MSNBC obliterated the notion of separating news hosts and their political activism when the network brass gave Rev. Al Sharpton a nightly show two years ago.
It was just another day at the office when Sharpton held a rabble-rousing rally for Trayvon Martin in the afternoon and then covered it on his show hours later.
But Saturday’s rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington was the most dramatic conflict of interest yet. Sharpton organized the rally (with Martin Luther King III), and MSNBC aired huge chunks of it live, including all 20 minutes of Sharpton’s screaming keynote speech. An MSNBC press release said they’d be promoting the rally from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
On Friday night, MSNBC gave Sharpton two hours of “pre-game” to promote the rally. On Sunday morning, he appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to pose as Rev. King. On Sept. 6, MSNBC will give Sharpton yet another two hours in prime time for an “Advancing the Dream” special.