10 Things We can ALL Learn from Tavis Smiley

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

We have to admit, we’re a bit confused about the direction that Tavis Smiley is going in. His rapid and massive bridge-burning streak seems to be running out of prospects after several public run-ins with some of the black community’s most notable and powerful figures and now he has lost his suite about PBS and they won the countersuit.  

Some of us think we know Tavis and some of us accuse him of being insanely jealous of President Obama. But do we know him? Let’s look at his past situations and see how well he fared before his Poor People’s campaign and self proclaimed demands that President Obama be “accountable”.

Don,t Piss Tom Joyner Off

…especially when he is your number one supporter. This has to be the greatest faux pas of ALL. Joyner stuck by Tavis like glue and gave him a HUGE platform on the Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS) , an opportunity that catapulted Smiley into the stratosphere with an audience of 8 million people but that wasn’t quite enough, it appears. Tavis, mysterious departure from the show obviously left a bad taste in Joyner’s mouth and you could tell by Joyner’s response when Tavis announced he was leaving. Joyner truly believed in Tavis. Once Tavis was gone from the TJMS, it appeared the departure closed many more doors as his influence was greatly affected and he was forced to explore other opportunities.

Don,t Piss Steve Harvey Off

This goes without saying, the 85 million dollar man is a HUGE media mogul right now and his public pimp slap calling Tavis and Cornel “Uncle Toms” didn’t help Tavis, plight for continued success. Many in the black community chimed in with Harvey asking collectively what Tavis, issue was/is with our president.

Don’t Piss Al Sharpton off

Tavis learned the hard way that Al Sharpton has been in the political game for black people a LOT longer than he has and Al let him know it when he ever so eloquently laid Tavis to rest LIVE on the Al Sharpton show. Tavis Smiley is extremely insulted when people turn down his invitations, like President Obama, who has much greater concerns as the POTUS and Sharpton. Tavis publicly attacked Sharpton for not responding to another invitation by trying to corner him kissing up to the president and changing his political position after Sharpton made a quote in the New York Times.  

Sharpton, a previous friend who Tavis ” loves and there ain’t nothing he can do about it” verbally lambasted Tavis and called him out for his jealousy and hatred of President Obama. Smiley was too wounded to respond as Al polished him off and removed another two rungs for the ladder of Tavis, previous success.   That conversation will go down in Radio Facts history as one of the BEST black talk radio conversations EVER! There has not been any public display or acknowledgement that the two have been friends since the incident.

Don’t Piss Robert Johnson and BET off

This was Tavis, first, and it should have been his last, big mistake. Pissing off the previous head honcho and owner at bet who pulled the plug on Tavis, show some years ago. Ironically it was Tom Joyner who came to Tavis, defense about the firing prompting Johnson and Joyner to clash as Johnson expressed his dismay over Joyner,s misleading statements. Apparently, Joyner thought Mel Karmazin fired Tavis when Viacom took over bet but Johnson was quick to take responsibility for being the actual one who fired Tavis, citing after a five-year relationship with Tavis Smiley, “we have terminated the remainder of his contract effective immediately. There are a number of public and private concerns which led to my decision. Actions by Mr. Smiley left us little recourse but to make this move.”

Don’t Piss Comp-USA off

Tom Joyner stated “As long as I have a show, Smiley has a voice on the air” during the bet debacle. Seems that changed when Tom got to know Tavis himself. Joyner was SUCH a staunch supporter of Tavis he even risked him OWN show by allowing Tavis the time on-air to attack former retailer Comp-USA for not marketing their store to black consumers. Tavis certainly had a valid point here but he put Comp-USA on such a humiliation blast that they sent two very nervous white executives (it appeared they didn,t, have any blacks in upper management) to the Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS) to resolve the situation but not before sending their own lawyers in to attempt a gag order on the TJMS from talking about them didn,t, work.


Isn,t it strange how The State of the Black Union disappeared very mysteriously after 10 years? It appeared to be a very successful show then it was gone without much explanation except that Tavis was “moving on to other projects.”

Don’t piss Your Black Audience Off

(..or wear this much makeup in a press shot) These are the people that have supported Tavis the most. He has been an advocate for the black community and then he attacked the first black president in the history of the US because he didn’t accept an invitation to his event and opted to send Michelle instead. Tavis, innate dismay about this situation is evident to the point of appearing to be keen and unadulterated alleged jealousy.

When his books didn’t work, he decided to come after our President with his poor people’s campaign. This one has us stomped. How in the hell does Tavis think poverty will end in this country? Has he not considered there are some people who REFUSE to grow, REFUSE to work and REFUSE to better themselves?

Don’t Bite the White Hands you Need to Feed You

Tavis, pro black stance over the years have left him in a very uncomfortable position. He now needs the support of those he previously attacked WITHOUT a black platform. He is a GREAT host at PBS with mostly white guests. Tavis, interviewing style is much more subdued and less opinionated and he does a great job. We were informed that Tavis has to raise millions for the show to run so he has a vested interest in not ruffling any feathers in this situation. Out of all that we have seen him do, he is BEST at the PBS gig.

Don’t go Against the President

Try as he may… Tavis will never win in his fight against the president but he refuses to give up and now Cornel West has joined him which makes it even more bizarre.

Stick to what you are best at, Leave the Rest Alone

Nuff said…

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