Sharpton Calls Out Black Journalists On MSNBC Backlash

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Yesterday, Loop 21 spoke exclusively with Rev. Al Sharpton who explained why he pulled out of the annual National Association of Black Journalist convention this past weekend. In part one, Sharpton focused on how the format of the MSNBC talk show he is being considered for may not be the best fit for a traditional journalist.

In part two, he asks journalists, “What is the standard?” — meaning what is the criteria that must be met for a person to qualify to host a news talk show.

I would have to say that you are telling your activists and advocates that you are limiting their ability to do what activists and advocates on the right wing are able to do on television. People like Mike Huckabee have a show on FOX. Alan Keyes had a show. These are not journalists, but you do not see limitations put in place by the right wing, but you are doing so for the left. Also, I’d have to ask, ‘Is this only applied to hosting shows for white institutions?’ Because if that was the standard then I’d have to quit my show on Radio One. And if that’s the standard, how come there is no criticism about me having a show there.

Last week, when Melissa Harris Perry guest-hosted for Rachel Maddow, she did an excellent job. But she is not a journalist. Should we condemn her? Michael Eric Dyson guest-hosted on MSNBC, should we criticize him? So if some journalists are taking the position that anyone who is not one of them should not host a talk show, they will put themselves at war with the community.”

Read the newly appointed National Association of Black Journalists president, Greg Lee, Jr., response to Sharpton on Loop21.com.

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