Rev. Al Sharpton is now the official host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation,” a new show that appears weeknights live from 6-7 p.m. ET on the cable network.
Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, stated “PoliticsNation” will debut tonight.
In his new role, Sharpton will lead a lively and informed discussion of the top headlines, bringing viewers his take on events in his signature style, Griffin said.
While the NAACP applauded Sharpton on his new position, others — from black journalist organizations to mainstream industry interests — were critical, saying he was taking a position that should have gone to an African American journalist. Sharpton, however, credited the show as a continuation of his life’s work. He reportedly stated that the position would not have gone to a black journalist because no journalist hosts a show on MSNBC after 5 p.m.
“I am very happy and honored to join the MSNBC team as we collectively try to get America to Lean Forward,” said Sharpton, using the network’s new tag line. “It is a natural extension of my life work and growth. We all learn from our pain and stand up from our stumbling, and one must either learn to lean forward or fall backwards. I’m glad they have given me the opportunity to continue my forward lean.”
Griffin defended his choice. “I’ve known Rev. Sharpton for over a decade and have tremendous respect for him,” the MSNBC president said. “He has always been one of our most thoughtful and entertaining guests.”
Griffin indicated he expects Sharpton to draw new viewers. “I’m thrilled that he’s now reached a point in his career where he’s able to devote himself to hosting a nightly show,” Griffin said. “‘PoliticsNation’ is going to be an incredibly strong kick-off to our evening schedule.”
Sharpton is no stranger to the media and has appeared numerous times as a guest host on different shows.
Sharpton has devoted over 40 years as a community leader, politician, minister and advocate. He has been youth director of New York’s Operation Breadbasket and director of ministers for the National Rainbow Push Coalition, and he founded his own civil rights organization, the National Action Network. Additionally, Sharpton hosts a nationally syndicated radio show that is broadcast in 40 markets.