Good for lining your parrot’s birdcage and not much more.

“Let me ask you this, right quick.”

Once upon a time, you used to be a respectable newspaper. Since you decided to abdicate your responsibility to uphold the 4th Estate to the National Enquirer, I shouldn’t be surprised that writing articles to prop up Tavis Smiley was on your agenda.  I now stand corrected.  In the article, “Blacks At Odds over Scrutiny Of the President”, this article was nothing more than a hit piece to prop up Tavis Smiley against the African-American masses calling him out for his “hatefest” on President Obama, as well as trying to allow him to regain his status as a leader of Black people that he really never had, because he is a marketeer and a hustler of the first order.

You can, and should, get the hell out of here with that. The research of this article was so poorly done, a friend of mine who’s a Professor of Journalism at the University of Maryland says he would have flunked your staff writer for being used as a very ugly pawn in the game of  finding Black Slave Catchers willing to say what many whites in the media wished they could, but are afraid to.

Enough of the pleasantries; I’ll get down to business.

1.  You might not want to use Krissah Thompson to do pieces like this anymore, because whatever sources she uses are going to dry up. Several prominent African-American academics related to me their run-ins with Ms. Thompson and one Professor of Public Policy actually stated to me “This individual is a dangerous journalist that we have to keep our eye on if the media will use her to engage in writings like this.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates has a take on it, too; it’s called ” too LAZY to do one’s homework”:

Typical of the political trend-story, the reporter simply accepts Smiley’s version as fact and does no digging to see if there’s more to the story. (Hint: There is.) I respect Smiley’s pivot–he got aired out last year, but he turned it all into a book deal. I can’t say the same of reporters who take any sources line as received truth. The hack indulging in the political trend story, isn’t worth the unblemished shoe-leather which his stories are allegedly built upon. These are the sorts of articles which force you to cackle in the face of any dead-tree patrician holding forth on the sacred links between newspapers and democracy. Whatever. Do your job. We’ll decide whether your worth mourning.

2.  Ms. Thompson makes it painfully obvious she didn’t do her homework.  On Jack and Jill Politics, as well as previous publications at Black Agenda Report, Black Commentator, DailyKos, Democratic Underground, CounterPunch, and any other progressive publication; there’s no way in Hell she brands me as a cheerleader for President Obama.  The fact that she’s getting called on it should send a message to you that when you’re going to quote or interview a blogger, be sure you are familiar with their writings.  There is no excuse for such shoddy journalism on Ms. Thompson’s part.

3.  Ms. Thompson’s interview with me focused on why I vigorously defend Michelle Obama. From the article, the reader gets no idea why I’m being quoted in this piece, except in the hopes of inciting me to write more critical pieces on the President.  News FLASH: you don’t own me and you sure as hell can’t manipulate me to help out a huckster like Tavis Smiley, or the fool who’s eating the whole bucket of chicken given to him by Bobcat Bob Johnson and BET.  If you want me to write such critiques, dammit, I want a paycheck, just like you pay Ms. Thompson for half-assed journalistic efforts, and I’d probably do a better job than she does.

And if Ms. Thompson wants to say I knew why she was interviewing me, I’ll dig up and post her email to me asking for the interview and let readers judge for themselves. I gladly defend  Mrs. Obama because she has done nothing that warrants the hatefest from the reich wing she encounters about her looks, her physical appearance ; the fact she goes sleeveless because she CAN – I will defend this woman as the beautiful, intelligent accomplished woman that she IS.  And while Ms. Thompson quoted me accurately in some respects, she implied she was familiar with my writings, when the fact is, she showed an inherent, massive ignorance of anything I’ve written on the political scale for the last seven years.

4.  Ms. Thompson also demonstrates her willingness to carry water for Tavis Smiley, by engaging in the attempted beatdown of me and Patricia Wilson-Smith from Black Women for Obama. Tavis is too cowardly to directly challenge me or any other Black woman writer.  It’s not like Tavis hasn’t had the opportunity to engage me in conversation or directly challenge my writings; I have attended and covered several of his events, and have had press credentials at all of them, and the theme is always the same – exhort Black people to an emotional frenzy and send them back into their communities with less than a two-piece and a biscuit.

I mean, I’m only a blogger who writes my opinion and I do it on a voluntary basis.  There is no compensatory benefit for my work; I do it because my values, my beliefs, and my principles compel me to write.  And the JJP readers keep me scrupulously honest in my writings; therefore, I do not engage the readers with bullshyt – they know where I stand, even if they do not agree with me.  I told Ms. Thompson that I am a lightening rod for getting reamed over the most mildly critiques of President Obama (and she actually asked the question, y’all), but I noticed there is no mention of how I get reamed for criticising the POTUS on the regular. If Ms. Thompson acted like a trained journalist and did due diligence, she would have found this article clearly telling her who I was and what I covered.  Moreover, a check of the Washington Post’s OWN ARCHIVES would have found this:

When Leutisha Stills, who writes under the name the Christian Progressive Liberal, criticizes Obama on the black-oriented Web site Jack & Jill Politics, she is virtually shouted down, according to Baratunde Thurston, who co-developed the site.

Ms. Thompson had an agenda and that was to defend Tavis Smiley as well as elevate him to Black Leadership status.  Judging from the comments I’ve read here and elsewhere, she wasn’t too successful, and shame on Tavis for pimping out a staff writer for the Washington Post to do his dirty work for him.  Now, who’s the lazy SOB?

5.  Mr. Smiley is NOT critiquing President Obama on a factual basis; the day Mr. Obama blew off an invitation to the State of the Black Union being held in Jamestown, Virginia (to celebrate the beginning of Black people being ENSLAVED) and announced his candidacy for President – Tavis got Mr. Obama in his sights and refuses to let up, even though he continues to lose.

6.  Tavis envisioned himself as a “KingMaker” of sorts, and Mr. Obama basically told him through his actions, to shove that notion up his keester.  No one challenges Tavis on why the Clintons were allowed to practically demonize African-Americans in Hillary’s quest for the White House, while he provided the platform for them to do it; but we’re supposed to welcome his attempt to hold an elected official accountable while he collects a paycheck from corporations like ExxonMobil, Wal-MART and McDonalds for sponsoring his annual Negro Super Bowl – industries that have contributed to ruination of communities while depressing the economy.  Yeah, Right.

So why is Brother Tavis silent for nearly ten years during the Clinton and Bush Administrations, during which the prison industrial complex flourished because Bill Clinton made damned sure more Black and Latino people were incarcerated; the media got to cock their nose at the FCC regulations, and George Bush lied this country into war and left office with the worst recession EVER because he bailed out the Banking industry – Tavis hasn’t said jack about THAT – but HE’S THE RESPONSIBLE MEDIA THAT’S GOING TO CRY FOR ACCOUNTABILITY FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA, when he hasn’t learned the word “accountability” until two years ago?

Until he can answer those questions, you can get the hell out of here with that shyt, too.  Additionally, Tavis never challenges women who dare to disagree with him – he gets flunkies like your staff writer to do it for him. However, there are a lot of  Brothas calling him out for similar issues and he’s not answering them because he KNOWS a brotha like Boyce Watkins, Christopher Chambers, Francis Holland or even Wayne Bennett (the Field Negro to YOU) will not only NOT tolerate his mess – they will line up to be the first ones to break out collective cans of whip-ass.  Instead, Tavis beats up on women bloggers, and in this case, he got a willing flunkie to attempt to open up a can of whip-ass and she didn’t even bring the can opener.  Ask Jasmyne Cannick about the last time Tavis tried to put a beat down on a sista blogger and learn how he handled it.

The next time you want to interview me, or any other person who writes about African-Americans and their Political Diaspora, I’d appreciate it if you sent a credentialed writer like Dana Milbank, and keep your flunkies in the office unless they’re aspiring to be the next Jayson Blair.


Leutisha Stills (aka The Christian Progressive Liberal)

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