Update: Our good friend Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer was ahead of the curve with a post on July 14 about signals that Sharpton was joining MSNBC.
When MSNBC shuffled Ed Schultz up to the 10 p.m. slot they placed left-wing blogger and radio host Cenk Uygur (pronounced jenk you-gur) in the 6 p.m. Eastern time slot that Ed vacated as an interim host.
But Uygur has been curiously absent from his dinnertime perch since early July, with the Rev. Al Sharpton filling in but not explaining why Uygur was out. Yesterday MSNBC announced that Uygur had officially left the network and today the New York Times is reporting that Sharpton's hiring as a full-time host is "imminent."
The past is prologue, so a look back at Sharpton's wacky pronouncements to date should be instructive. We at NewsBusters have a full archive on Al Sharpton that you can find here, but I thought we'd highlight a few items that stand out.
Who can forget the time, for example, when Sharpton insisted on March 21, 2010 that "we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama"? Sharpton was defending passage of ObamaCare and dismissing Republicans who claimed that the bill's passage was against the wishes of the American public.
It was a fine moment of raw honesty from the good Reverend, but as we've seen in the past two weeks, Sharpton has been remarkably good at adapting his message to toe MSDNC's party line.
One might even argue Sharpton is ahead of MSNBC's bias curve. In April 2010, Sharpton agreed with a guest on his radio program who suggested that Rush Limbaugh's political commentary may set off unbalanced, violent people. MSNBC really picked up that drumbeat in early 2011 after the Gabby Giffords shooting.
The days of Sharpton proudly declaring Obama to be socialistic may be long gone, but his penchant for race-baiting is sure to shine through.
For example, just last month, Sharpton suggested Republican presidential Rick Santorum was racist for saying that America "was great before 1965." Santorum was referring to the advent of LBJ's Great Society, including programs like Medicare, but Sharpton hinted that Santorum really meant the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Sharpton's deranged view of Republican candidates doesn't stop at Santorum, of course. In July 2009, following Michael Jackson's death, Sharpton failed to call out a caller on her crazy theory that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may have had something to do with Jackson's death:
FEMALE CALLER: He (Michael Jackson) is truly the soundtrack of my life. I also have a theory about Sarah Palin as well and I'm going to put it out there on radio, hopefully someone can investigate.
But, I think maybe she did something to Michael Jackson. Maybe there's a scandal there. Maybe she's stepping down because something's about to come out. I don't know, but I'm gonna just put it out there on your show so we'll see.
SHARPTON: All right, thank you for your call, Ashley. That's interesting. I'll put it out, we'll see. I don't know.
No objective journalist by any stretch, Al Sharpton is a media-hungry race hustler who has, with the media's help gradually been mainstreamed to the point of acceptable employment by the liberal "establishment" at MSNBC.
He's a perfect fit for a network devoted to Obama boosterism and trashing conservatives.
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