Bloomberg's Carlson Tells Sharpton to Get Away from Trayvon: 'I See a Demagogue with Kerosene'

Former Time editor Margaret Carlson pleaded Tuesday night at Bloomberg.com “Dear Al Sharpton: Leave Trayvon Martin Alone.” She began: “The last thing the family of Trayvon Martin needs is Al Sharpton.”

Carlson agrees with the liberal line that deep-seated American racism is on trial, but she added: “Every time the screen fades from a picture of Martin to Sharpton, I see a demagogue with kerosene.” The establishment credential offered by Comcast and MSNBC doesn’t matter:

Yes, Sharpton may now be a semi-respectable MSNBC host, but he also makes it harder to hear the pleas of parents telling us that the situation confronting their young sons is so dangerous that they have to school them in safe behavior from an early age: Don’t put your hand in your pocket. Don’t walk too close to a white woman or her purse. Don’t stay in a store if a salesperson is eyeing you. And don’t wear a hoodie -- advice that Martin, like millions of others, did not heed.

Sharpton needs Martin, but Martin’s family doesn’t need Sharpton. If anything good is to come from the case of Trayvon Martin, it will be that it forces Americans to see how much more we need to do to make it safe for a black child in America. Sharpton doesn’t help us with that. Instead, he gives those who most need to join this cause a reason not to.

Carlson doesn't want to consider anything that might weigh against Trayvon in a legal case:

As with rape victims, the past is now being mined for evidence that Martin asked for that bullet to the chest. Some Facebook photos and a residue of marijuana in a plastic bag, which got him suspended from school, have been adduced. However upsetting to his teachers and parents these revelations may be, they have nothing to do with what happened that night. He died for the crime of Walking While Black, or maybe Eating Skittles While Black.

Carlson remembered how Sharpton made himself a national figure by hitching his wagon to the false charges of Tawana Brawley:

The role of Al Sharpton in this case would be to divert attention from Trayvon Martin and onto Al Sharpton. This is what happened with the Tawana Brawley case in 1987, when Sharpton was a perpetrator of racial injustice intent on making a name for himself. Sharpton joined two other black activists, Alton Maddox Jr. and C. Vernon Mason, in glomming onto 15-year-old Brawley, who’d disappeared for four days from her upstate New York home and was found lying unresponsive in a black garbage bag, smeared with dog feces, with racial slurs written on her body. She claimed that two to six white men had abducted and repeatedly raped her.

There was no forensic evidence to back up her story. In fact, there was much evidence to indicate she was lying, that Sharpton knew she was lying, and that he didn’t care as long as the cameras were clicking. Brawley refused to testify on the advice and with the support of Sharpton, who said to cooperate would be like “asking someone who watched someone killed in the gas chamber to sit down with Mr. Hitler.” He didn’t relent even after local authorities were removed and a special prosecutor named.

As it turned out, there were so many inconsistencies in Brawley’s story that the grand jury threw out the case. 

Carlson isn't considering that the media pack on the Trayvon Martin's death isn't following any technicalities about the presumption of the innocent. They didn't want anyone waterboarding "alleged" 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, but George Zimmerman shouldn't be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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