Rev. Al Sharpton will host his own nightly news show on MSNBC, a development that has been met with mixed reactions.
Sharpton has made no apologies about his stance on a variety of issues, and made no claims of being an unbiased host of his new show, “PoliticsNation.” He said modern conservative movements have been emboldened by Fox News, and hopes to counter their progress on the airwaves.
“I clearly understand that in the 21st century of policy America, you've got to deal with talk TV and talk radio,” Sharpton told Reuters. “The Tea Party didn't come out of anywhere. If it weren't for Fox TV and Fox radio, the right wing would not have had traction. I knew the battleground would not just be on the streets but the studio as well.”
Not everyone is pleased with the move. Some Black journalists said they have been fighting for a nightly news show for years, but the first major opportunity to come around was given to a non-journalist.
“What bothers me more though is that he has a history as an activist,” Eric Deggans, a Black media critic, told CNN. “He is connected to an organization that’s gotten money from NBC/Universal to advocate politically for certain issues and then all of sudden he’s going to go on the air and supposedly be fair about these same issues. I think that is the concern that people are worried about.”
The NAACP, which has advocated for more diversity in cable news programming, is pleased with the development. Two months ago, the organization made a plea for more African-American anchors.
“Congratulations to Reverend Al Sharpton for being named host of ‘PoliticsNation,’” NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a statement. “This is a positive step towards addressing the dearth of African-American voices in prime time news.”