CBS's Stahl Proclaims 'Stately' Al Sharpton's 'Metamorphosis'
Published: 5/23/2011 4:17 PM ET
CBS's Lesley Stahl played up how Al Sharpton apparently "has gone through something of a metamorphosis" as she spotlighted the "street-protest agitator...now trusted White House adviser" on Sunday's 60 Minutes. Despite pressing Sharpton for his refusal to apologize for the Tawana Brawley hoax, Stahl gushed, "Take a look at Reverend Al...stately in his tailored suits, commanding a national stage."
The journalist front-loaded her superlatives about the liberal flamethrower during her 12-and-a-half minute report in the bottom half of the 8 pm Eastern hour, emphasizing how Sharpton has supposedly become a new man. She also set the tone of the entire segment of choosing to use non-ideological labels to describe her subject, only hinting at his left-of-center politics:
STAHL: Say 'Al Sharpton' and most people probably think loudmouth activist and provocateur. Well, that certainly was his image in the '80s and '90s. Well, the Reverend Al has gone through something of a metamorphosis. Today, he's downright tame, so much that he's made his way into the establishment. It's been quite a trajectory: from street-protest agitator to candidate for president in 2004, to now, a trusted White House adviser, who's become the President's go-to black leader, campaigning around the country for President Obama and his agenda. Today, Reverend Sharpton looks and sounds like a totally different person.Despite a firm, yet vague acknowledgment of the activist's past as being "hot-headed in his jogging suits, larger than life in every way, spreading hate and dividing the city," Stahl quickly fast-forwarded past that moments later by using her "stately" and "commanding" labels. She also punctuated Sharpton's close work with President Obama: