PBS talk-show host and social activist Tavis Smiley is creating a buzz today (Aug. 11) with comments on C-SPAN about his professional relationship with President Obama, of whom he is often critical. “Once he got elected,” Smiley said, “and my critique of him about holding him accountable to various things didn’t sit so well with him or the people around him, he has not at this point come on my TV or radio programs one time since he’s been in the White House. This is the first president in my professional career that hasn’t invited me to the White House.”
Smiley and Princeton University professor Cornell West are currently on a 15-city “Poverty Tour,” attempting to make the problem a higher-profile issue for the 2012 election.
I have been snubbed by president after president. Seriously: I have never once been invited to the White House. Not by Reagan, not by Bush, not by Clinton, not by the second Bush, not by Obama. It’s outrageous.