April 11. Al Sharpton has risen to the top ranks of Obama advisers. It was he who last year staged the ultra-tame tribute to the epic 1963 March on Washington. He has his own daily TV show on the MSNBC (Love-the-Democrats-24/7) channel. Tonight his “National Action Network” will host President Obama, and Attorney General Eric Holder. Sharpton is at the pinnacle of influence with the 1% due to his ability to channel black anger into harmless paths.
This week, however, a website revealed that Sharpton has been an FBI informer in the ’80’s after having been threatened with arrest and then “flipped”. The website is “The Smoking Gun” (TSG) and its findings have been taken seriously by The New York Times, USA Today and other media.
The TSG story written by William Bastone, Andrew Goldberg and Joseph Jesselli says that in the 1980’s Sharpton had “established relationships with promoter Don King, various elected officials, and several powerful New York hoodlums involved in concert promotion”. According the site “by any measure, Sharpton himself was a Mafia ‘associate,’ the law enforcement designation given to mob affiliates who, while not initiated, work with and for crime family members”.
TSG says Sharpton was “flipped” meaning police changed him from a crook to an informer. The FBI and NYPD had been investigating boxing and Don King (who had once served four years in prison for a killing in 1966). An undercover agent met with Sharpton and offered to get him “pure coke” at $35,000 a kilo. As the phony drug kingpin spoke, Sharpton nodded his head and said, “I hear you.” At the next “meeting” Sharpton was confronted with the video record of the last meeting. Instead of walking out or consulting with a lawyer he agreed on the spot to do what the FBI wanted. They gave him a job, to inform on the most dangerous crime family in the U.S. For some time he carried a briefcase that recorded conversations.
Ironically the conversation that the then 29 year old Sharpton had with the undercover agent probably could not have gottem him convicted of a crime. However, the conversation would have been pretty hard to explain to the followers of the young minister.
Glen Ford, on Black Agenda Report, who has strongly criticized Sharpton for years, has a powerful piece on the revelations which he titled “Al Sharpton King Rat”
Read all the accounts. The Times and USA Today don’t report on why Sharpton was flipped. They almost make it seem that he spent months chatting with Mafia hoods as a public service. The NY Daily News is much better.
For his part Sharpton told CBS News “”I was not and am not a rat, because I wasn’t with the rats. I’m a cat. I chased rats.”
In answer another “The Smoking Gun” piece skewering Sharpton’s denials.
On April 15 the New York Times noted that “Our mayor employs Mr. Sharpton’s longtime top assistant as the $170,000-a-year chief of staff to his wife, Chirlane McCray. Mr. de Blasio sounds ready to swallow whole Mr. Sharpton’s rap.” As for the defense that all that Mafia stuff was decades ago the NYT story notes that in 2009 Sharpton and a “business partner” James Rosemond went to Los Angeles to see if Sharpton could get a TV show gig. Last year the NYT Rosemond who also goes by the name Jimmy Henchmen was sentenced to life in prison for drug running. Black Entertainment Television says Rosemond is currently on trial in murder-for-hire scheme.