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Folkenflack: NPR Media Reporter Offers Puffy Profile of Al Sharpton, MSNBC's 'Strong Ratings'

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Can you imagine National Public Radio putting together a story on Glenn Beck featuring only Glenn Beck and his promoters? No? Then try this: On Friday night’s All Things Considered, NPR media reporter David Folkenflik aired a puffy profile of new MSNBC host Al Sharpton featuring only Sharpton, a clip of Obama, and his new boss, MSNBC president Phil Griffin, promoting “a new chapter...a new Sharpton.”

The race-baiter and white-hater moments – like the Tawana Brawley hoax and the Crown Heights riots – were glossed over briefly, as Folkenflik claimed MSNBC’s increasingly radical left-wing lineup has won “strong ratings”...compared to what? Bret Baier is cleaning Sharpton’s clock nightly.

Take Thursday, for example: among the prized demographic of viewers aged 25-54, Baier drew 366,000 viewers, Sharpton just 93,000 (roughly a four-to-one drubbing). Among all viewers, Baier had about 1.679 million viewers, Sharpton only 565,000 (almost three to one).

NPR may think of itself as the place where people “reason together” (so wrote Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep), but stories like this promote a channel that denounces the Tea Party as terrorists and called President Bush every name for evil they would imagine. NPR anchor Melissa Block began by saying “Al Sharpton made his name more for casting heat than light,” but then the unofficial advertising kicked in:

DAVID FOLKENFLIK: So the question that I get everywhere is: What were they thinking? So, Phil, what were you thinking?

PHIL GRIFFIN: I get that from time to time, as well.

FOLKENFLIK: Phil is Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC.

GRIFFIN: I'm a big fan of the Reverend Sharpton. I've known him quite a bit. he's smart. He's entertaining. He's experienced. He's thoughtful. He's provocative, all the things I think that MSNBC is.

FOLKENFLIK: MSNBC won strong ratings by tilting sharply to the left at night, and Sharpton is its newest gamble. He told me he wanted the TV job badly because conservatives now dominate cable television and talk radio.

AL SHARPTON: And they've been able, with that domination, to push a certain kind of political thought that I think is contrary to a lot of the things that I have fought for and continue to fight for all my life.

FOLKENFLIK: Some black journalists questioned the choice, but that's died down and Sharpton says he wants a hearing for racial justice and the plight of the working and middle class on TV.

SHARPTON: You can do that with a bullhorn on the corner at Washington Square Park, but that's not going to compete with a Rush Limbaugh or a Sean Hannity or a Bill O'Reilly. You can't bring mid-20th century techniques to a 21st century fight and expect that you're going to win.

Folkenflik admitted Sharpton’s race-baiting past may “repel” viewers, but of course, he finds an unrepentant Sharpton. He recounts Brawley’s story was found to be without proof, but Sharpton still claims to believe what no else does.

FOLKENFLIK: He said he simply disagrees with the grand jury that investigated Brawley's case, much like a friend of his disagrees with the verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Sharpton told me he has few regrets.

SHARPTON: Maybe some of the theatrics could have been handled different, but the basic point of me standing up behind someone I believe -- if I regret that, then I would have to regret any case that a jury didn't find to be true.

Folkenflik also avoided a complete puff piece by noting the obvious: Sharpton can be a tongue-tied mess:

FOLKENFLIK: Sharpton's not yet silky smooth on the air, at moments evoking Ron Burgundy more than Tom Brokaw.

SHARPTON: Tonight, Alex, the truth was a real casualty last night.

FOLKENFLIK: But as Sharpton as quick to note, he's a talker, not an anchor, and his trademark one-liners are starting to surface once again.

SHARPTON: And I think the DNC should take the Social Security line of Mr. Perry and the attack on Social Security and the Ponzi scheme and put out bumper stickers saying, 'It's not about Obama, it's about your Mama,' and we'll win.

FOLKENFLIK: MSNBC's Griffin says he wasn't hiring the Al Sharpton of the Tawana Brawley or Crown Heights controversies. It's a new chapter, he says, for a new Sharpton.

This kind of story is especially jaw-dropping considering that Folkenflik's primary obsession of the last few months has been chasing Rupert Murdoch around the British phone-hacking scandal. Visitors to can often click on "Lean Forward" ads on the website. But they also run as "news" on NPR's air.


#1 Strong Ratings for Al Sharpton?

The only ways this idiot is entertaining is if he does every piece of commentary yelling into a megaphone, or reverts to his stage appearances on the old Morton Downey Jr. show.

"Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets". - Robert DeNiro, Taxi Driver (1976).

#2 David Folkentrïcken to Rev, Tawana Sharpyton

Repuff we much.

#3 Yep, nothin to see here...

FOLKENFLIK: "Some black journalists questioned the choice, but that's died down".
The black joronos get ignored just like ad revenue!


#4 black journos

Ain't affirmative action a bitch!!!


#5 When you are at the bottom

When you are at the bottom rung of the ladder even one step is a "step up".

I love how they spin "one step up from pond scum" as good for ol'e Al.

#6 For those of us who watched the Tawana Brawley melodrama . . .

. . . unfold and the race-baiting antics of Sharpton and the two attorneys Mason and Maddox, no amount of puff-piecing can ever erase the stain of this racist sham.

#7 I pitty the people who work under Phil Griffin at MessNBC...

GRIFFIN: I'm a big fan of the Reverend Sharpton. I've known him quite a bit. he's smart. He's entertaining. He's experienced. He's thoughtful. He's provocative, all the things I think that MSNBC is.

Phil needs to keep the Messiah Obama , the Affirmative Action group , NAACP, Black Caucus happy; why else would anyone with a working brain would make such statements on the airwaves about good old "Al"? Either Phil needs to keep his job at MessNBC, or, he really is the master clown at the circus that this cable channel is.

No one at this cable channel can call themselves; smart, experienced, thoughtful and provocative. Is more of the opposite; ignorant, boring, inexperienced, thoughtless, hateful, instigaters, rude, racists bullies. Give me a @*#&#* break.

#8 Is it any wonder they have camera robots now?

They couldn't erase the laughter from human camera people fast enough to keep it off the air. 

Is it really Phil Griffin running MessNBC, or Peter Griffin from Family Guy?

To re-elect Obama would be like the Titanic backing up and hitting the iceberg again.

#9 Strong ratings?

How about strong rantings...rantings of a lunatic.

#10 Comparing a serious news show

Comparing a serious news show like Brett's to Sharpton's is kind of mean. Brett has balance.

Nuke em til they glow; then shoot em in the dark

#11 Compared to "UFO Talk" on public access at 3 AM?

Al's ratings have been in the sewer, just like the rest of MSNBC.

#12 Achtung! Der Folkenflick is back!

Achtung! Der Folkenflickerflakenfliker is back! After a month at the Goebbels Institute for Advanced Propaganda, he showed us his newly learned skills by interviewing a, dare I say it, a member of an inferior race? This was done to show that "Der Folken," as his friends call him, had learned his lessons well. Always praise the inferior and denigrate the superior. Next week, "Der Folken" will interview a nine year old boy (Wearing an Obama Youth (Brown) shirt) who e-mailed the Government's Minister of Justice to report his parents who were speaking out against the regime. They were overheard discussing the idea of a flat tax. Verboten! Yes, "Der Folken" is the one to listen to. After all, now he is fully trained and qualified to speak ourt on a myriad of subjects We VILL listen! I happened by his office yesterday, and hanging on the wall behind his desk are tthree pictures. One of our Fearless Leader, one of Josef Goebbels and one of Freddie's Fashion Mart.......Before the guy with the bullhorn showed up.

Pray for our nation.

#13 You mean there are people who actually watch MSDNC???

I'm surprised that people are actually tuning in to the dreck offered not only by Rev. Sharpton, but by the rest of the MSDNC gang (or, as Mark Levin calls it, MSLSD). If I turn it on by accident, I listen for a few seconds, get sick to my stomach and turn back to Fox...I pity the poor fools who actually keep MSDNC on all day!

#14 Huh?

"GRIFFIN: I'm a big fan of the Reverend Sharpton. I've known him quite a bit. he's smart. He's entertaining. He's experienced. He's thoughtful. He's provocative, all the things I think that MSNBC is."

What can you do but shake your head. The question isn't how $harpton got his job, the question is how Griffin got his?

#15 MSNBC's priorities

FolkenFlacken's priorities for the "lean forward" news network:

1. Be smart. Rev. Tawana Sharpyton?
2. Be entertaining. That's no. 2, and climbing. Roone Arledge couldn't have said it better.
3. Be experienced. Apparently a Jimi Hendrix quality.
4. Be thoughtful. Sharpyton? Really?
5. Be provocative. Okay, he got that right.

"All the things that MSNBC is."

That's all? Nothing about being a good journalist? Being able to speak a coherent sentence? Being able to read a teleprompter?

#16 Hope that MSDNC keeps Sharpton

He is a poster boy for liberal stupidity. We should all hope he stays there along with Matthews, Maddow, and the other cast of liberal fools.

Chris H. Beyer Right of Way Pundit

#17 You can't say that, you crypto-racist

Rev. Tawana Sharpyton is a poster MAN for liberal stupidity (but, as Mark Twain put it, I repeat myself).

#18 Are we still sayin "Gag me

Are we still sayin "Gag me with a spoon" around this place :) LMAO

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on"--Thomas Jefferson

#19 Well, at least they didn't

Well, at least they didn't put Sharpton on a real news channel.


#20 Sharpton does have strong ratings

One viewer for liberal shows is a weak rating, two viewers is a strong rating and three is ludicrous. Sharpo Racist has two - Joy and himself.


Jesus Loves You so much He died for you

#21 NPR props up MSNBC, both of which are

firmly attached to Soros' teat. "Socialism is fine until you run out of Soros' money."

#22 Piece of trash

Alfraud Sharpton can't even speak english and M.S.N.B.C. the Obama propaganda network gives this piece of trash a job.Sharpton is hateful,incompetent,racist,a tax cheater,a jew hater,and an imbecil.The only thing that Sharpton does well is he is a good black/mailer.O'Donnell,Matthews,Maddow,Schultz,Sharpton and the rest of M.S.N.B.C.can't wait to smell Obama's rear end everyday.

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