Tavis Talks Mo’ Trash

Tavis Talks Trash

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.

Holding hands and making all kinds of plans

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.

A message from the First Lady to Smiley the Saboteur

4 thoughts on “Tavis Talks Mo’ Trash

  1. Sorry, I just can’t hold the same type of vehemence against Smiley that everyone else does. I never really liked him. I do think he’s a little arrogant. But that’s what got him as far as he’s gotten. Black people never seemed to mind before.

    I also see a lot of people bringing Smiley down for ego tripping but no one ever addresses the substance of his arguments. The fact is, Obama has let us down. He promised hope and change and he has not delivered. Every policy decision, even healthcare, further entrenches the status quo which has proved devastating to the black community as a whole.

    And the main point is, Obama doesn’t have to listen to the needs of black people because he was never beholden to the African-American community the way he is beholden corportate interests. Much of his rise had nothing to do with us. Besides, one of the ways a culture and people can show growing political and social maturity is the ability to critisize our leaders without feeling as if the whole world is coming apart. If black people can’t do that in this day and age, then we are truly lost.


  2. “The fact is, Obama has let us down. He promised hope and change and he has not delivered.”

    When you say “us,” you mean blacks, right? There’s much to criticizes Obama for–for example, the continuation of the war in Afghanistan (although he never promised to end that war, but to reengage it); not prosecuting Bush and Cheney for war crimes; not taking on the financial sector that enshrined “too big to fail”; and a host of other policy issues.

    But to suggest that Obama hasn’t delivered at all, and it’s evidenced by “[e]very policy decision, even healthcare, further entrench[ing] the status quo which has proved devastating to the black community as a whole,” is flat out wrong.

    Democrats’ “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” will deliver more health care for black communities than it will deprive. Would I have liked for it to go further, Medicare for all, or a Public Option? Unquestionably! But would those provisions have passed a hostile, obstructionist congress? You already know the answer.

    I might add: the “Affordable Care Act” benefits all races, including blacks. Putting that aside for now: I didn’t vote for Obama because he promised me, as a black person, something tangible–for example, black reparations, or some other black-only benefit. He didn’t make such promises, and I didn’t expect him to “deliver” on them, or any other black set asides.

    Contrasted with the presidential ticket of McCain-Palin, the Obama-Biden choice was obvious, as it was for many Americans in this country. I still believe that we’re better off for the choice we made.

    Remember, Obama’s policies increased federal dollars to HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), and provided restitution for black farmers, although Republicans in congress resisted this bit of “Hope and Change.”

    He ended DATA (“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”) which effected all races, including blacks, allowing the military to retain much-needed skills (translators and pilots) at a time when this nation is at war.

    The “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” (The Stimulus), retained or created jobs in the millions. Many of those jobs belonged to teachers and first responders. Some of those teachers and responders were black.

    I’m convinced: had the Stimulus not passed congress, this country would be in a depression, and blacks would be the worst for it.

    “Besides, one of the ways a culture and people can show growing political and social maturity is the ability to criticize our leaders without feeling as if the whole world is coming apart. If black people can’t do that in this day and age, then we are truly lost.”

    We’re “lost,” and our “whole world is coming apart,” to be sure, but it has nothing to do with “criticism” of the president, or the lack thereof. It has a lot to do with the un-holy alliance between government (not just the Obama administration, but the whole of congress) and the private sector–not just on the federal level, but the state and local levels as well.

    Corruption abounds, as do “pay to play,” where politicians use their sizable power and influence to fill their reelection coffers by selling favors for campaign donations.

    Our interest as a nation is often subjugated to private interest, whether through our tax codes, our trading policies, or our banking policies, benefiting corporations, and allowing financial institutions to invest (gamble) with little or no capital reserve.

    The system is rigged–that is, tilted toward corporatist interest. It started before Obama, and it will take more than Obama to fix the problem. Neither side, Democrat or Republican, have the political will to rebalance the system in favor of consumers and tax payers–the American people.

    It’s one thing to criticize the president, which I do often. It’s yet another thing to use that criticism to drive a wedge between blacks and this president, ostensibly for the purpose of “tearing him down,” and quashing his bid for reelection–which, I believe, is the motive of Smiley and West.


  3. Jeff, I hope you continue countering him every time he opens his mouth. PLEASE!!!

    Swandiver, it’s not what got Tavis this far, it’s who. Tom Joyner elevated Tavis to where he is and then he bit the hand that fed him. Tavis was fired from BET, fired from Tom Joyner and now is a small fish in a small pond on PBS. His next stop is likely FoxNews given his Hannity performance. Have you noticed that everything he does is always accompanied by a book? Or is sponsored by major corporations? Ironic when he’s on tour talking about Obama being a puppet to “plutocrats” or whatever word West wants to resurrect from 17th century English.

    Tavis has created his own literary chittlin circuit with West, Dyson and others.

    I ain’t falling for that shit…


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