Report: MSNBC Close To Naming Al Sharpton Host of Prime Time Show

For weeks, many of us have been shocked by the use of controversial Al Sharpton as a host on “MSNBC Live.” We have followed Sharpton’s long litany of alleged criminal violations and race-baiting tactics. Now, as if to show that it can match Fox’s hiring of Glenn Beck and CNN’s hiring of Nancy Grace, MSNBC is reportedly close to giving Sharpton the slot held by Cenk Uygur.

Sharpton has hosted the 6pm show for the last two weeks.

Sharpton has a long history of alleged corrupt practices , tax disputes, and federal investigations. He came to fame with his infamous role in the Tawana Brawley hoax that led to civil liability for Sharpton.

His selection destroys the credibility of MSNBC in its criticism of folks like O’Reilly and Beck. It is a ratings driven decision that does not consider impact on the credibility of MSNBC as a news organization. Liberals often ridicule (rightfully) the embrace of scandal-plagued personalities on the right for such programs. Yet, the objectivity appears lost when there is agreement with the views of such a personality from the left. Whether I agree with Sharpton’s view is immaterial to the litany of scandals and demonstrated misconduct in his part. Sometimes it is the messenger and not the message that is the problem.

Sharpton’s selection in anticipation of the upcoming election appears both cynical and sensational by the network. It is astonishing that MSNBC would embrace such a figure as a host, if the report below is true. The selection would follow the President’s baffling decision to make Sharpton a highly visible component of his reelection effort.

Source: Media Bistro

58 thoughts on “Report: MSNBC Close To Naming Al Sharpton Host of Prime Time Show”

  1. I really liked and respected Cenk Uygur and was thrilled when he was appointed to host MSNBC Live at 6:00. If he’s truly departing MSNBC in favor of Rev. Sharpton, I have another reason to reconsider MSNBC as my network of choice for political commentary. (The first was Keith Olbermann’s departure.) While the Rev. does have something to offer some viewers, I think those assets are outweighed by his political baggage, e.g. the Tawana Brawley case, etc. I think the only benefit he confers that no one else on MSNBC does is his ABSOLUTE refusal to accept guests not answering questions (his or those of other guests’) and deflecting attention away from tough, politically sensitive questions. I used to think that Chris Matthews and David Gregory were bulldogs in that regard, but they’re super lightweights in comparison to Rev. Sharpton. There’s something to be said for not accepting B.S. It’s rare on TV.

  2. While Al Sharpton is “good on his feet” in terms of talking about certain issues, the minute President Obama has come up in conversations while Sharpton has been an MSNBC host, Sharpton has become an “Obama apologist”. An Uncle Tom for an Uncle Tom. Cenk was getting pretty close to telling the blunt truth about President Obama being a mere Wall Street puppet, and that’s why Cenk is out and Sharpton is in. Sharpton cannot criticize President Obama, because Sharpton will lose his base. As to who President Obama really is, go on the internet and look for Ralph Nader’s comments today, 7/19/11 on Democracy Now. Nader doesn’t have to pander to any constituency and told the complete and utter truth about President Obama. So sorry to lose Cenk on MSNBC. We used to watch Cenk on the “Young Turks” all the time, because he was blunt, unlike the cautious MSNBC commentators who want to keep their jobs..

  3. Both Cenk and Rev. Al have not been trained as talking heads, but both did an adequate job, IMO. I think Cenk got into the MSNBC analysts’ faces with his own opinion (rightly, again IMO), but that would not make it easy to live with the politics of ComCast. I hope he lands on Current.

    As to Rev. Al, he has really made a few of the teabagger freshmen come up short as he forces them to explain themselves. I’ve liked his rhetorical style and his relentless push for equality and truth.

    Tawana Bradley’s story was sad and unfortunate, and I do believe that he was duped into his position. I also think that that was years ago, and I believe people grow and change.

  4. I believe Mr Sharpton is handling the host position quite well. He is articulate and quick in his thoughtful responses. He is great at getting his questions answered or at least exposed as not answered if the guests try to skirt the issue. I find him just as knowledgeable as any other hosts on the shows I watch. He reminds me of Keith Obermann, Rachel Maddal, ED Shaltz, Lawerence O’Donald and Chris Matthews. CNN has nothing on MSNBC. Contrary to the dissenting discourse of some of the bloggers trying to infer that Rev Al is not qualified to host this show I find, disspite his stiff start up show, a few weeks ago, he has adjusted enormously well recently. I have been enjoying him. I am sorry to see Cenk go, because he too was a favorite of mine. I hope to see him on Current TV soon.

  5. @Mike Appleton: ITA with your 4 objections to Sharpton.

    Throwing out Uygur for Sharpton is not really MSNBC’s “decision” but COMCAST’s, which took over the network & its parent company last Christmas. We seldom watch MSNBC anymore, but depend on Keith Olbermann at Current for our daily newscast.

  6. Elaine, I read somewhere that Huntsman’s campaign peaked the day he announced.

  7. I have to agree with John1953. Sharpton may have a specific point of view but it is no less valid. Those who think he is inarticulate, not bright and has no worthwhile ideas haven’t been listening to him in numerous “pundit” appearances on TV or to his radio show.

    I hope Mr. Turley is just as outraged at the thought of G. Gordon Liddy or Oliver North having a voice in the MSM.

  8. Al Sharpton: MSNBC’s Next Host?
    Huffington Post, 7/18/11

    If true, the reports are certain to raise eyebrows. Sharpton is, to say the least, a polarizing figure. Even so, he has not noticeably strayed from the standard MSNBC playbook during his guest-hosting stints.

    MSNBC, as well as the other cable news networks, has also been drawing fire for its lack of on-air diversity. There is not a single African American prime time host on any cable news channel, something the NAACP recently blasted the networks for. However, if Uygur, who is Turkish, were displaced by Sharpton, it would still leave the network with just three hosts of color across the entire day: Sharpton, Tamron Hall and Richard Lui.


    I’m not a big fan of Sharpton. That said, I agree that the cable news networks should be criticized for the lack of diversity in program hosts.

  9. Sharpton appears to me to be a man who has changed a great over decades. The country forgave a drunk druggie, making him the 43rd President. Sharpton deserves a break to host a cable political show. Comparing him to realtime extremist Beck is total false equivalency IMHO.

  10. Swarthmore mom,

    I wonder if any of the Republicans who have already announced they are running for president or Rick Perry could win the general election. We haven’t heard much about Huntsman. He seems to be one of the most–if not the most–reasonable Republican candidates. Romney changes his positions so often it’s difficult to know where he stands on issues.

  11. There is probably some truth to the the story but as Bachmann surges in the polls either Rove, Romney or Perry got the knives out. They know she can not win the general election.

  12. Kennedy was the most recent one that was heavily drugged but no one knew it until years later.

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