The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

24 August 2011

Caller Has Al Sharpton Flustered: 'We Just Tune Out Obama'


Can An Obamist Mouthpiece Survive In Cable Talk?

If Huey Lewis is still around, we've got a great song idea, one inspired by the Reverend Al Sharpton: "I Need A New Schtick". Can the latter really expect to survive in the cutthroat world of cable talk carrying water for this unbelievably unpopular president?

If one thing saves Sharpton, it will be MSNBC's lack of viewer phone-in segments. That's what's killing the radio program.

But he'll still need ratings, right? So far, he's been crushed not only by FOX but even sad-sack rival CNN. Yesterday, for example, he pulled a meager 647,000 viewers versus 1,148,000 for CNN's Wolf Blitzer and 2,301,000 for Bret Baier on Fox.

In radio, Sharpton's been able to hide behind station affiliates and markets so small they don't show up in the ratings or aren't ranked by Arbitron in the first place. That won't work in cable.

So far, there's no sign of flexibility, he's determined to go down with the Obamist ship. Even Gaddafi's loyalists are beginning to throw in the towel, but Sharpton is like a barnacle stuck to the boat.

From today's radio program, watch as yet another African-American caller critical of Obama is met with Al's typical trickery and filibustering (though he does seem more flustered than usual here):

KELLY IN CHICAGO (20:59): What can the President say when he comes back here that we haven’t already heard about how he’s going to create jobs? I’ve heard it so many times that it’s almost now I think people tune it out now. I really do.

AL SHARPTON: I think you raised a good question, not only what could he say, but I think the second part of that Kelly is that if we are genuinely concerned, hold on a minute because I want to talk about this with you. [Segment ends]

SHARPTON (30:55): We are talking to Kelly, Kelly in Chicago. Kelly what my fear is my concern what you said. All right the President comes and says whatever about dealing with the people that are most needy and certainly I agree with that and that’s what the march is about, those of us that are most impacted if he says that and we feel better, says the speech a week from after the march he goes off TV then what? And that’s my real concern is that at some point do we want ot feel better or do we really want to get something done? And to get something done, what is the strategy? And what I’m trying to say and going to lay out at the march is that unless we are going to put pressure, not only on the President to make this a priority, but on the Congress including out legislators to come up with legislation that can address that and that they can get passed, we are only playing with our people.

KELLY IN CHICAGO: Ah you know at this point Rev, Sharpton I do believe and we’ve all heard the phrase ‘well done is better than well said.’ I think we all know the President can give a great speech. He’s got to come back with a great plan. We can blame Congress and rightfully so, but the President is the leader and see when Al Sharpton [Sharpton interrupts]

SHARPTON: He’s not the leader of Congress. That I’m not going to agree with you.

Sharpton's on-air crutch is that it "feels better" to criticize Obama, "but if we want to get something done", then unquestioning praise for the Dear Leader is necessary. Sorry buddy, cable will demand more than this. Are you up to the task?


  • Weird Al Sharpton is finding out that it is nearly impossible to buy crediblilty & trust when you have the sort of 25 year record he has built. Sharpton is bad for buisiness on a number of levels. He is out of his skillset when he tries to use a script & a teleprompter. He also will have issues being the host in a tightly controled sysytem. When he is a guest on someone else's show, he can say what he wants, but as a host, he owns it, & so does his bosses. Sharpton also has trouble when confronted with opposing views when the truth/facts are not on his side. Callers to his radio show have exposed this over & over lately. In short, Al has a show, for now, & it will be very hard to get rid of him since they have very low standards for performance. When he goes, not if, but when, he will be paid big time. He won't deserve it, but MSNBC/NBC/ComCast/GE will deserve to pay him, because they should have known exactly what they were getting into bed with.

    By Anonymous danybhoy, at 25 August, 2011 23:33  

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