At first, I could not believe my eyes. But there it was. The first highly unofficial and equally highly suspect presidential poll made its debut last week by none other than our friendly folks at CNN. By way of background, CNN is in the tank these days from a ratings standpoint having been clobbered by the Fox News Network. That's why they are releasing these phony polls far in advance of the presidential fireworks. But back to the polls.
Leading the pack of Democratic wannabes was Joe Lieberman of Al Gore fame followed at some distance by John Kerry of Heinz catsup fame. But then the real clinker that had me rubbing my eyes. There was none other than our friend the Rev. Al Sharpton ahead of the other seven dwarfs named Gephardt, Edwards, Dean, et. al.
Al Sharpton? Could it be possible that Sharpton was actually being embraced by the Democratic party? Granted, when the numbers were crunched a bit more Sharpton clearly got his support from the minority community. But even that has me amazed.
Let's for just a moment remember Al Sharpton and the Tawana Brawley case that will surely haunt his 15 minutes of fame. Do you remember Tawana Brawley? Well I do.
Back in 1987, Brawley concocted a story that she was kidnapped, abused and raped by a half-dozen cops and other law enforcement folks. Brawley later admitted she lied. She has since disappeared and still owes a half million bucks to the people she clearly defamed. But back to Al.
Sharpton - ever on the lookout for racially-charged headlines - quickly jumped to her defense and accused one little-known prosecutor as the culprit who raped Brawley. Sharpton held countless news conferences to finger the prosecutor as the rapist before the case went to trial. In court, 13 eyewitnesses said it was impossible for the prosecutor to have done the dastardly deed that Sharpton had outlined. And the courts quickly ruled that Brawley was lying and exonerated the prosecutor. He then sued Sharpton and easily won a $65,000 defamation verdict against the Rev. Al.
And yet to this day, Sharpton has failed to apologize for his twisted tale. The fine went unpaid until Johnnie Cochran and other minority businessmen paid the fee.
And don't forget, this is not the first brush with the truth that has escaped Sharpton. The good Reverend has been charged in the past with tax evasion, has acknowledged he was an FBI informant and was responsible for inciting a riot in Harlem over a white-owned business. That final episode ended in eight deaths.
Sharpton is the lowest form of human life. He preys on issues of race without fail. And when proven woefully wrong - as in the Tawana Brawley case - Al takes a powder and runs.
Now you tell me - this is among the top three favorites in the Democratic presidential field? You must be kidding!