As the aftermath of Michael Brown’s shooting and the grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson continues to ratchet up racial tensions in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the United States, Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren sat down for a chat with the Wrap on Tuesday afternoon.
During the interview, the long time news personality, former trial attorney, and legal analyst was asked to put the media coverage of Ferguson “on the stand” and Greta Van Susteren followed with responses that focused primarily on MSNBC host and Reverend, Al Sharpton.
Greta Van Susteren pulled no punches in her analysis of Sharpton’s involvement so far in Ferguson, her criticism of the Reverend plain and straight forward.
“I think Al Sharpton has injected himself way into it, and I think he has poured gasoline on the fire. I’m so disappointed in Al Sharpton because he has the platform to heal, and he hasn’t done that — he actually could have done some good. He certainly hasn’t helped matters.”
In perhaps a case of Sharpton grandstanding, or focusing too much of the Ferguson spotlight on himself, Greta Van Susteren believes Al Sharpton has “poured gasoline” on the Ferguson fire by constantly injecting himself into the story and being so heavily involved with what has been happening on the Ferguson streets. Van Susteren also indicated that while Al Sharpton should be trying to alleviate the high tensions, he has instead done the exact opposite.
The Reverend Al Sharpton has been a major figure throughout the violent protests in Ferguson, along with others and the family of Michael Brown, calling for justice in Ferguson in the wake of the grand jury failing to indict Officer Darren Wilson.
At the same time, Sharpton did touch on some people taking their protesting too far during a sermon he delivered at Brown’s church on Monday, saying, “Don’t confuse them (looters) with the young folk who are standing up and marching, and the old folk. They are the true patriots in this country, because they are asking for the system to correct itself.”
But for Greta Van Susteren, while that may all be well and good, ignoring the facts of the Michael Brown and Darren Wilson case in favor of taking sides on such a volatile issue — particularly when you’re a highly recognized community leader like Al Sharpton — is not the right thing to do.
“Facts matter, that’s all that matters. People often times in very hot issues, like race or gender, they take sides; that’s so wrong. We have to wait for the facts. Facts really, really, matter. It’s painful, but people just take sides.”
As an anchor on a major news outlet, one could assume that Greta Van Susteren has been watching much of the Ferguson media coverage. But that would be an incorrect assumption, as Van Susteren says she hasn’t watched any network coverage of Ferguson.
“I’m a friend of Rachel Maddow’s, it’s just I’m driving home at night by that time, so I miss her show, but I won’t watch MSNBC because for the life of me, I don’t understand Al Sharpton sticking his nose into it and being part of the story.”
Regarding Greta Van Susteren’s dressing down of Sharpton in their interview, the Wrap reported no response back from MSNBC.
Unlike MSNBC, Van Susteren has had plenty of comments though, when it comes to reactions generated by what has been going on in Ferguson. The Rams players that raised their hands while coming onto the field Sunday to protest the Darren Wilson grand jury decision, for instance, also elicited unfavorable feedback from Van Susteren, reports Mediaite.
“I don’t know about you, but when I watch football, I want to watch football,” said Van Susteren on Fox News on Monday night. “I don’t want to watch someone’s political agenda shoved down my throat, whether I’m in agreement with it or not… Why ruin football with politics and controversy? It’s just a game.”
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