Radio host Tom Joyner published a letter of fury aimed at Tavis Smiley and Cornel West. While many continue to be upset at Time magazine’s Mark Halperin for referring to President Obama as a “d**k,” Joyner says it’s Smiley and West who helped create the kind of environment with their relentless shots at Obama.
“They say that if you’re angry with someone, you should write a letter, get all the mean stuff out, and then tear it up or delete it. When you’re a little more calm, you write another letter or confront the person face to face.
About a month ago, I wrote a blog about Tavis Smiley and decided to table it because I said some things I didn’t want to publish. You’re probably thinking I went too hard on him, but no. In reality, I hadn’t gone hard enough – and I knew it. I said I’d wait until something pissed me off so bad that I would have the words harsh enough to express what I was really feeling about him and his side piece – I mean side kick – Cornel West.
Well, yesterday, when Mark Halperin – a well-respected journalist, employed by a well-respected magazine and a contributor to a well-respected news network – had the audacity to call the president of the United States a dick, that was all I needed.
While I am appalled at Halperin’s statement, I have no expectations of him as a man and know nothing about his character. I am appalled, however, that as editor-at-large of Time magazine, he is responsible for among other things, deciding what stories will be covered in that publication. As the person in charge of political content, it is upsetting to know that he probably has not been objective in his dealings with material and so many people look forward to (until now) reading each week. Needless to say, I’ve cancelled my subscription to Time magazine and hope you will too.
But I’m even more disgusted with Smiley and West, two brothers who I did have expectations of – and thought I knew. These two have done much worse than what Halperin has done because they set the tone for it, opened the door to it, and must take much of the blame for creating a climate that would make a white, professional journalist feel comfortable verbally and vulgarly attacking the first black president of the United States.”
Joyner also touched on his past working relationship with Smiley:
“When you think you know a person, when you’ve given a person a forum to present his views, when you’ve had a hand in a person’s success, you want to believe that he is the same person he always was.
Remember THAT Tavis – the one who could take any complicated political story that had an impact on black America and “break it down” for us every Tuesday and Thursday in less than five minutes. The one who coined the phrase “radio advocacy” and alerted us any time anyone – from a private business owner to a politician to a corporate giant – even thought about doing black folks wrong. The Tavis that loved black people so much that he would sometimes, during his commentaries, be moved to tears. Where is that guy? You know, the guy that would have been telling me, ‘Fly Jock, Halperin has got to go.’ For a while, I thought he was still with us, even though people around me (and many of you) tried to convince me otherwise. ‘Tavis is a hater.’ ‘Tavis is only about himself.’ ‘Tavis is jealous of the president.’ I wouldn’t believe any of it. I had so much respect for him before his primary goal became selling books, and, later, selling out.”
Some might wonder if people like Mark Halperine really have to take cues to be disrespectful towards President Obama. What do you think?