Al Sharpton used his first night as a permanent host on MSNBC to squarely tell his viewers what his anchor style would be--and to warn them not to touch the dial.
After he hosted the unbranded "MSNBC Live" 6 PM hour for over a month, Sharpton's "PoliticsNation" officially debuted on Monday night, complete with bombastic, somewhat retro-ish opening music and graphics. In the middle of a segment about Michele Bachmann, Sharpton spoke directly to the audience about the new show.
"I'm not going to be a robotic host reading the teleprompter like a robot," he said. "Nor am I going to come in here and do the James Brown and do the electric slide to prove to you that I'm not stiff." This was a reference to some recent, less-than-friendly reviews Sharpton has received about his style--and to his instantly viral teleprompter gaffe from earlier in August.
To underscore his point, he did a spot of dancing in his chair that Lawrence O'Donnell surely could not have accomplished. "I'm going to say what I mean and mean what I say," he added. Finally, he said he would take his cue from a favorite DJ of his youth.
"Watch the show, because you will soon learn at this hour, if PoliticsNation is not on your television, your television really isn't on," he said. Them's fighting words! Surely Wolf Blitzer and Bret Baier might have something to say about it.Watch the opening: Watch Sharpton dance: