With the revelation that the Reverend Al Sharpton acted as an informant for the FBI raises some serious questions like who threw him under the bus? Sharpton who hosts the MSNBC show, "PoliticsNation," found himself under fire in a story by "The Smoking Gun."
Although "The Smoking Gun" touts the story as a relevant piece of information, it is old news. In fact, it is 25 years old. Sharpton's cooperation with the FBI came out in 1988. That is not old news; it is history. "The Smoking Gun" details 10 meetings Sharpton had with Joseph (Joe Bananas) Buonanno, a Gambino family member, but to what purpose? The story is 25-years-old.
So, why the repeat? Who wants Sharpton bad enough to bring up old news as a breaking story? Is it politically motivated? “PoliticsNation” on MSNBC often steps on political toes. Is it feasible that Rev. Al pissed off the wrong people?
It should be apparent that this type of investigative reporting died long ago. Instead, it sounds suspiciously like a telephone tip by someone that has a bone to pick with Sharpton, especially when a story 25-years-old suddenly becomes front-page news. Why isn’t Sharpton dead? When the story broke in 1988 it would seem that the people Reverend Al informed on would have arranged an accident for the television preacher.
Did the FBI have something on Sharpton that put him in a losing situation? Was it “You do this or else?” Did the FBI offer Sharpton a deal 25-years ago? Although Reverend Sharpton is a high-profile individual known for his Civil Rights involvement and political activism, he is not the type of person the FBI offers special deals.
In 1963, mobster Joe Valachi broke the Mafia’s sacred code of silence to become an informant after convicted of murder. To avoid the death penalty, Valachi turned state’s evidence and received a life sentence for his information. Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano a prolific hit man for the Gambino crime family cut a deal with the government and entered the Witness Protection Program for information that led to the eventual fall of the “Teflon Don,” John Gotti.
Did Reverend Sharpton possess this type of information? Although the story is true, it is a day late and a dollar short. Other than cramping Sharpton’s style, the story is a historical piece with a few extras thrown in to take the stink off it. Or, is it?
So far, Sharpton downplays stories and feels no embarrassment about his role as an FBI informant. According the New York Times Sharpton said, “We’re used to the attacks. The only thing I was embarrassed by is those old fat pictures. Could y’all use tomorrow the new ones? Because a lot of my younger members don’t know how fat I was.” Sharpton weighed as much as 300 pounds less than ten-years ago, but lost nearly 150 since then.
Still, the questions remain. Is the Sharpton story history or news? What does the FBI have on him? Who dropped a dime on Reverend Al? Is Sharpton a threat? To whom is he a threat? Why now? Until these questions are answered, the story has little value as news and even less value as history.