Al Sharpton, Working Undercover for The Man?
Meet Al Sharpton, "former paid FBI informant," Jessica Chasmar writes at the Washington Times, linking to a report from the Smoking Gun. It's currently the lead headline atop the Drudge Report, written in the classic Drudge all caps smashmouth style -- "SHARPTON WAS FBI MOB RAT:"
The report published Monday claims that Mr. Sharpton regularly interacted with members of four of New York City’s five organized crime families, specifically leaders of the Genovese family, and he secretly recorded their conversations.
Mr. Sharpton was known by the FBI as “CI-7” — short for confidential informant No. 7 — and began working for the agency in the mid-1980s, the report said.
From the report: “[The Smoking Gun’s] account of Sharpton’s secret life as ‘CI-7’ is based on hundreds of pages of confidential FBI affidavits, documents released by the bureau in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, court records and extensive interviews with six members of the Genovese squad, as well as other law enforcement officials to whom the activist provided assistance.
In 2011, MSNBC's Phil Griffin told NPR, "I’m a big fan of the Reverend Sharpton. I’ve known him quite a bit. he’s smart. He’s entertaining. He’s experienced. He’s thoughtful. He’s provocative, all the things I think that MSNBC is."
"Resist we much," Sharpton would likely implore them, but the Smoking Gun itself is of course having lots of fun with its discovery:
The former mob snitch has become a regular in the White House, where he has met with the 44th president in the East Room, the Roosevelt Room, and the Oval Office. He has also attended Obama Christmas parties, speeches, policy announcements, and even watched a Super Bowl with the First Family (an evening the man has called “one of the highlights of my life”). During these gatherings, he has mingled with cabinet members, top Obama aides, military leaders, business executives, and members of Congress. His former confederates were a decidedly dicier lot: ex-convicts, extortionists, heroin traffickers, and mob henchmen. The man’s surreptitious recordings, FBI records show, aided his government handlers in the successful targeting of powerful Mafia figures with nicknames like Benny Eggs, Chin, Fritzy, Corky, and Baldy Dom.
This is still not computing. Al Sharpton: G-Man? Next you're going to be telling me that ultra-conservative poseur Morton Downey Jr., who hosted the show that first brought Sharpton to nation attention was secretly a Democrat who was play-acting.
Invariably clad in a velor tracksuit, Sharpton and Downey, or Sharpton and a fellow guest would comes to blows by the end of seemingly every appearance. Sharpton is on video smearing a fellow guest by bellowing, "You ain’t nothing! You a punk faggot!", which, like much of Sharpton's then-publicly-known past, was "unexpectedly" forgotten when he won his recent gig at NBC's spin-off cable channel. (Perhaps he uttered the quote in character as part of his undercover work.)
All-in-all, as Kate of Small Dead Animals deadpans, "This is Awkward." And as Larry Elder speculates:
Now we know how Rev. Al Sharpton's gotten away with owing IRS millions in income and payroll taxes. Sharpton's been a snitch for the FBI.
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) April 7, 2014