Sharpton Says Matthews, Maddow Not Journalists

He’s barely had the job for 24 hours, and already new MSNBC squawk show host Al Sharpton is putting his foot perilously close to his mouth.

In the Daily Beast (via Romenesko) Sharpton counters the criticism that he’s just some affirmative-action hire who’s occupying a seat that rightfully belongs to a black journalist (who would not be an affirmative-action hire, presumably).

Regarding the latter charge, leveled by the National Association of Black Journalists,  Sharpton said this to Lloyd Grove:

“To be fair about it, the NABJ understood that if I didn’t get it, it wouldn’t have gone to a journalist. It’s a moot point. There are no journalists [as hosts] after 5 p.m. on MSNBC. Everyone after 5 deals with opinions. So the argument is kind of apples and oranges.”

What do those oranges think, though? Does Chris Matthews consider himself a journalist? Does Rachel Maddow consider herself a journalist? I’m guessing yes.

But Al Sharpton is saying no.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Sharpton Says Matthews, Maddow Not Journalists

  1. Steve Stein says:

    Maybe we should ask a different question. Should we be looking for Al Sharpton to be in charge of defining who is and who is not a journalist? That wouldn’t be my first choice.

  2. Curmudgeon says:

    Well, he certainly tries hard to get his ratings up, now, doesn’t he?

  3. Dan Kennedy says:

    I’m guessing that Maddow would not define herself as a journalist. She’s an opinionated talk-show host, and a very good one. Sharpton, on the other hand, is — well, is this a family blog?

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      Really? I figured she’s think of herself as a broadcast version of an op-ed columnist. Maybe I’ll send her an email.

      P.S. I just did.

    • Maddow often provides a long lead-in to an interview, then asks her guest directly if she has summarized the facts correctly. I think she does so in order to be considered credible as a journalist.

      Whether or not you agree with her self-identification is another question.

      • Dan Kennedy says:

        @Michael: Since Maddow has never self-identified as a journalist to my knowledge, I’ll respond to your identification of her as a journalist. I think she’s highly credible. I think some of what she does is journalism. I think it’s a mistake to get hung up on whether someone is a journalist or not, but when it comes to her *show*, I see it as a highly opinionated talk show with some journalistic elements. If Maddow is a journalist, then so is Limbaugh, with the caveat that she’s a good one and he’s a bad one.

      • Dan Kennedy says:

        @Michael and @Campaign Outsider: Case closed. Maddow, in 2008:

        “‘Like most radio talk show hosts, Maddow is forthright about the fact that she is NOT a journalist. “I think of myself as a commentator and a pundit, an analyst but not a reporter and not a journalist,” she told me. “You know, I think doing research isn’t enough … (she laughs) to be considered a journalist.”

      • Campaign Outsider says:

        Okay, then. Assuming she doesn’t respond to my most cordial email, we’ll leave it at that. Thanks, @Dan.

  4. Sharpton is an absolute mess. I saw him, just last week, accusing Pat Buchanan of supporting the Iraq War — which Buchanan immediately shot down. Everyone knows Buchanan’s an isolationist, a wing of the Republican Party that has become quite lonely in the past ten years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s