Al Sharpton’s new show, Politics Nation, officially debuted Monday night and the initial reviews were less than stellar.
Entertainment Weekly‘s Ken Tucker said the show wasn’t worth watching yet, calling the initial show an awkward 60 minutes among other things.
The Rev. Al Sharpton premiered PoliticsNation on MSNBC Monday evening with an hour of booming bombast and near-obliviousness, as he steam-rolled over his guests, interrupting them to ask long, halting questions. At one point he acted as though he was having an argument with his teleprompter and said with exasperation to a guest, “Well, let me just ask you my way: Is the Tea Party going to destroy the Republican Party?” Please, Al, can’t every question be asked your way?
MSNBC is going down a wayward road in hiring Sharpton, because it makes the channel look desperate to throw on its screen someone who’s a familiar media face. Sharpton is at this point primarily just a ratings ploy.
The New York Times also chimed in with their disappointment in Sharpton’s show.
Mr. Sharpton, like so many of his colleagues on MSNBC, started his television career as a guest, one who could always be counted on to weigh in with brio and savvy. He’s more subdued and dull as a host, weighed down by that teleprompter, which he is still uncomfortable reading, and by a desire for gravitas.
Sharpton told his viewers that he wasn’t “going to be a robotic host reading the teleprompter like a robot” while introducing the show, and promised that he wasn’t about “to come in here and do the James Brown and do the electric slide to prove to you that I’m not stiff.”
Based on the initial reviews, though, it might have been far more entertaining if he had channeled a little of the Godfather of Soul to add a little spice to an otherwise dull program.