After participating in a smear campaign that removed Rush Limbaugh from possible ownership of the St. Louis Rams, Al Sharpton is threatening the conservative talk radio host with a defamation lawsuit for his op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal Saturday.
In the article titled "The Race Card, Football and Me," Limbaugh wrote:
In 1998 Mr. Sharpton was found guilty of defamation and ordered to pay $65,000 for falsely accusing a New York prosecutor of rape in the 1987 Tawana Brawley case. He also played a leading role in the 1991 Crown Heights riot (he called neighborhood Jews "diamond merchants") and 1995 Freddie's Fashion Mart riot.
According to CNN, Sharpton isn't happy about this:
"Mr. Limbaugh's blatant and defamatory statements regarding the Crown Heights Riots falsely give the impression that Rev. Sharpton was present during the violence that occurred when in reality he had been called in by the family after the violence," Sharpton’s statement says.
"In terms of Freddie's Fashion Mart, Rev. Al Sharpton, along with local elected officials supported the protests. However, a lone gunman who disagreed with the nonviolent nature of the protests entered the store and killed seven people and himself… For Mr. Limbaugh to imply that Rev. Sharpton has anything to do with someone that killed people and himself is blatantly wrong," the statement continues.
The New York Daily News elaborated:
More from the Palm Beach Post:
"I am definitely going to prove he makes reckless, unaccountable statements," Sharpton said. "Which is why he was forced out of buying an NFL team in the first place." [...]
"He doesn't have the right to lie and accuse people of crimes," Sharpton said. "He wants to criminalize me.
"That's what got him in trouble. He tried to criminalize the NFL players, calling them Crips and Bloods."
“Not only did Rush Limbaugh try to criminalize the NFL,” Sharpton told Page2Live, “but now he is saying I’m a criminal. He can call me a race-baiter and all that stuff like he does. But don’t call me a criminal. [...]
“I’ve sued the GOP before and Rush knows that,” Sharpton said. “(Former Republican National Committee Jim) Nicholson accused me of something similar, and I sued (for $30 million). We settled when he issued an apology.
“This is going to cost Rush. He’s making himself look worse.”
Seems a metaphysical certitude the media will have a field day with this.
Whose side do you think they'll take?