones, an Assistant District Attorney in Dutchess County, as one of the rapists, and a racist, among other accusations. Sharpton and Brawley’s lawyers asserted “on 33 separate occasions” that Steven Pagones “had kidnapped, abused and raped” Brawley. He also accused district attorney William Grady of trying to cover up Pagones’ involvement in the crime, and he demanded Governor Cuomo immediately arrest the two “suspects.” Sharpton refused to provide evidence, saying only that they would reveal the facts when the time was right. There was no evidence, and Pagones was soon cleared.
Three months after the “Reverend” accused Pagones, a Sharpton aide named Perry McKinnon stepped forward to blow a hole in Sharpton’s story. McKinnon announced that “Sharpton acknowledged to me early on that ‘The [Brawley] story do sound like bull—t, but it don’t matter. We’re building a movement. This is the perfect issue. Because you’ve got whites on blacks. That’s an easy way to stir up all the deprived people, who would want to believe and who would believe–and all [you’ve] got to do is convince them–that all white people are bad. Then you’ve got a movement.”
To this day, Sharpton stands by his Tawana Brawley story. Does MSNBC believe that its hosts should be ruining people’s lives with false charges of rape?
The Brawley case was not the only time that Sharpton used false claims as a tool of his bigotry. Twice he used lies to stir up Anti-Semitic pogroms which resulted in deaths of innocents, one was in Crown Heights and the other in Harlem.
The Crown Heights pogrom occurred after a car accident involving the motorcade for the Lubavitcher Rebbe killed a young boy Gavin Cato. A riot was sparked after a private Hasidic ambulance came to the scene and, on the orders of a police officer, removed the Hasidic driver from the scene. Gavin Cato and his cousin Angela were picked up soon after by a city ambulance.
Caribbean-American and African-American residents of the neighborhood then rioted for four consecutive days fueled by rumors driven by Sharpton that the private ambulance had refused to treat Cato, which was a lie. Sharpton was fully aware that the ambulance was directed by the police to get the driver and scram.
Al Sharpton became the de-facto representative for the Cato family. During Gavin Cato’s funeral he referred to “diamond merchants” considered a code word for Hasidic Jews. He charged them with shedding “the blood of innocent babies” told the Jews to “pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house” then he continued to agitate the crowd by leading marchers through Crown Heights shouting “No Justice No Peace”. Sharpton did not start the riots; he poured gas on the fire and made it explode. Stirred in part by such rhetoric, hundreds of Crown Heights blacks took violently to the streets for three days and nights of rioting and violence against the local Jews. Sharpton reacted to chaos by stating, “We must not reprimand our children for outrage, when it is the outrage that was put in them by an oppressive system.”
A few years later, Sharpton decided that Harlem should be segregated and that a Jewish-owned store named Freddy’s Fashion Mart should close even though it had been there for decades. At one of the many rallies meant to scare the Jewish owner away, Sharpton charged that “there is a systemic and methodical strategy to eliminate our people from doing business off 125th Street. I want to make it clear . . . that we will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.”
Sharpton’s colleague, Morris Powell, said of the Jewish owner — Sharpton’s “white interloper” — “We’re going to see that this cracker suffers. Reverend Sharpton is on it.” Three months later, one of the protesters, Roland Smith, stormed Freddy’s with a pistol, screaming, “It’s on now: All blacks out!” In addition to shooting, he burned the place down. Eight people died. Sharpton first lied about being present. When confronted with a video tape showing his presence, he said: “What’s wrong with denouncing white interlopers?”
Well “Rev” what’s wrong with a man standing idly by when eight people die. Is that the make-up of a “Reverend?” Apparently it is the make-up of an MSNBC host.
You may remember the case of the Central Park Jogger, brutally raped and left for dead by a gang of youths. During the trial Sharpton led a mob outside the court which claimed, without a shred of evidence, that “the boyfriend did it,” and screamed that the victim was a “whore.”
This is what MSNBC hired. Not someone you can trust. Even their usual biased version of the news would be preferable to a supposed “Reverend” who bears false witness and who was complacent in the deaths of eight innocent people. This is a new low in cable news, while CNN hired a lying misogynist, MSNBC has gone even further. It was not Sharpton’s hand that beat Jews in Crown Heights or started the fire at Freddy’s, but it was his words that incited the incident.