Tavis Smiley: White House Pressured Sponsors to Pull Support
The Root ^ | Saturday, May 25, 2013 | Hillary Crosley (and Lynn Elber, AP)
Posted on May 25, 2013, 6:59:02 PM EDT by kristinn
On Friday, television and radio host Tavis Smiley celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Tavis Smiley show on PBS and defended his right to critique President Obama, reports the Huffington Post (sic The AP). But Smiley says freedom of speech hasn't come without its price.
Smiley contends that members of the Obama administration, whom he didn't identify, have pressured sponsors to drop their support of his projects, including his anti-poverty initiatives. The White House had no comment, said a spokesman, Kevin Lewis.
Smiley declined to identify the companies, saying he wasn't authorized to disclose their names.
(More from the AP article):
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the PBS show's underwriter since the start, has "consistently stood by our side," said a Smiley spokeswoman. But others have dropped out or donated money to his projects on the condition of privacy because they've heard from a displeased White House, according to Smiley.
"I don't have an anti-Barack agenda," he said, "but this is what I do: My job is to raise questions of accountability."
He interviewed Obama more than a half-dozen times before he was elected but not once since, Smiley said, although Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and others in the administration have appeared on the PBS show.
(Excerpt) Read more at theroot.com ...