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Tavis is back — on air and in person

The Smiley and West Show, featuring Tavis Smiley and Cornell West, was booted off WBEZ last month, but it’s landed two new homes, Robert Feder reports – a Sunday afternoon show at WCPT AM 820, starting this weekend, and a Saturday morning slot at WVON AM 1690, starting November 10.

WCPT is featuring a “Smiley and West Uncensored” marathon starting Saturday at 10 p.m. and running till Sunday at 7 a.m.

Smiley and West, the radio and TV host and the radical academic who have criticized President Obama’s lack of attention to poverty, will also appear live in Chicago a week from Thursday in a post-election conversation with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!   Among the subjects at hand is the “tsunami of Super PAC-funded negative ads” and the media’s role in “furthering this erosion of our democracy.”

The program takes place Thursday, November 8 at 7 p.m. at Northwestern Law School. 375 E. Chicago, and is free.  It’s sponsored by Haymarket Books, which has published Goodman’s new book, The Silenced Majority.

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One Response

  1. Eric L. Wattree says:

    An Open Letter to Pacifica Radio: Regarding the Dropping of Smiley and West
    .
    Board of Directors,
    Pacifica Foundation:
    .
    I’m writing in response to the recent announcement that the Pacifica Foundation has appointed it’s own chairman, Summer Reese, as Executive Director. Admittedly, at this point I know very little about Director Reese, but I intend to address that issue immediately so as to gain a better understanding of what’s going on within the organization that has caused it to become so far out of touch with what’s currently going on in the Black community.
    .
    Tavis Smiley and Cornel West’s activities during this election season are identical to the activities of Ralph Nader and Cornel West’s in the 2000 election that got George Bush elected. So West is either purposely trying to sabotage the Black community, are he’s too dumb to be given a public platform in the first place.
    .
    During the 2000 election Cornel West join forces with Ralph Nader under the very same pretext – “to stimulated vigorous and intelligent discussion.” But what did it get us? It got us eight years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and it was directly responsible for placing America – and the Black community – in the very economic condition that West is currently complaining about. George W. Bush won the 2000 election by a mere 537 votes. The Nader-West coalition peel off 97,488 votes in Florida alone, so Cornel West is, literally, like a man who’s dug a ditch and is now complaining because Obama’s not filling it in fast enough. Yet, Ms. Reese is arguing that dropping these two demagogues constitute stifling intelligent and passionate discussion!!? Please be serious.
    .
    The fact is, it’s not WHAT Tavis and West are saying that has the Black community up in arms, it’s WHY we suspect they’re saying it. After all, couldn’t they wait until AFTER the election, and AFTER we’ve made sure that we’ve protected the Black community and poor and middle-class America from corporate fascists, and THEN have this “intelligent and passionate” discussion? But of course, Tavis and West would argue that once reelected, President Obama wouldn’t have an incentive to listen. But that’s not true. Every president is concerned about his legacy, and as the first Black president that’s even more true of Obama than most. In addition, President Obama has two daughters who’ll have to live with his legacy for the rest of their lives. Thus, President Obama’s actions in office will determine whether they live their lives as American princesses, or pariahs. Certainly the highly intellectual Cornel West recognizes that fact – doesn’t he?
    .
    So what’s so important for us to discuss at this particular time that it’s worth sabotaging this election, and possibly, the future of America? After all, it’s not like we have a viable alternative to President Obama. So personally, I can’t think of a thing, and neither can many others in the Black community. The only thing we can see is a personal agenda – and then, when you put that together with Tavis Smiley’s all-consuming penchant for self-promotion, and his close ties to Walmart, Nationwide Insurance, Wells Fargo, and other corporate interests, that leaves the Black community very suspicious of these two characters. In addition, the Black community is not nearly so dense that we don’t recognize that every time these two go on one of their “poverty tours” that they have something to sell under their arm.
    .
    In fact, the political activity of Tavis and West strays so far outside the boundaries of common sense that some in the community are beginning to suspect the possibility of much more sinister motives. In his article, “My Republican Party has Abandoned Me,” Black Republican activist, Raynard Jackson, says the following:
    .
    “For many years, I have approached the party and its supporters about underwriting programs to bring together Blacks who are Republican or lean Republican so we can weave them into every facet of the party structure. The answer is always, no! But, twice this year some of these same people have approached me about funding for some election year tricks that they (White Republicans) have conjured up and simply need a Black face to execute the plan. On these two separate occasions, these funders were willing to spend upwards of $20 million to have me organize a national campaign to identify Blacks who would be critical of President Obama.”
    .
    Twenty million dollars – that’s a lot of money. And thanks to Mr. Jackson, we now know the GOP is capable of playing footsie with the electoral system, but the jury is still out on Tavis and West. No matter how many dots we might connect, unless we find a smoking gun, any evidence would be purely circumstantial. Nevertheless, both men are experiencing a huge fall from grace in the Black community. Radio Station WBEZ pointed out that their listenership went from 37,900 to 13,200. That means that out of nearly 38,000 listeners, they lost nearly 25,000. That’s a dramatic decline in their listenership (65%), and I’d say, that perfectly corresponds with their pronounced decline in the Black community . . . MORE
    .
    http://wattree.blogspot.com/2012/10/an-open-letter-to-pacifica-radio.html

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