When NBC News granted Al Sharpton the honor of having a prime time news show on their cable outlet, MSNBC, they lauded his role as an “elder statesman” of the Democratic Party. They named the show “Politics Nation” and positioned the nightly broadcast as a left-leaning political show focusing on national politics as a natural lead-in to “Hardball.” It was a well-orchestrated PR strategy to distance Sharpton from his controversial and odious past as a race-baiting advocate for proven liars Tawana Brawley and the antagonist in the Duke Lacrosse case.
The message was clear: Sharpton isn’t the charlatan race-baiter you’ve grown to loathe; he’s now a power player in the Democratic Party and is here to bring his unique, seasoned perspective to the national political conversation.
Oh what a difference a year makes.
These days, Politics Nation has turned into the Trayvon Martin Show as Sharpton goes right back to his roots as a sensationalist willing to advocate for any victim of a crime as long as they are the right race and the alleged perpetrator is white (or “white hispanic” in this case).
Friday night Sharpton had Trayvon Martin’s family attorney on to discuss the George Zimmerman trial scheduled to begin in 10 days. Understand that Martin’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, has no actual standing in this case as it is the state of Florida against Zimmerman in these criminal proceedings. Nevertheless, Sharpton allowed Crump to lay out the state’s case against Zimmerman with Sharpton cheering and participating in the multi-media opening and closing arguments. By the time the segment was done, Zimmerman was all but tried and convicted with the most inflammatory and defamatory language possible:
Crump: When you really think about it in the totality of circumstances, George Zimmerman as this neighborhood watch patrol volunteer going around the neighborhood with a gun on prescription medication is every parent’s worse nightmare, because God help you if he comes up to your teenage child and says ‘what are you doing around here’ and your teenager doesn’t answer the question right. Then you have a Trayvon Martin situation at your doorstep. And we can’t have that in a law-abiding society.
Hearing that un-refuted and damning narration, no jury in the world would move to acquit Zimmerman. And that’s the point. Sharpton is using his NBC News platform to set the Zimmerman case up as an open and shut case of 2nd degree murder, and if anything short of a conviction comes from the Florida jury, well, you know the reason why.
At that point, if Zimmerman is acquitted, get ready for Politics Nation to then be used to advocate for social justice and political unrest until there is “justice for Trayvon.”
NBC News might as well replace Sharpton’s microphone with a bullhorn now.
Watch the segment here: