Al Sharpton, Tavis Smiley to Speak At Left-Wing D.C. Right-to-AIDS-Care Protest

MSNBC’s Al Sharpton and PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley are both going activist on Sunday, July 22 by speaking at a protest march coinciding with the 19th International AIDS Conference. Other speakers include actress/comedian Margaret Cho, singer Wyclef Jean, and radical-left professor Cornel West (Smiley’s public-radio partner). 

The march’s sponsor, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, insists that "health care is a right" and  is angry at President Obama from the left for not speaking at the AIDS conference, while former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton appear. "In the 1980s, 'Silence Equaled Death.' Today, President Obama's ongoing silence on AIDS equals death for millions," claimed AHF president Michael Weinstein.

It might be a little surprising that Sharpton, one of Obama's most ardent supporters, would line up with this Obama-bashing outfit. But they certainly were willing to butter him up in the press release:

“Reverend Al Sharpton is fearless in calling for justice and equality for all and he will certainly sound that message at the ‘Keep the Promise’ march and rally, calling attention to the dire need for resources for those living with HIV/AIDS, many of whom are often left out of the political debates when health disparities are discussed,” said Cynthia Davis, Assistant Professor at the Medical Sciences Institute at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, who has been serving on the Board of Directors at AIDS Healthcare Foundation for 24 years. “Al Sharpton’s leadership on civil rights issues will bring a much-needed call to action and remind us that there is still much more to be done until we stop AIDS once and for all.”

Smiley and West came as the usual left-wing package deal:

“I am extremely honored at the thought of sharing the stage with both Mr. Smiley and Dr. West. They have courage to speak truths that some would rather let go unheard. We need and welcome their voices and their passion in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Smiley and West will address the crowd from the stage at the Washington Monument grounds before the start of the historic “Keep the Promise” March on Washington. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear the two luminaries of our time discuss what the fight against AIDS means for America and the World.

AHF will also use the event to promote their "Condom Nation" tour, with their "specially-designed 70-foot long, 18 wheel Condom Nation big rig truck  which has been on a groundbreaking 25-state, 40-city, six-month nationwide tour to select cities, towns and states handing out millions of free condoms and providing safer sex information and free HIV testing in conjunction with local partners."  They're promising to "distribute more than 1.3 million condoms during the conference week."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis