Race-baiter turned MSNBC host Al Sharpton garnered an egregiously fawning profile in Monday's New York Times, which has long hailed the "civil rights leader" while glossing over or ignoring his racially inflammatory past (Tawana Brawley, "white interlopers").
The worst criticism reporters Nikita Stewart and Jason Horowitz can muster in "A Slimmed-Down Sharpton Savors an Expanded Profile": Sharpton was once "divisive" and "overweight" in his gold medallion and track-suit days. But now he has the White House's ear and an even wider field for activism: "The slimmer Mr. Sharpton gets, the more space he takes up....for him, these are very good days."
In little more than 24 hours this weekend, the Rev. Al Sharpton led a march on Staten Island to protest the death of a black man in police custody, went to Washington to appear on “Meet the Press” and flew to Ferguson, Mo., where on Monday he is to eulogize the 18-year-old black man whose fatal shooting by the police set off days of unrest.
In between, Mr. Sharpton talked by phone to Valerie Jarrett, a White House adviser and presidential confidante, who told him that representatives of the Obama administration would be at the funeral for the 18-year-old, Michael Brown. It was an hour before she announced the news on Twitter, and well before the release of an official White House announcement.
From an overweight Brooklyn firebrand clad in tracksuits and draped in medallions, Mr. Sharpton has transformed himself into the White House’s civil rights leader of choice, an incessantly televised pundit, and even a poster child for a strict diet of salad and juice.