Remember how Al Sharpton was among the first black leaders to speak out in favor of Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal?
My recollection of this was vague at best, tending as I do to dismiss nearly everything coming from Sharpton as insignificant, predictable or clownish.
Then after FCC approval of the merger back in January, Sharpton began appearing more often as a guest on MSNBC, a cable network subsidiary of NBC that performs yeoman's work in public relations for the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.
A July 27 article at The Daily Beast by Wayne Barrett, "Sharpton's Affirmative-Action Win," asks whether Sharpton's expected new show on MSNBC is "payback" for supporting Comcast's merger with NBC Universal. Barrett's article leaves little doubt as to the answer.
CBS's Lesley Stahl played up how Al Sharpton apparently "has gone through something of a metamorphosis" as she spotlighted the "street-protest agitator...now trusted White House adviser" on Sunday's 60 Minutes. Despite pressing Sharpton for his refusal to apologize for the Tawana Brawley hoax, Stahl gushed, "Take a look at Reverend Al...stately in his tailored suits, commanding a national stage."
The journalist front-loaded her superlatives about the liberal flamethrower during her 12-and-a-half minute report in the bottom half of the 8 pm Eastern hour, emphasizing how Sharpton has supposedly become a new man. She also set the tone of the entire segment of choosing to use non-ideological labels to describe her subject, only hinting at his left-of-center politics:
The lead story of the Sunday Metro section was a very long profile by Richard Perez-Pena of Wayne Barrett, former reporter for the alternative left-wing NYC weekly The Village Voice -- “The (Ex) Voice of The Village."
Barrett was previously lionized (along with fellow reporter Tom Robbins) by the Times's Jeremy Peters on January 5 after the two veteran reporters were let go by the left-wing counter-cultural weekly (Sample article title: "I'm Pro-Choice and I F***"). Neither story describes the Voice as a left-wing or liberal publication.