New York's Sharpton: Old FBI Tape 'Dirty Tricks'

gwhunter69

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New York's Sharpton: Old FBI Tape 'Dirty Tricks'
Tue Jul 23, 3:26 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Rev. Al Sharpton on Tuesday accused a cable TV network and the U.S. government of conducting "a campaign of dirty tricks" to disrupt his possible presidential bid by releasing a 19-year-old FBI ( news - web sites) videotape of him being approached about a cocaine deal.

In the 1983 tape to be broadcast on Tuesday night by Home Box Office's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," Sharpton nods, says "right" and "I hear you" as an undercover agent posing as a South American drug dealer outlines potential profits.

Sharpton's attorney Michael Hardy told a news conference the activist planned to file a lawsuit on Wednesday against HBO seeking $500 million in damages for portraying Sharpton in a disparaging light.

HBO Sports spokesman Ray Stallone said, "We stand by our reporting" and that the show would air as scheduled. An FBI spokesman declined comment. HBO is a unit of Time Warner Entertainment, which is jointly owned by AOL Time Warner and AT&T .

Sharpton, who was not charged as a result of the recording, said the conversation was originally about promoting boxing matches and suddenly turned to drug dealing.

"HBO Sports and the U.S. government is initiating a campaign of dirty tricks against me to disrupt my probable presidential campaign," Sharpton, who heads the Harlem-based National Action Network, said in a statement.

At Tuesday's news conference, Sharpton was unapologetic and determined that "it will take more than a distorted 19-year-old tape ... that starts in midconversation and has no beginning and no end" to derail his 2004 presidential bid.

He said he had not spoken with HBO host Gumbel and that the tapes were "clearly a desperate attempt by some to play tabloid TV with an old and very complex story."

"They intentionally and maliciously distorted something that ended with an abrupt 'No'... The only thing I have to be embarrassed about is trying to explain the cheap cowboy hat to my teen-age daughters."

In announcing plans to sue, he added, "They tried to sting me and I end up being the bee."

BOXING PROMOTER

HBO is broadcasting the tape as part of a story about a former Mafia captain, Michael Franzese, who organized gambling by professional athletes. Franzese tells HBO he met Sharpton after the FBI agent, Victor Quintana, approached him hoping to arrange a meeting with boxing promoter Don King. Sharpton was purportedly planning the meeting with King.

The fiery Sharpton came to national prominence as a representative for New York teen-ager Tawana Brawley, who claimed she was raped by a gang of white men in 1987. A grand jury found the story was a hoax and Sharpton was ordered to pay a fine of $65,000 for slander.

In recent years, Sharpton has led demonstrations over allegations of police brutality in New York and Los Angeles.

Last year, he spent several months in jail after protesting U.S. Navy ( news - web sites) bombing exercises in Puerto Rico and announced on his release that he was considering running for president in 2004. Earlier this month, Sharpton teamed up with pop star Michael Jackson to protest what they said was exploitation of black performers by record companies.



(Edited by gwhunter69 at 8:17 am on July 24, 2002)
 

Welby

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Newsflash!  That $500 million lawsuit is now a whopping $1 billion lawsuit.  You can't say the helmet-haired reverend doesn't aim high.

I love it when the media busts him and Jesse "Bootlip" Jackson in the frocks for their wrongdoings.
 

tinner

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dr. james dobson had a guest on his radio show that has done extensive research on jackson's role in extorting money from black business owners in chicago using chigago's black gang members. i cant remember the name of the guest but he has some books out on the subject.
 

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