Cornel West took aim at MSNBC's black anchors in an appearance on "Democracy Now" on Friday.
West made headlines when, during the interview with Amy Goodman, he called President Obama a "Rockefeller Republican in blackface." But he also reserved very harsh words for Al Sharpton, Melissa Harris-Perry and frequent MSNBC guest host Michael Eric Dyson. Goodman played a clip of Dyson defending Obama's record, and asked West and fellow guest Tavis Smiley to comment. (Jump to 11:35 in the above video)
"I love Brother Mike Dyson, but we're living in a society where everybody is up for sale," West said. "Everything is up for sale. And he and Brother Sharpton and Sister Melissa and others, they have sold their souls for a mess of Obama pottage. And we invite them back to the black prophetic tradition after Obama leaves. But at the moment, they want insider access, and they want to tell those kind of lies. They want to turn their back to poor and working people. And it's a sad thing to see them as apologists for the Obama administration in that way, given the kind of critical background that all of them have had at some point."
West has clashed heatedly with both Sharpton and Harris-Perry before. He and Sharpton had a legendarily hostile encounter about the Obama administration's record on MSNBC in 2011. In February 2012, he called Harris-Perry a "fake and a fraud," which may have had something to do with a 2011 column she wrote calling him a "self-aggrandizing" man who "offers thin criticism of President Obama and stunning insight into the delicate ego of the self-appointed black leadership class that has been largely supplanted in recent years."