Cornel West: MSNBC a ‘rent-a-negro’ network, Sharpton on ‘Obama plantation’

theGRIO REPORT - After calling Obama a 'global George Zimmerman,' West has now also directed his ire at MSNBC and one of the hosts of the cable network, Rev. Al Sharpton...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Dr. Cornel West has recently been under fire for his characteristically outspoken remarks on President Barack Obama’s personal and political views.

This week he called the president a “global George Zimmerman” when asked to weigh in on his response to the George Zimmerman verdict and now West is directing his ire at MSNBC and, more specifically, one of the cable network’s hosts, Rev. Al Sharpton.

TheGrio and MSNBC are both part of NBC News which is owned by NBCUniversal.

This weekend, while appearing on Tavis Smiley’s radio show, West said Sharpton is still on “the Obama plantation,” and argued that this has inhibited the MSNBC host and political activist from being more critical of the president and Attorney General Eric Holder.

Smiley has also made controversial remarks about Obama and his response to the George Zimmerman trial.

“Deep down in his soul I think he really does feel a fire, but he can’t allow that fire to in any way spill over toward the White House. Why? Because he’s still too tied, he’s too uncritical, he’s too deferential, he’s too subservient as it were and as long as that’s in place we’re going to find ourselves unable to tell the fundamental truth,” West told Smiley.

West and Smiley spoke more on the Zimmerman acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin and discussed the media’s handling of the racial dynamics of the case.

“What’s your sense of how the media, and not just Fox News but beyond that, your read as you’ve been watching this, how the media handled this case?” Smiley asked West.

“I think that it’s been decrepit though, brother. I mean, you get a focus on some of the upper middle class folk. I mean, what I call the ‘rent-a-negro’ phenomenon on MSNBC…'” West answered.

While West expressed his displeasure with the network, he failed to mention that he has frequently appeared as a guest on the cable news channel in the past.