After weeks of speculation MSNBC announced today that they have signed the Rev. Al Sharpton to host a new show in the 6 p.m. time slot on the network.
The show will be called Politics Now and replaces the failed Cenk Uygur show that was canceled last month.
When the rumors first surfaced that Sharpton might actually be hired a few weeks ago MSNBC was criticized by the National Association of Black Journalists because they thought the job should go to a black journalist, which Sharpton is not. In addition to the NABJ’s objections, Sharpton has had a few other miscues like stumbling a few weeks ago when trying to read the teleprompter and last week when he suffered through an agonizing 20 seconds or so of dead air time.
But MSNBC President Phil Griffin was undaunted and praised Sharpton in a press release issued today:
“I’ve known Rev. Sharpton for over a decade and have tremendous respect for him. He has always been one of our most thoughtful and entertaining guests,” said Griffin. “I’m thrilled that he’s now reached a point in his career where he’s able to devote himself to hosting a nightly show. ‘PoliticsNation’ is going to be an incredibly strong kick-off to our evening schedule.”
Thoughtful and entertaining? What about fair and accurate? Then again, we are talking about MSNBC.
Sharpton also commented in the MSNBC press release about his new job:
“I am very happy and honored to join the MSNBC team as we collectively try to get America to ‘Lean Forward,’” said Sharpton. “It is a natural extension of my life work and growth. We all learn from our pain and stand up from our stumbling and one must either learn to lean forward or fall backwards. I’m glad they have given me the opportunity to continue my forward lean.”
That would be great except no one really understands what MSNBC means by “Lean Forward,” and based on his statement Sharpton doesn’t know either.
Griffin was determined to give his buddy Sharpton the job and luckily his ratings were nominally better than Uygur’s, giving Griffin just the opening he needed to hire Sharpton.
It’s nice to see MSNBC doing their part to lower the unemployment rate for Obama.