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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The truth about Al Sharpton, the press and CDS

Thanks to Bill Clinton and the Community Reinvestment Act which he championed, many African-Americans got small business loans and home loans that they otherwise would not have received. Al Sharpton wants you to forget about that. That's why he's excusing Harry Reid's inane "negro dialect" comment while pretending that Bill Clinton is the most odious racist since George Lincoln Rockwell.

Why is Al Sharpton saying these ridiculous things? It's his job. Let's review some history that has been swept under the rug.

In an earlier post, we discussed a book called Overworld, by Larry Kolb. Kolb is the son of a CIA officer who was tasked by Agency luminary Miles Copeland to charm his way into the entourage of none other than Muhammad Ali. (Ali's enormous popularity in the Islamic world made him a useful ally.)

Kolb wasn't the only one in that entourage with an agenda: Al Sharpton did everything he could to get close to Ali.
Reverend Al was just Reverend Al. Around so much of the time, and usually so quiet you barely even noticed when he was there and when he wasn't.

Then one afternoon I was in the Soup Burg on Madison Avenue at 73rd...reading the sports section of New York Newsday I'd found on my stool when I sat down. And when I finished with the sports and flipped the paper over tot he front page, there was a big black-and-white photograph of Reverend Al looking shifty and a huge headline: THE MINISTER AND THE FEDS.

Under that, I read: "For the last five years, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Jr., one of the city's most vocal and visible black activists, has been secretly supplying federal law enforcement agencies with information on boxing promoter Don King, reputed organized crime leaders and black leaders and elected officials, according to sources. And in a two-hour, wide-ranging interview with New York Newsday, Sharpton, 33, said he carried concealed microphones in briefcases and accompanied undercover federal agents wearing body recorders to meetings with various subjects of federal investigations. He also allowed the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York to install a tapped telephone in his Brooklyn home."

Al Fuckin' Sharpton, I thought in surprise as I stared into his face. I should've known. Al Sharpton! Muhammad had always said the government had someone spying on him or, as he liked to put it, that there was a "nigger in the woodpile."
Not exactly the way I'd phrase it. But I do think this story belongs on the internet record somewhere, since Wikipedia's entry on Sharpton makes no mention of this Newsday interview.

So why was Al Sharpton spying on behalf of Uncle Sam? Simple: Federal agents compromised Sharpton during a cocaine bust in 1983.
The television show HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel showed a 1983 FBI videotape in which Al Sharpton is seen talking about laundering drug money with former mobster Michael Franzese, a Mafioso-turned-undercover-FBI informant posing as a cocaine dealer.
Sharpton got into this mess through his friendship with boxing promoter Don King, a longtime friend of his. Franzese, a former Colombo family captain, alleges that a South American drug dealer looking to launder money through boxing promotions approached him. According to Franzese, Sharpton was going to arrange a meeting between the dealer and King.
On the tape, Sharpton is clearly heard accepting an offer of $35,000 as his cut on the coke deal. He did not know that the South American drug lord offering this business proposition was actually FBI agent Victor Quintana.

During his presidential campaign, Sharpton told the public that the drug bust was no big deal because no indictments were issued. Of course no indictments were issued. That's why Sharpton went to work for Uncle: To avoid an indictment.

And that's also why you don't hear much about Al Sharpton and the FBI on the teevee. If Sharpton weren't working for Uncle, you know damned well you'd never see his face on the tube. Even the right-wingers never mention Sharpton's work as an informant -- and they almost never bring up the drug bust, because they can't say much about that incident without mentioning his subsequent career undercover.

(Incidentally, Sharpton and his enterprises also owe about $1.5 million in taxes and penalties. Remember that episode of The Simpsons in which Homer went undercover after being nabbed by the IRS?)

So keep Sharpton's past in mind when you see him get on TV and say inane things about Bill Clinton. Sharpton is just a talking doll. Someone else is pulling the string.

Looks to me that we are experiencing a gale-force blast of Clinton Derangement Syndrome in the media. That's to be expected. Obama is proving to be Dubya II -- and as his ratings tank, the powers behind Obama have no choice but to mount yet another anti-Clinton Hate rally. It takes one hell of a lot of propaganda to convince the public that the third-best president of the 20th century (after the two Roosevelts) was a failure.

In the post below, I directed you to Bob Somerby's work-in-progress "How He Got There," an online book about the 2000 campaign which brought George W. Bush to power. You should read Somerby's introductory material in close conjunction with this CDS-addled piece by Eric Alterman, a self-confessed "poker buddy" of Game Change author John Heilemann. (That's the hot new Obot propaganda book about the 2008 election.)

Alterman on Game Change:
Here's who comes off horribly: Bill Clinton, Mark Penn, John and Elizabeth Edwards, Reille Whatshername, Cindy McCain, Rudy G., Sarah Palin. Here's who comes off pretty bad: Hillary Clinton. Here's who comes off OK: John McCain, Patty Solis Doyle. Here's who comes off great: Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, David Axlerod, David Plouffe, Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis. Here's who gets a free pass: Everybody in the media, pretty much, but especially ABC News, CNN, and their lobotomized debate questioners.
Somerby on the 2000 campaign:
I began discussing this topic in real time, in March 1999, at my web site, The Daily Howler. At the time, I had no idea how remarkable the press corps' performance during Campaign 2000 would be.

On the other hand:

By that time, the press corps' peculiar relations with President Clinton had led to one important book–Gene Lyons' Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater (1996). Before Campaign 2000 was finished, Lyons would team with Joe Conason for a second book, The Hunting of the President (2000). Here too, Lyons and Conason discussed the press corps' decade-long, pseudoscandal-driven pursuit of Bill Clinton.

In March 1999, Clinton's vice president began his own run for the White House. With remarkable speed, the press corps' pursuit of President Clinton was seamlessly transferred to Candidate Gore. Given the narrow way Campaign 2000 was decided, the press corps' twenty-month war against Gore almost surely decided its outcome.
Get it? Get it?

The same press corps that told you to hate Clinton and Gore...
...also told you to love Bush and Obama!!!

Now re-read what I said about Al Sharpton. The bit about someone pulling the string.

(By the way, the graphic at the top comes from here.)
Does Reverend Sharpton ever go to church?
I can see all that being true. Nothing surprises me about dear Al.
Jeez, you'd think that Sharpton would be more incensed over the finding that only 1.5 percent of the loans to distressed small businesses in Obama's Economic Stimulus package went to African African owned businesses. Go figure.

Btw, I'm by no means a fan of Sharpton, but I will give him this much. His speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention was far better than Obama's vastly overrated speech at the same forum, and was better than anyone else's speech there, for that matter. Perhaps it was watching Sharpton's speech that innoculated me to the O-hype from the get-go.

Oy! African African = African American. I haven't been commenting much anywhere recently, so my propensity for typos is worse than ever!

Sharpton is in bed with the public school privatizers and has been making a national tour with the likes of Newt Gingrich and Arne Duncan.

I have been writing a lot about the onslaught against public education by corporate interests and "venture philanthropists."
Al Sharpton's 2004 run for the Democratic nomination was run and financed by GOP Dirty Trickster Extraordinaire Roger Stone - oh yes, he of the bare chest and the swinger ads.

Now why, you might ask yourself, is the GOP party apparatchik - the same forward-looking apparatchik who is responsible for discovering Eliot Spitzer's hooker habit and releasing that info to the FBI - running and financing a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidency? What interest, in 2004, could the man who founded the anti-Hillary group Citizens United Not Timid had in getting inside the Democratic process for nominating a candidate? Why not back a candidate who might win? What was it about Sharpton, in that year, that caught the GOP's attention? Could Sharpton's race have been an issue? Mystery upon mystery.
After the Tawana Brawley(?) incident, I never thought any one really took him seriously. I actually like Al, or at least his show. He milks the system to his advantage, says some funny stuff and makes us look how silly our society has become.
This were news to me. Still, there is enough garbage on Sharpton to last 10 crooks. In 2004, hus presidency run was financed by GOP - via Roger Stone - to get Clark down in South Carolina
(you'll love their illustration even more). Before that, he made sure BYC got a GOP Mayor (Bloomberg) by waving the race card at the Dem progressive candidate - in a way that pioneered what Obama did to Clinton
I spotted the "conspiracy" against Hillary very early on. OOoo's supporters don't care one bit about health care or anything else. They just wanted to deny Hillary her only chance at the presidency, that was all.
Having read Bob Somerby back then I wrote and asked him if any of those he criticized in the news media ever complained about it. They did but he wasn't going to name names. I'd love to read those whiny rants.
Also, we had both heard the rumor that one of the cable news anchors thought they has a lock on the job as Clinton's Press Secretary but it was given to "Didi" Meyers instead. Bob couldn't confirm it, but it would explain the hatred two Irish Catholic commentators had for the Clintons.
On a side note:
If you remember back to the primaries, Barack Obama blamed the loss of the House majority in 1994 on Bill (the reality was Thomas "Tip" O'Niel blocking an investigation of the banking scandal) how will he explain the upcoming losses of Democratic seats in both chambers in 2010?
Will that be Bill's fault too?
I'm wondering who exactly will not be a racist after 4 years of Obama?

It's fascinating to see how this strategy that Obama uses of destroying his enemies by having a third party label them racist is starting to-predictably-backfire.

The republicans-always keen on not wasting new weapons-are starting to use it to destroy democrats in the same way that Obama did.

Ultimately I wonder if this strategy will be used against Obama himself. For instance I suspect the Rev Wright story has not yet been fully explored.
All this media about the racist Clintons, and today they are front and center helping the people of Haiti. Sometimes the CDSers just can't catch a break.

Thanks, Joseph. Dead on: "Obama is proving to be Dubya II -- and as his ratings tank, the powers behind Obama have no choice but to mount yet another anti-Clinton Hate rally. It takes one hell of a lot of propaganda to convince the public that the third-best president of the 20th century (after the two Roosevelts) was a failure."

And that bit about the media promoting Zerobama...perzactly! I was astonished when the so-called "reality-based" progressives fell for the very same megaphone narrative used to prop up Bush in 2000!

Also, to Susan...thanks for keeping your eye on the public school issue!
How about all of the above?

Political figures may appear in stark monotones, but when you look closely, it's really many shades of variegated grayscale.

I do not doubt Eliot Spitzer's expertise concerning large scale bank frauds, although he was somewhat a public fraud himself with his hooker habits.

Similarly, even people so compromised as to be forced to work on the side for the feds may occasionally commit truth in speech. There is no contradiction there.

If it's true, as the book prompting these commentaries with its reports of campaign intrigue claims, that Hillary's guy intentionally dropped 'cocaine' into the discussion and then bragged about it to the campaign because Hillary wanted to pursue that line of attack, then a racial stereotype component line of argument WAS used, with full support of the campaign principle, even if not in a racist way (or maybe in a racist way). For an example of a non-racist way, raising that issue about W wouldn't have had any racial or racist component to the effort.

And perhaps Bill Clinton did utter the damnable line about 'a year or two ago this guy would have been bringing us coffee!' Again, it might not have been so much racist as racially insensitive, speaking more to the rookie's lack of national level office experience. Or not.

Both Clintons swear a blue streak, and are hardly the examplars of polite gentility that their expert public communications might lead some to believe. They are rough in private, from what I've read, not far from the kind of language use (expletive deleted!) that so shocked the American people when Nixon's private language was revealed. As did most all the parties in this last campaign, per the book's reporting, and at least that seems credible to me.

The coffee line, genuine or not, is not the slightest bit racist. It goes to the question of experience, not race.
XI, I fail to see why the topic of Bush's cocaine use isn't racist but Obama's is. For God's sake, Obama brought it up himself.

Excellent post. Sharpton has long been a secret Republican operative in plain sight -- he historically serves as attack dog against liberal Dems, from David Dinkins to Bob Abrams (who ran against Al D'Amato, a Sharpton fave) to Hillary Clinton to Eliot Spitzer to, recently, keeping mum in last year's mayoral race when Bill Thompson, an African-American, came within 4 points of mega-bucks Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Al's campaign guru, Roger Stone, has lots of splaining to do re: the Spitzer takedown. Having Al as a client allows Stone to divide the Dem primaries in New York (and nationally in '04) along racial lines, getting a big bang for his buck with explosive tabloid headlines -- which invariably blow up in the face of progressive candidates.

A number of NY's best investigative journalists are convinced that Al is still a Fed asset -- but probably the bigger story is Al's long standing role as lapdog to NY's financial elite, Bloomie et al.
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