April 19, 2014
This is a tale of two unpunished crimes in one city. Let’s start with my old friend the Rev. Al Sharpton. I call him an old buddy because about fifteen years ago, in a downtown restaurant, a boxer friend asked the strutting Sharpton if he wanted to meet yours truly. The reverend did not miss a beat: “Man, I got better things to do than meet Taki,” he snorted. I burst into laughter, so he stopped and shook my hand and I pretended to count my fingers and then it was his turn to laugh. As some of you may remember, Al became famous thirty years ago by playing the race card nonstop and claiming that a young black girl had been kidnapped and raped by six white men, including an assistant district attorney working for Rudy Giuliani. The case turned out to be a classic: full of baloney, as they used to say in Brooklyn in the good old days. Tawana Brawley, the so-called victim, turned out to have run away from home and to have made the story up to escape punishment. But at the time the tabloids went ballistic. An assistant D.A. kidnapping a 15-year-old black girl and raping her was a once in a lifetime scandal. It only took about seven months for a jury to decide the case was as phony as a three-dollar bill and then some. Once Tawana was debunked, the D.A. sued her and the reverend both for defamation. He won on seven counts against Sharpton but never collected a cent from him personally—the good reverend refused to pay, so his followers eventually footed the bill. Brawley has now paid about one percent of what she owes from the suit.
Oh well, it’s water under the dam now, as they used to say in Alabama where the reverend’s momma came from, and where people used to tell tall tales about the fish they caught and the women they slept with. The Rev. Al has done very well since. He has led countless protests against the fuzz, now has his own TV network, yes, I said network, his own show on national television to boot, and has countless cars and apartments all over these United States—but he never paid a dime of his own to the D.A. whom he slandered and libeled, nor did the reverend repent. He is occasionally sued by the IRS for taxes but always pleads poverty and the matter is dropped. He also claims it’s racism, something he’s an expert on.
His latest, however, is as good as it gets. The Rev. Al, it seems, once got a bit panicky: during a videotaped FBI sting, an agent posing as a South American drug lord told him, “Now I can get pure coke, or, you know, 99 percent, for about 35,000 a kilo,” and Sharpton drooled a bit. When the video was played back to him by the Feds, Al knew the game was up so he decided to turn patriot. This was back in 1983. Al said he’d be willing to wear a wire and expose the mob. After he turned snitch, he helped bust famous mob figures like Vincent “The Chin” Gigante and other such socialites. Last week, when his government “work” was exposed in the media he turned defeat into a famous victory by claiming that he had driven the mob out of the community and that he was no rat.
Black people cheered and are still cheering. Including—just wait for this: Attorney General Eric Holder, the highest law officer in the American government, and the president himself, Barack Hussein Obama. Last week they, along with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo, attended Al’s convention in the Bagel for the National Action Network, his very own network that works solely for the advancement of himself. His stunt got the usual coverage but The Times downplayed the curious way the President avoided any mention of how Al became a government snitch. I think they even cancelled the Coke commercials in case someone got the wrong idea, but I cannot confirm this. This is the paper of record.
Mind you, you gotta love Al. Talk about chutzpah. He’s got more of it than the whole of Israel. He’s legitimized his crimes and instead of doing ten to twenty he’s got the president of dem United States himself flying into the city to kiss his ring. The bigger the controversy the more black people and leftists signed up and genuflected. I will not bother to go and figure. Instead, I will tell you about another very honest man, another old friend, Stevie Cohen, multibillionaire fund manager. Stevie is short, fat, and bald, whereas Al is short, recently thin, and has a Samson-like hairstyle. The bald one has eleven billion smackers, and has recently agreed to pay the U.S. government 900 million as a settlement—part of a total 1.8 billion in criminal and civil penalties—to close the books on his fund’s role of insider trading. When the dust clears at least six of his former employees will stand convicted of the foul deed, but Stevie has kept his own hands squeaky clean and claims ignorance of the foul deed of insider trading. The fact that he knew when someone spent too much on paper clips in the office was deemed irrelevant by the D.A. Stevie gets to keep out of jail, and, more important, nine out of his eleven billions. As I write two more of his top execs are waiting to be sentenced. All I ask is does crime pay or what? Happy Easter to all of you. Both Steve and Al will be on their yachts somewhere on the Caribbean.