Tavis & West Radio Show Edits Out Harry Belafonte Criticism of Obama on Satellite Re-Feed

How do you get a liberal talk radio host to do your bidding?

Easy. Just threaten his future invitations to White House events if you are a Democrat president. Such was apparently the case with Tavis Smiley of the Smiley & West radio show which he co-hosts with Cornell West. According to Politico, Smiley was recently ousted as the speaker of the upcoming Martin Luther King luncheon.

Tavis Smiley, the PBS talk show host who has criticized President Barack Obama for not doing enough for the African-American community, says he was ousted as the speaker at a Martin Luther King luncheon because he was trying to hold the president accountable.

Brian Maloney at the Radio Equalizer believes that Smiley has finally gotten his "mind right" about criticizing Obama. His evidence is the fact that the Smiley & West show edited out critical remarks about Obama made by actor/singer Harry Belafonte on the satellite re-feed of the show.

Yesterday's edition of the syndicated Smiley & (Cornel) West show featured Harry Belafonte detailing his ongoing unhappiness with the Obama Administration.

Though Belafonte did this previously in July 2011, something about yesterday's grievances caused an odd case of audio editing for the evening's satellite re-feed to public radio affiliates across the country. But we've managed to isolate the apparently offending passage and offer it to you here:

Here is the transcript of the censored portion of the Harry Belafonte interview which was discovered by Maloney:

HARRY BELAFONTE: When I think of Barack Obama and I think about all that is at stake here I’ve really long since left talking about how many terms he will be as a president. My question is what legacy will he leave having had the opportunity to serve under such hugely dramatic circumstances and boggled the mind and boggled people’s thinking and had such a huge impact on the universal state of things.

And how could he have had such a splendid opportunity to do more than most presidents would have ever been able to do and he let that opportunity slip away from him. And I am very cautious of the fact of those who thinks that he has some hidden agenda and that if only he could be given a second term for us to see the new light new things will be revealed. A new efforts will be made to take us to a place other than where we have been and where we languish.

I just don’t trust that. I don’t think that a safe way an accurate way to look at the scenario. I think if there was the kind of moral compass serving Barack Obama in the way we had all hoped, the moral force would have helped him make choices. The absence of that force in his equations the absence of that barometer to guide him when he has to make these decision which are hugely complicated, especially from the political perspective. He should have come to the table with things that I think would have helped us in this moment of crisis.

Maloney speculates about the reasons for censoring out this controversial portion of the interview:

So what's the problem, is it simply too close to the election? Is Smiley attempting to tone things down after the MLK disinvite? Or was it something in particular Belafonte said? If we find out you'll be the first to know.

And if Tavis Smiley can come up with a plausible explanation for this blatant censorship we sure would like to know. Oh, and if Smiley is worried about future White House invites, your humble correspondent would recommend that he show up in disguise for events like the Alice in Wonderland party next Halloween. Humpty Dumpty or the Mad Hatter? Your choice Mr. Smiley.

Finally, a Harry Belafonte type calypso song for Tavis Smiley to sing on his show as composed by my DUmmie FUnnies co-conspirator, Charles Henrickson:

OBAMA HOST SONG (Yay O!)
Tune: “Banana Boat Song (Day O)”
Sung by Tavis Smiley

Yay O, yay-ay-ay O!
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home
Yay, me say yay, me say yay, me say yay, me say yay, me say yay-ay-ay O!
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home

O’s all right, see me Smiley face
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home
Back Obama till he win dis race
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home

Come, mister edit man, edit Belafonte
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home
Come, mister edit man, edit Belafonte
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home

Do six-year, seven-year, eight-year bump!
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home
Six-year, seven-year, eight-year bump!
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home

Yay, me say yay-ay-ay O!
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home
Yay, me say yay, me say yay, me say yay . . .
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home

A beautiful bunch, dat Team Obama
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home
Hide what isn’t “Hail, hosanna!”
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home

Do six-year, seven-year, eight-year bump!
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home
Six-year, seven-year, eight-year bump!
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home

Yay, me say yay-ay-ay O!
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home
Yay, me say yay, me say yay, me say yay . . .
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home

Come, mister edit man, edit Belafonte
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home
Come, mister edit man, edit Belafonte
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home

Yay O, yay-ay-ay O!
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home
Yay, me say yay, me say yay, me say yay, me say yay, me say yay-ay-ay O!
Invite come, me don’ wan’ stay home

P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick is a freelance writer and creator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog.