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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Tony Norman writes about MSNBC “PoliticsNation” anchor Al Sharpton, and how he has changed his opinion on him. Norman begins by noting the death of Sharpton’s 87 year-old mother yesterday, and how Sharpton decided to continue down to Florida and appear at a rally in support of Trayvon Martin. Norman wrote that he found Sharpton’s decision “oddly moving,” and proceeded to praise the host:
When MSNBC unveiled “Politics Nation with Al Sharpton” last year, it looked like the worst kind of pandering to lure black viewers. I cringed when he mangled the names of his guests or appeared incapable of reading a script in a teleprompter without stumbling. As formidable a debater as he’d proven himself as a guest, he was not a seasoned enough journalist to host his own show or conduct a decent interview. Every day at 6 p.m. was destined to be amateur hour on MSNBC until the powers-that-be got around to quietly replacing Rev. Al with a “real” journalist.
Then a funny thing happened. I never got around to writing that scathing review. Suddenly, Rev. Al began pronouncing his guests’ names correctly and his interviews got better. Although he still isn’t as polished a teleprompter reader as his colleagues, “Politics Nation” is among the boldest and most interesting shows on MSNBC.