Friday, August 10, 2012
English and Al Sharpton
As a teacher of English as a Second Language, I always encourage my students to listen to the news when they are deciding which types of English programs to listen to. The reason is that in virtually all countries, no matter the language, those who are hired to give the news have to have certain abilities. First of all, they need to speak clearly and in the standard version of the language as opposed to some regional dialect or vernacular. They should have a good melodious voice ("Broadcaster's voice" we call it.) Of course, it doesn't hurt to be good-looking as any person who has watched a lot of news on TV knows. And of course, a clean background is always essential because these people are representing their network. The bottom line is that I want my students to be exposed to the very best English. That's why I recommend they watch the news.
That brings me to Al Sharpton.
Yesterday, as is my custom, I got on my treadmill and turned on MSNBC to entertain myself. It just so happened that Sharpton was on. Naturally, just like his fellow talk-show hosts at MSNBC, the topic was Mitt Romney. It matters not whether it is Sharpton, Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, or Lawrence O'Donnell, the topic is Mitt Romney-all day-every day. That's because, for the benefit of all you UC Santa Cruz Community Studies and History of Consciousness majors, Romney is running against Barack Obama for president.
That brings me back to Al Sharpton.
As we all know, Sharpton violates every rule I mentioned in the first paragraph. In yesterday's show alone, the Right Reverend Sharpton, in taking shots at the Papa John Pizza CEO, who supports Romney, brought the house down with a wisecrack about "hold the ARCHOVIES".
It gets better.
Later, when talking about Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), he made reference to her association with............... "WOMENS For Mitt".
However, that is the least of the problems when it comes to Sharpton. You really have to question the judgement of NBC in giving this guy a show.This is the guy who jumped into the middle of the Tawana Brawley rape hoax. Even when it became obvious that her story was a lie, Sharpton
continued to accuse innocent men of having raped Brawley and smearing feces on her. Eventually, one of the men who was falsely accused won a libel judgment against Sharpton, which included a monetary judgement. Sharpton never paid it himself. Eventually, a group of supporters got the money together and paid it off in his behalf.
This is the man the FBI secretly videotaped in a hotel room negotiating to purchase cocaine-not a personal amount, mind you- but multi-kilos, amounts that he would have turned around and sold himself. at a profit.
This is the man who has incited riots in New York speaking to crowds about "white interlopers".
This is the man who made a verbal threat to Jews and talked about "pinning back their yarmulkas".
"During the Crown Heights Riot, Sharpton (who arranged a rally in Crown Heights after Cato's death) has been seen by some commentators as inflaming tensions by making remarks that included "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house".
And lest Al be inclined to talk about Mitt Romney's income tax returns, this is the man who has had his own tax problems to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This is the man NBC gave a show to.