The Tavis Smiley Update Desk has replaced the now closed Michael Steele Update Desk. New subject, same old Negro Foolishness.
Every time I think I’m done with Tavis Smiley, he says or does something so ridiculous he forces me to address his garbage all over again. This time he went on Sean “the Hater” Hannity’s show and dropped this little nugget. “I respect the president, I will protect the president, but I will also correct the president when I think he’s wrong.”
Roll around in your head for a moment what kind of monumental egotism it requires to appoint yourself as the President of the United States personal instructor where you can CORRECT him when YOU think he’s wrong.
Smiley’s vendetta against Obama goes back to 2008 when he was backing Hillary Clinton. Nothing wrong with that. Clinton had a lot of Black support and with good cause. But the election is long over and Smiley still can not and will not let it go.
No matter what causes he champions or injustices he rails against, Smiley always finds a way to bring it back to one central point: “Obama ain’t shit.” What makes it worse is Tavis refuses to acknowledge that is his message.
Here’s a dude who went on C-SPAN and bitched, “Once he got elected and my critique of him about holding him accountable to various things didn’t sit so well with him or the people around him, he has not at this point come on my TV or radio programs one time since he’s been in the White House. This is the first president in my professional career that hasn’t invited me to the White House.”
But Smiley turned around to The Grio and said, “I have never leveled a personal criticism of the president. My job has always been to hold presidents accountable to the best interest of all Americans but specifically and unapologetically for [African-Americans] .”
How did Tavis get the job holding presidents “accountable” (his favorite word) and who hired him? It wasn’t me. Was it you?
Smiley cast his lot with Hillary Clinton in 2008 and he’s still crushing on her. His first primetime special for PBS featured an interview with Clinton after she became Secretary of State. One reason for Smiley has publicly grumbled that Obama has not invited him to the White House, Perhaps he figured he’d be sleeping overnight in the Lincoln Bedroom if Hillary had won.
Tavis trotted this “ree-spect, pro-tect and kee-rect” line out on Harvard professor Randall Kennedy, but Kennedy wasn’t having any of it as Les Payne wrote in The Root. His Obama Derangement Syndrome is so intense when he says he’s been friends with Obama for 15 years and he’s never made a personal criticism of him, he genuinely seems to believe it. It’s as if the incident with his blatant disrespect of Michelle Obama never happened at all.
Smiley is so lost in his hatred and jealousy of Obama he’s created his own separate reality where he’s the crusading advocacy journalist and the president is the soulless sell-out whom he must expose. Tavis has wagered his popularity among Black Americans against that of President Obama and that’s no contest at all.
The best takedown of Tavis came not from me or any other cultural critic tired of him running his mouth, but from someone who helped him rise to prominence, Tom Joyner. Joyner penned a devastating critique on Black America Web following TIME columnist and MSNBC contributor Mark Halperin disrespecting the president calling him “a dick.” Joyner said he had no expectation of Halperin, but Smiley and his sidekick, Cornel West had let him down.
“…I’m even more disgusted with Smiley and West, two brothers who I did have expectations of – and thought I knew. These two have done much worse than what Halperin has done because they set the tone for it, opened the door to it, and must take much of the blame for creating a climate that would make a white, professional journalist feel comfortable verbally and vulgarly attacking the first black president of the United States.”
When you think you know a person, when you’ve given a person a forum to present his views, when you’ve had a hand in a person’s success, you want to believe that he is the same person he always was.
Remember THAT Tavis – the one who could take any complicated political story that had an impact on black America and “break it down” for us every Tuesday and Thursday in less than five minutes. The one who coined the phrase “radio advocacy” and alerted us any time anyone – from a private business owner to a politician to a corporate giant – even thought about doing black folks wrong. The Tavis that loved black people so much that he would sometimes, during his commentaries, be moved to tears. Where is that guy? You know, the guy that would have been telling me, “Fly Jock, Halperin has got to go.” For a while, I thought he was still with us, even though people around me (and many of you) tried to convince me otherwise. “Tavis is a hater.” “Tavis is only about himself.” “Tavis is jealous of the president.” I wouldn’t believe any of it. I had so much respect for him before his primary goal became selling books, and, later, selling out.
So, yes, MSNBC, fire Mark Halperin. I hope he never works again. I’ve already fired Tavis and Cornel. There’s nothing either can ever do for me or with me again. I’ve got a new D-word for the two of them: Done
Smiley is an ass. Every day that goes by he becomes just a little less relevant and a lot smaller than the day before. His egotism knows no bounds. He has no humility. He’s petty and vindictive.
I am grateful to Smiley for one thing. I no longer read or buy his books. I no longer watch his television shows. Taking Tavis Smiley out of my private time has saved me plenty of it. Now if he would only shut up for a while I could banish him from my blog as well.
- The Professor Who Schooled Tavis Smiley (theroot.com)
- Tavis Smiley, Professional Obama Critic (oliverwillis.com)
- Tavis Smiley: Don’t call me an Obama critic (thegrio.com)