Al Sharpton

Al Sharpton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, April 11, 2014:

Ever since the media decided to provide cover for a thug from Brooklyn, it has secured his rise to stardom by ignoring behavior that would have landed almost anyone else behind bars. Al Sharpton, born in Brooklyn in 1954, was appointed by Jesse Jackson in 1969 as a director of his Operation Breadbasket. He then gained the attention of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm – running such a strong campaign for president in the Democrat Party in 1972 that she even frightened Hubert Humphrey – who hired him as youth director for that campaign.

Baptized, licensed, and ordained a Pentecostal minister at the age of nine, he became a Baptist minister in 1994. Although he never had a church of his own, the media conveniently overlooked that and have referred to him as “reverend” ever since.

The latest cover the media has provided the reverend came from the exposure by three investigative journalists at The Smoking Gun of his history as a federal snitch. Their 30-page report, “”Al Sharpton’s Work as FBI Informant,” released on Monday, was rebuffed by Sharpton on Tuesday, and the media took it from there. USA Today said “The Rev. Al Sharpton is denying claims made by The Smoking Gun website that he worked as a FBI mob informant in the 1980s…” while the New York Daily News was scarcely better, reporting that Sharpton first rushed into the arms of the FBI only when some mobsters threatened his life.

When one of those journos at the Gun responded that Sharpton’s denial was a lie, they ignored him. Wrote William Bastone,

In a desperate effort to explain away his work as a paid government informant, the Rev. Al Sharpton yesterday claimed that he first ran into the FBI’s arms after his life was threatened by gangsters, an incident that prompted him to then record 10 face-to-face encounters with one of those dangerous hoodlums.

That story is a lie….

Sharpton’s story, built on a narrative conflation, is preposterous. He wants viewers and journalists to believe that the FBI, upon being told about [a death threat on Sharpton’s life] sent the reverend out wired to record a [gang member].

Ten times.

Bastone went on at length, based upon the results of his investigation – thanks to FBI sources received under the Freedom of Information Act – to point out the distortions, misstatements, disingenuousness and outright fabrications of Sharpton’s denial. The media silence following Bastone’s reply was deafening.

When it comes to Sharpton, the media has been deaf and blind for years. When Bernhard Goetz shot four blacks who were trying to rob him on a New York subway back in 1984, Sharpton organized marches and protests, claiming it was a racist attack. He demanded a federal investigation into the incident, but when that investigation concluded that Goetz was justified in defending himself, and it that had nothing to do with race, the media fell silent.

When it served its purposes, however, the media was all over Sharpton like a blanket. In 1986, a mob of whites attacked three blacks in the Howard Beach neighborhood of the Queens, and when one of them was struck and killed by a motorist as he tried to escape, Sharpton jumped on the opportunity. He organized 1,200 demonstrators to protest, the media blessed his efforts, and his future as a media icon was secure.

There was the Crown Heights Riot in 1991, the Freddie’s Fashion Mart incident in 1995, the shooting of Amadou Diallo in 1999 that Sharpton used to his advantage, the Tyisha Miller shooting later that same year, the Ousmane Zongo shooting in 2002, and so forth and so on. If there was any incident that remotely smelled like opportunity for Sharpton, he was there along with the media.

When he stepped way out-of-bounds, like during the Tawana Brawley hoax in 1987, he managed to unharmed either politically or financially. In that case, Sharpton charged county prosecutor Steven Pagones with racism, and even being one of the perpetrators of Brawley’s alleged abduction and rape. Pagones sued, and Sharpton was held liable for making seven defamatory statements about Pagones. He and two others were ordered to pay $345,000 in damages to Pagones, but Sharpton refused, leaving some local black businessmen to pick up the tab for him.

Sharpton had less success in neutralizing the IRS, however, when they came to collect some $931,000 in back in 2008. He also owed $366,000 to New York, and his company, Rev. Al Communications, owed another $176,000. In 2010, Sharpton made the news again when the filed a lien against him for not paying $538,000 in taxes on his 2009 tax return.

He seemed to have no compunction against raiding campaign funds for his own personal use, either. During his 2004 presidential campaign for the Democrat Party, the Federal Election Commission discovered that he’d charged his campaign some $145,000 in personal expenses, listing them under “Fundraising Letter Preparation – Kinko’s.”

His non-association with the FBI goes back to the early 1980s. It first came to light as the FBI was investigating corruption in professional boxing, specifically targeting Don King. During a hearing by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, audio and video tapes were played that revealed Sharpton meeting with a FBI undercover agent and a mobster discussing ways to gain access to King’s connections with the boxing underworld.

Sharpton’s non-affiliation with the FBI wasn’t helped any when Bryant Gumbel played a three-minute segment on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel of another FBI tape showing Sharpton’s conversations with a Latin American drug lord who turned out to be a FBI undercover agent. The conversation clearly showed Sharpton being offered the opportunity to purchase a huge quantity of cocaine. Sharpton, true to form, claimed that the segment was just a part of a campaign of “dirty tricks” to hurt his chances in his 2004 presidential campaign.

But Sharpton had learned how to manipulate the press and take the attention off of himself and direct it elsewhere. He claimed that Gumbel had only shown a clip for one tape, but that there was a second one that showed him denying the opportunity to make the purchase. That second tape never showed up, but it was enough: Sharpton had been set up, according to the media.

Sharpton wasn’t done, however. He filed suit against Gumbel, HBO, and HBO’s parent, AOL Time Warner for $1 billion! The suit was laughed out of court, but, by that time, this was all old news and the media were on to other things.

There’s another report of Sharpton’s tawdry and criminal background that isn’t getting any media attention whatsoever, the 14-page review of Sharpton’s criminal misdeeds and underworld associations available at It perfectly summarizes Sharpton’s rise to stardom:

  • Founder of the National Action Network
  • Helped incite anti-Jewish riots in Crown Heights, New York in 1991
  • Convicted of libel for his role in the racially charged Tawana Brawley hoax
  • Incited black anti-Semites against a Jewish business establishment in Harlem in 1995
  • Democratic Party president candidate, 2004

Today this thug from Brooklyn basks in the media sunlight as a frequent guest on The O’Reilly Factor and CNN while hosting his own talk show, PoliticsNation, at MSNBC.

The complicit nature of the media’s selective support for the thug from Brooklyn was exposed following a puff piece by 60 Minutes, hosted by Leslie Stahl. She briefly interviewed Wayne Barrett, another investigative journalist who has made his living for 30 years following Sharpton around and recording his criminal activities:

Barrett:  Sharpton is in the civil rights business. I don’t think he’s a civil rights leader. Would anybody else be able to transcend [his tawdry history] and be this larger than life figure?

Stahl: He has!

Barrett: Only because we let him.



The Smoking Gun: Al Sharpton’s Secret Work As FBI Informant

The Smoking Gun: Facts Derail Lying Sharpton’s Informant Tale

Bio on Al Sharpton

New York Daily News: Al Sharpton downplays revelations about his work as a FBI informant who spied on the Mafia

USA Today: Al Sharpton downplays claims he was a FBI informant Al Sharpton

The New York Times: A 19-Year-Old F.B.I. Videotape Keeps Pulling Sharpton Back to the Past

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