It isn’t funny that Al Sharpton has his own MSNBC show. There is nothing funny about it. He is one of the most vile race hustlers degrading our public life. At this late date, Jay Nordlinger’s 2000 NR cover story on Sharpton remains essential reading (as does Wayne Barrett’s 2004 Village Voice article). I took a look back at Sharpton’s career in demagogy this summer in “Sharpton’s shape.”
The Washington Free Beacon’s David Rutz has nevertheless made it possible to laugh at Sharpton. Rutz has compiled three videos for a series that he calls Sharpton versus the Teleprompter. The videos show Sharpton struggling unsuccessfully to read the the scripts put in front of him by his MSNBC writers. We posted the videos here (part 1), here (part 2) and here (part 3). The videos demonstrate that Sharpton is more adept winging it with his own demagogy than he is reading a script.
What is to be done? In his most recent Sharpton compilation, Rutz discerns a motif. Rutz points out that Sharpton employs a standard technique to respond to conservatives and Republicans after he has shown them speaking: he repeats whatever they have said in the form of a question.
Rutz points out the lameness of the motif, dispensing as it does with the need to make an argument. My theory is that the technique not only minimizes the need for commentary by Sharpton, it obviates his reliance on the teleprompter. He can simply repeat what he has just heard, like an infant learning to speak. Like an infant learning to speak?