MSNBC Should Keep Sharpton

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Al Sharpton is a cartoonishly accurate exemplar of the anti-intellectual vacuum which consumes liberals.

As I perused the endless reams of material required for Outside The Asylum, I happened upon a piece on The Blaze in which Mike Opelka asks: “Should MSNBC fire Al Sharpton for making (well documented) racially insulting and insensitive comments in public?” Opelka goes on to offer a broad outline of Sharpton’s disgraceful dash for cash and fame and also highlights the well-established liberal hypocrisy required to allow a valueless parasite like Sharpton to continue to pollute the public discourse. In truth, Sharpton has made such a spectacle of himself in the same cottage industry exploited by fellow bottom-feeder Jesse Jackson that Opelka went over his word count without even touching on what I consider to be Sharpton’s career-defining moment: the Tawana Brawley hoax.

I have an answer for Opelka: No. Of course, I agree that Sharpton is a cartoonishly accurate exemplar of the anti-intellectual vacuum which consumes liberals. But I’m also a conservative with libertarian stripes. It is MSNBC’s prerogative to immolate its own ratings with the sideshow refugees it features, if that’s what it wants to do. It is its choice to employ the hate-spewing buffoons who have turned their channel into a perennial ratings loser. It is our choice as viewers to watch something more compelling. Check out the drama of the Knitting Channel, where there is almost no chance any teenage girls will end up smeared with feces.

MSNBC certainly seems excited about Sharpton’s presence in its laughingstock of a lineup. If you’ve endured one of its simpering “lean forward” promos, then you have noticed Sharpton is the star of the newest edition; signaling MSNBC’s plan to continue his tenure. For those of you who chose the Knitting Channel, MSNBC’s latest marketing effort involves one of their hosts babbling incomprehensibly for 30 seconds or so, followed by on-screen graphics reminding viewers that the channel exists. “Lean Forward” replaces MSNBC’s previous strategy: “We let Keith Olbermann in the building unsupervised.” That plan worked well enough to earn Olbermann a spot at the foot of Al Gore’s bed.

It’s worth noting that MSNBC is offering Sharpton significantly more support than it did former morning-show host Don Imus, in whose dismissal for racially tinged comments Sharpton played a central role. Imus even offered a private apology to Sharpton, although I don’t understand how Sharpton routinely manages to position himself as the recipient in such cases. Most, if not all, of the victims of Sharpton’s bigoted slander are still waiting for his contrition.

Should we not all long for a day when the most noxious of our political refuse is as isolated as possible? Let MSNBC continue Sharpton’s employment. Of course Sharpton is vermin, but would you rather have the rats isolated in one terrarium or loosed among an unsuspecting public? I vote for the former, and I bear proof. Consider MSNBC’s energetic promotion of the Democrats’ so-called “Occupy” loafers. Just as rats carry fleas, MSNBC carries fleabaggers.

I hope MSNBC never decides to fire Sharpton. I’m a conservative; therefore, I do not share the liberal belief that free speech should be restricted to those who earn liberal approval. Plus, as long as Sharpton is in the spotlight, I am guaranteed material for The Great Eight. Is Sharpton racist, dishonest and crude? Of course he is, but so are his cretinous co-workers. MSNBC should keep Sharpton in the lineup for the same reasons it should keep his network cellmates, The New York Times should keep Frank Rich and Newsweek should keep nearly everyone on its payroll: It keeps them away from the rest of us — and none of them deserve better.

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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