Al Sharpton, the veteran Democratic activist and racial provocateur who hosts "PoliticsNation" on MSNBC, reviewed a James Brown biography for the New York Times Sunday Book Review and was interviewed in the Reviews' "Up Front " section. Sharpton credited the biography by RJ Smith  for placing Brown in the context of the civil rights movement. But why would the Times consider Sharpton qualified to comment on anything, much less racial matters?
As usual, the Times didn't address at all Sharpton's racially inflammatory past or any of his controversies. As MRC president Brent Bozell recently wrote :
Before his [MSNBC] hiring, Sharpton was infamous for perpetuating a hateful racist hoax in 1987 starring a teenaged Tawana Brawley, who smeared dung and wrote racial epithets on herself, and then falsely accused a pack of white men of repeatedly raping and sodomizing her. In 1991 and again in 1995, Sharpton was ranting at the center of racial protests -- filled with blacks shrieking anti-Semitic insults -- that wrapped up with funerals. But this didn’t stop Sharpton from running for president in 2004, with placid calm in the liberal media seas.
The Times in particular has lavished positive coverage on local activist Sharpton, constantly referred to as a "civil rights activist " in its pages, with his left-wing lean and incendiary past rarely if ever mentioned, even in passing.
The unbylined "Up Front" then praised Sharpton for his successful diet regimen, apparently the most newsworthy thing about the activist from the paper's view.
Not long ago Sharpton remarked during his MSNBC program, “PoliticsNation,” that if Kenan Thompson was going to keep playing Sharpton on “Saturday Night Live,” he would have to lose some weight. Sharpton himself, of course, lost a considerable amount of weight over the past couple of years -- and he’s kept it off. “In 2009 or 2010,” he said, “I decided to start working out and gave up all meat, including chicken. I eat fish twice a week, and a lot of vegetables and fruit. I don’t have an appetite for dessert. No one wants to travel with me, because they starve to death.”