Cornel West: MSNBC Is 'Rent-a-Negro' Cable

In his ongoing criticism of the president and the Rev. Al Sharpton, an Obama supporter and MSNBC host, the scholar attacked the cable network. 

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Tavis Smiley and Cornel West at the National Press Club in 2012 (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

Cornel West continued his attack on the president in the wake of Obama's speech after the George Zimmerman verdict. This time West went after MSNBC, calling the network a "rent-a-Negro" phenomenon, EURweb reports. The Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the president's biggest proponents, is a host on the network.

Well, West made a visit to Tavis Smiley's radio show this past weekend and said Rev. Sharpton is still on "the Obama plantation" which has [kept] Sharpton from being more critical of the president and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Smiley has also made controversial remarks about Obama and his response to the George Zimmerman trial.

"Deep down in his soul I think he really does feel a fire, but he can't allow that fire to in any way spill over toward the White House. Why? Because he's still too tied, he's too uncritical, he's too deferential, he's too subservient as it were and as long as that's in place we're going to find ourselves unable to tell the fundamental truth," West told Smiley.

Both West and Smiley of course had their own spin on Zimmerman's acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin and continued to delve into the media's handling of the racial dynamics involved in the case.

"What's your sense of how the media, and not just Fox News but beyond that, your read as you've been watching this, how the media handled this case?" Smiley asked West. 

"I think that it's been decrepit though, brother. I mean, you get a focus on some of the upper middle class folk. I mean, what I call the 'rent-a-negro' phenomenon on MSNBC ... '" West answered.

Earlier, when asked to give his feelings on the president's talk after Zimmerman's verdict, the professor cited the killing of innocent people during U.S. drone strikes and called the president a "global George Zimmerman."

Read more at EURweb. 

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