MSNBC Claims Al Sharpton Did Not Rush to Judgment on Zimmerman
During his interview of George Zimmerman last night, Sean Hannity asked George Zimmerman "What do you say to Al Sharpton and those who rushed to judgment?" MSNBC today released a statement to Politico:
MSNBC would like to set the record straight following some misinformation presented by Fox News during the interview with George Zimmerman last night," MSNBC wrote in a statement sent to POLITICO. "Reverend Al Sharpton never 'rushed to judgment,' as stated by Mr. Hannity. Reverend Sharpton repeatedly called for calm and for a more thorough investigation in the wake of the tragic events. Ultimately, the authorities agreed an arrest was warranted."
I guess MSNBC forgot about this March 19, 2012 Al Sharpton show. (video here.) Or this Sharpton appearance on the March 21 Joe Scarborough show and this press conference (especially around the 4 minute mark) on the day of his arrest. Sharpton's comments speak for themselves. To say he merely called for calm and a thorough investigation is laughable. [More...]
And Fox is hardly the first news organization to notice. In the past, MSNBC has defended Sharpton's comments on Zimmerman and Martin, saying it didn't hire him to be a "neutered kind of news presenter."
It's an "American paradox that we can put a black man in the White House but we can't walk a black child through a gated area in Sanford, Florida," he said.
Also, this March 29 Sharpton show in which he proclaims after viewing the video of Zimmerman arriving at the police station:
It’s clear from the video, he said, that Zimmerman wasn’t hurt — and certainly not hurt enough to shoot in self-defense.
On a related note, here's Barbara Walters on the View today. She does not say Zimmmerman asked for a month in a NYC hotel as a condition of his interview. She says he made a demand ABC could not grant and refuses to say what the demand was. She also refused to allow O'Mara or Zimmerman, who called into the show, to respond to her claim he made an unspecified demand. "We will now continue with our program, and with the people who agreed to interviews and [came] here.”
It sounds like she asked Zimmerman to come to New York to do the show live, and went to Florida to do some kind of background interview that would air when he appeared on the View in New York. (Which would explain why she didn't care her interview would air after Hannity's.)
All shows pay travel expenses for their guests to appear live, including airfare and hotel. Maybe due to his notoriety and safety concerns, he asked ABC to fly him via a private plane. It's not an unreasonable request although I can see how it would not be something a network would agree to.
The "hotel for a month" story
is unsourced gossip and makes no sense. (Although this reporter says O'Mara says the hotel room was for Zimmerman's wife.)(Added: O'Mara has indeed confirmed in a three part interview Zimmerman asked for housing for his wife for a month.)
I don't find the ABC story as newsworthy as MSNBC's denial that Al Sharpton "rushed to judgment." Sharpton did more than say Zimmerman should be arrested. He certainly called for more than "calm" and "investigation." He threatened civil disobedience protests, he said he stood with the Martin family, he misrepresented major facts and most importantly, he denounced Zimmerman's self-defense claim.
Update: Here's Mark O'Mara in a three part interview discussing the Hannity interview.
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