Tavis Smiley’s Pathetic Paranoia and Increasing Irrelevance

Always complaining. Increasingly irrelevant.

The job of the artist, the activist and the journalist is to engage in uncomfortable analysis.  If they don’t then all they’re feeding the masses is a steady diet of nothing but comfort food.  There is no intellectual nourishment in always entertaining people.

Then there’s Tavis Smiley.  The self-appointed President of Black America who has been both a race hustler and a shameless corporate shill even as he prowls the country on a “poverty tour” designed for no other reason than to try to embarrass the twice-elected President of the United States.

Not that is has.  Lately nobody seems to notice Tavis  and his stunts.  His pandering for press attention has reached Lindsay Lohan levels of desperation.   For a minute it was fun to watch Smiley babble how he was going to hold Barack Obama “accountable.”   It became clear Smiley really desired Obama to be accountable to him.

That’s when the rank odor of Smiley’s bullshit finally became overwhelming.   Smiley used the 10th anniversary of his PBS television program to accuse the White House of pressuring advertisers to abandon his show and of course he had a reason why they would go after him.

“This administration does not like to be criticized. And the irony of it is, there’s nothing I have tried to hold the president accountable on that my white progressive colleagues have not…They’re labeled courageous critics, but if I say it, I’m an ‘Obama critic.’ There’s race at play in the very question…“I don’t have an anti-Barack agenda but this is what I do: My job is to raise questions of accountability.”

Oh Tavis, really?  Now you’re so desperate to play the victim you’re reduced to hiding behind your “White progressive colleagues” as your beard?  Negro, please.   Your “White progressive colleagues” aren’t the ones  grinding an axe since 2008 when you began your “I Hate Obama” campaign after he declined to appear at your State of Black America conference  to kiss your arrogant ass.

The causal observer may notice when Smiley speaks about President Obama he asserts he’s only trying to hold him accountable.   This might lead you to think that was Smiley’s favorite word.   Perhaps it is and not simply the title of a book Smiley wrote that bombed.   Here’s the thing about that word.  It can be applied to Smiley too as it was in 2009 when citizen journalist Faye Anderson looked into the race hustlers rewarding relationship with Wells Fargo in pushing sub-prime loans to African-Americans.

Smiley’s complete lack of credibility and anti-Obama  agenda has subjected him to a withering barrage of criticism for his latest unsubstantiated charges against the president.

Shannon Williams: Over the years I have watched Smiley go from a balanced public speaker who offered credible and thought-provoking perspective to his analyses to a bitter man who has used his platform to unjustly attack people who, in his opinion, have treated him in a bad or disrespectful manner. It almost seems as if he has had some sort of breakdown over the years that has caused him to speak in a vindictive and erratic manner. Though a breakdown would be a good escape goat, I think Smiley’s true problem is an overinflated ego. When people haven’t done what he thinks they should do, that ego gets bruised and Smiley gets angry. The way he “repays” the “wrongdoers” is he publically talks about them under the guise that he is holding them accountable.

Accountability is a marvelous thing that we all should be held to, but the said conclusions need to be derived from a thorough and fair judgment system. Public accountability cannot hold a personal vendetta.

Eric Wattree:  …why would Tavis’s corporate benefactors even want to hide the fact that they were being pressured by Obama? Trying to put pressure on Walmart, Nationwide Insurance, or Exxon/Mobile would not only be extremely dumb on the part of the administration, but it would be a gift from God to Tavis’s ALEC connected corporate benefactors. Can you just imagine what Darrell Issa could do with something like that in his House Oversight Kangaroo Committee? He’d turn it into Watergate.
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So it seems that yet again Tavis is being deluded by his overblown ego – the same ego that made him assume that Obama had an obligation to come on his “State of the Black Union” show to be anointed by Tavis to run for president; the same ego that made him think that he’s been slighted when Obama failed to do so; the same ego that caused him to go all over the media complaining that “For the very first time in my career I haven’t been invited to the White House;” and the very same ego that made him think that he had enough clout in the Black community to challenge the first Black president of the United States.
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The fact is, President Obama hasn’t given either Tavis Smiley, or Cornel West, a second thought since he’s been in office. He hasn’t had to, because he, like just about everyone else in America – at least, with good sense – could see that he didn’t have to. Tavis and West were making themselves look like perfect fools on their own accord, so the president didn’t have to say, or do a thing. All he had to do was sit back and watch them implode – and that’s exactly what he’s done.

Michael H. Cottman: In a month where Republicans have accused Obama of everything imaginable –with the possible exception of Robert Griffin III’s knee injury — it seems that Smiley snagged a timely moment to pile on.

I would argue that the White House doesn’t care enough about Smiley to assemble a team of administration officials who would surreptitiously spend time thinking up new and creative ways to suppress Smiley’s voice.

Smiley says his self-imposed mandate in life is to hold Obama’s feet to the fire and keep him accountable to black people. That’s his choice and his path to follow, but I don’t believe there’s a clandestine campaign within the Obama administration that is secretly trying to shut Smiley down.

He’s just not that important.

Couldn’t have said it any better myself.    There is no reason for Obama to sic the dogs on Smiley because his importance is largely in his own mind and his impact is nil.   Take down Tavis?   Why bother?  He doing a fine job of it all by himself.

Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

Fox News: If It’s Black, We Attack!

Common: threat or menace? Both, according to Fox News.

Last week The White House invited several rappers and hip-hop artists, including Common and Jill Scott to a poetry performance.

And Fox News went on the attack.  The target of their wrath?  Common, the so-called “conscious rapper.”

Bill O’Reilly:

First lady Michelle Obama invited a number of poets to read their works at the White House Wednesday night. Among them is a rapper named Common, who is controversial to say the least.

This guy has sympathized with convicted cop killers. He also does the usual rap stuff, touting guns and other anti-social behavior. In addition, he is a friend of Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

So why on earth would the president and first lady invite this man to the White House?

The answer, I believe, is that the Obamas do not understand the sensibilities of many Americans. We saw that during the campaign with the president’s comments on guns and religion.

The real issue that Jay Carney dodged is about appropriate behavior. Murdered police officers is not something you rap about lightly. Common has no idea what happened, yet he has taken an irresponsible position.

The president and first lady have made a major mistake in inviting this man to the White House. He surely does not deserve that honor.

Sarah Palin:

“You know, the White House’s judgment on inviting someone who would glorify cop killing during Police Memorial Week, of all times, you know, the judgment–it’s just so lacking of class and decency and all that’s good about America with an invite like this.”

Sean Hannity:

It seems this administration will never learn its lesson. Tomorrow, Michelle Obama is set to host an evening of poetry and will welcome a slew of poets, musicians, students from all across the country to the White House. Among them is a controversial rapper and poet, Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., better known as Common. Now, he’s a staunch supporter of the president and has a running list of controversial comments.

Two thousand and seven, during an HBO’s “Def Poetry” appearance, Common called for the burning of President George W. Bush. Now the poem reads — I’m not the best at this — “Burn a Bush cos’ for peace he no push no button, killing over oil and grease, no weapons of mass destruction, how can we follow a leader when this is a corrupt one?”

Common, not surprisingly, is also associated with Obama’s pastor more than 20 years, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Look at this video of Common performing at Trinity United Church of Christ on New Year’s Eve 2007.

Fox News: The most dishonest name in news

As far as rappers go, Common is about as dangerous as a Cosby kid and all these prissy, tight-ass White folks tut-tut-tutting President Obama and the First Lady is nothing more than Fox going back into attack mode against the successful capturing and killing of Osama bin Laden.  Now it’s time to knock the prez back down a few pegs and who better to do it than the lying liars of Fox News?\

Others also saw through Fox’s faked outrage directed at Common.

Common is about the least controversial rapper in the business. He’s roughly as edgy as LeVar Burton. He’s the rap version of Wayne Brady. He’s a friendly, easy-going, cross-cultural musician and actor who stars in easygoing rom-coms with Queen Latifah, only appears menacing to Tina Fey and Steve Carrell on celluloid, and is typically the first person mentioned whenever anybody brings up the concept of a “conscious” MC.

But don’t tell that to FOX News and Sarah Palin.

~ Entertainment Weekly

Conservatives on Fox News are spending this week attacking the White House for inviting the rapper-poet Common to the White House for a poetry reading last night. They are upset with Common for poetry he recited on the TV show Def Poetry Jam, targeting President Bush for taking us to war in Iraq and not finding weapons of mass destruction. Karl Rove called him a thug for standing onstage reciting poetry in a wig. Really? The congressional staffers the GOP sent to disrupt the vote counting outside of a government office in Miami during the 2000 presidential-election recount were more thuggish.

Artists tend to reflect most immediately on their surroundings and interpret them for the world to see and hear. Common is by far one of the most community-focused rappers, with lyrics that try to educate and stimulate thinking and positive behavior. In fact, he once wrote a song called “Retrospect for Life” about the struggle over whether or not to abort his unborn child. Many would consider the song “pro-life” because he and the mother decide to keep the baby, proclaiming, “$315 ain’t worth your soul.” The conservatives chose to ignore that in their critiques.

~ The Root.com

Anti-racism activist Tim Wise called out Fox for their race-baiting and Jon Stewart went off on a monumental blast to blister the network for their hysterical whipping on anti-rap resentments of their conservative audience.

What is UP with Fox News? Why do they lose their shit about rappers like Common stopping by the White House. Why do they think there’s so mileage in attacking rap when its White kids who are the primary purchasers of rap?

This is simply another Fox News manufactured “controversy.” There IS NO STORY here. Just another “scary Black folks” con-job “controversy” manufactured by the scare mongers of Fox to whip up White conservatives into a mouth-foaming fury.

The real hypocrisy is how Fox wags its finger in its own self-righteousness at Common, a rapper that’s about as hardcore as Stevie Wonder while not saying jack shit about Mike Huckabee announcing he’s not running for  president on his show with Terrible Ted Nugent, the Motor City Madman, by his side.

Fox is fine with Mr. “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang’ calling Hillary Clinton “a worthless bitch” or saying Barack Obama should suck on his shotgun because Nugent’s politics mirror their own.  Which is why they can raise hell over Common’s lyrics while ignoring these:

I´ve got no inhibitions
So keep your keys out of your ignition
I steal a car like I got the curse
I can´t resist the old lady’s purse

Jailbait you look so good to me
Jailbait won´t you set me free
Jailbait you look fine fine fine
I know I´ve got to have you in a matter of time

Well I don´t care if you´re just thirteen
You look too good to be true
I just know that you´re probably clean
There´s one lil’ thing I got do to you

Jailbait you look so good to me
Jailbait won´t you set me free
Jailbait you look fine fine fine
I know I´ve got to have you in a matter of time

So tell your mama that I´m back in town
She likes us boys when it´s time to get down
She´s got this craving for the underage
I just might be your mama’s brand new rage

Jailbait you look so good to me
Jailbait won´t you set me free
Jailbait you look fine fine fine
I know I got to have you in a matter of time

Honey you you you look so nice
She´s young she´s tender
Won´t you please surrender
She’s so fine she´s mine
All the time, all mine mine
It´s all right baby
It´s quite all right I asked your mama
Wait a minute officer
Don´t put those handcuffs on me
Put them on her and I´ll share her with you

Jailbait, jailbait

The Nuge and the Huck crooning for poon.

The message from Fox is Black rappers expressing doubts of a cop killer’s guilt is wrong, but old White rockers singing about fucking underage girls?  That’s cool because they don’t really mean it.

Got it. Hypocrites.

Fox’s right-wing, race-baiting bullshit is so obvious it’s not even mildly amusing to point it out anymore.

Yo, it’s Bo, the First Puppy.

Our long national nightmare is over! Malia and Sasha finally got their puppy.

Apparently, the Kennedys gave the Obamas a Portugese water dog. The girls have named it “Bo.”

The little guy is a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog given to the Obama girls as a gift by that Portuguese water dog-lovin’ senator himself, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. The girls named it Bo — and let it be noted that you learned that here first. Malia and Sasha chose the name, because their cousins have a cat named Bo and because first lady Michelle Obama’s father was nicknamed Diddley, a source said. (Get it? Bo . . . Diddley?)

Bo’s a handsome little guy. Well suited for formal occasions at the White House, he’s got tuxedo-black fur, with a white chest, white paws and a rakish white goatee. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30173033//

How much do you wanna bet “Portuguese water dog” will be one of the top searches on Google and Yahoo in a matter of hours?

No word yet if Bo has any unresolved tax issues.