Tavis Smiley’s beef with Obama: ‘he hasn’t invited me to the White House’ … seriously

Smiley and West vs. President Obama: it's personal

If you doubted, even for a second, that the beef between Tavis Smiley and his friend and “poverty tour” partner Dr. Cornel West and President Obama was strictly personal, doubt it no more.

A lot has been written and said (examples here, here, and here, and former Smiley patron Tom Joyner’s blistering attack here…) about the personal (and frankly, petty) grievances that have propelled the hostility between Tavis, Dr. West and the president. But few people have put the matter as plainly as Tavis himself:

“Prior to his being elected, he came on my radio programs and TV programs with regularity,” Smiley said. “Once he got elected 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 this White House.”

Smiley said that Obama, whom he’s known for years, “is the first president in my professional career that hasn’t invited me to the White House.”

And there you have it, folks. Tavis didn’t get his White House invite (which of course is a critical first step toward ending poverty in America… ahem …) so therefore, it’s on, Mr. President.


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11 Responses to Tavis Smiley’s beef with Obama: ‘he hasn’t invited me to the White House’ … seriously

  1. "Josephine" says:

    Mr. Smiley directly disrespected First Lady Michelle Obama during the presidential campaign; from that point on, he was off of the “e-mailing list” of the President. President Obama is not thin skinned, he has been called everything but a child of God, but if you disrespect his family, then using your words, “it is on.” For this reason, Mr. Smiley can “whine and moan” forever, but he should never expect for President Obama to think of him in this life.

    As far as dear Professor Cornel West is concerned, I think he is along for the ride with Mr. Smiley. I believe Harvard University “bounced his butt” out of of their Ivory Tower for poor faculty productivity regarding his lectures/presentations (it seems he was always on a personal book tour or doing press junkets to promote his books instead of holding classes in real time). What does this have to do with President Obama you say? Seemingly, he has been livid with President Obama when he found out that Larry Summers (former President of Harvard Univ) was working for the Obama administration. Apparently, Mr. Summers was the president/administrator at Harvard, that put Cornel West on the fast track to removeal from Harvard and he is holding a grudge with the President because of that. Which is really weird because seemingly he has a professorship at Princeton Univ. (another Ivory Tower).

    Both of these professional grifters (Smiley and West) , they have petty, superflous reasons to be upset with President Obama. Their primary objective is to be relevant and rich off of other people’s successes. Funny, I do not recall any recent Presidents (Bush I, Clinton or Bush II) inviting them to the White House either. Mmmmm…….

  2. Criticism has its place in every relationship whether it is personal, professional or political. However, criticism that is petty and personal is not productive. Criticism that is constructive is often welcome. Criticism that is incessant and attacking is repulsive.

    One can never get better if no one ever shares points or provides advice where they can do better. I always ask people to criticize me because, although I am not arrogant, I am just arrogant enough to know what I am doing well. Tell me where I am not doing so well and it will help me to be better. On the other hand, no one wants accept advice or criticism from anyone whose motive is not to help them improve but rather to constantly criticize and accuse.

    I too have criticized President Obama because I think he should have stopped trying to negotiate with republicans, particularly when he controlled both houses of congress, a long time ago and should have already begun to use language that is more direct and forceful. When he addresses the nation in a press conference or briefing he has to stop trying to cover several issues at once and focus like a laser on one issue. He must clearly frame what is at stake and what impact it will have on various segments of the audience. At the same time, I can praise the president because without staunch republican opposition he would have been able to turn this country around socially and economically. He has already passed historic legislation and his bail out of the auto industry brought it back from the brink of annihilation. There is much to praise this president for so it appears that a lack of appreciation from those who choose to criticize him repeatedly makes them seem petty.

    I can understand Smiley being a news personality feeling that he has a duty to offer a point of view. But I don’t understand where Dr. West gets the temerity to criticize the president incessantly. His wild haired, thick neck scarf, black suited eccentricities make his appearance a hindrance to hearing his words. Rather than appearing as an expert Dr. West looks like he needs to be examined. I never walk away from hearing Dr. West speak feeling enlightened. The only person I know who believes that he has Yoda like wisdom is Tavis Smiley. I cannot find where he has made any relevant contribution to expanding the knowledge or elevating the level of thought in his profession. It seems to me that Dr. West is more or less a non-entity. He has no business thinking that he can comment on someone else’s professional performance critically. Mr. Smiley, because he leans on Dr. West for guidance and advice heavily, is probably being unduly influenced to use his position in the media to carryout Dr. West’s personal agenda.

  3. Miranda says:

    Tavis and Dr. West have become complete caricatures of themselves. This is so sad to watch. They are losing their minds right before our eyes and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. They’re gone…just out there…..away….just gone.

  4. rikyrah says:

    This shyt has gone into the realm of the patently absurd.

    if he wants to visit the WH, he better apply for a WH Tour like the rest of us.

    here’s a hint Travis:

    Your Black Ass disrespected MICHELLE ROBINSON OBAMA.


  5. TrumpDog says:

    I’d known this was more personal and their attacks were not based on actual concern for the poor.
    Corney is still made someone in his family did not get Inaugaration ticketswhile a hotel worker did. Now it’s come to light that Tavis is holding a grudge that he did not get a WH invite. Wonder what they will do next, egg the president’s car? Crank phone calls in the middle of the night?

  6. Ronbo says:

    Good for Smiley and West. I too feel that Obama has turned his back upon the middle-class, and the working-poor. Well, no new jobs. In fact we have less focus on jobs and more on taking away the retirement benefits of Social Security.

    Now… for those making millions, President Obama has been about as good a Bush. They have an extension of the Bush Tax Cuts, they have a Payroll tax holiday. They are still in control of the Banks and Wallstreet – not a single person has been prosecuted (except whistleblowers). Their incomes are up and their taxes are down. Too bad the “job creators” are not creating jobs.

  7. DJE says:

    Your post is as ignorant as Tavis and West’s “poverty tour.”
    President Obama has fought for the poor and the middle class, and the GOP has almost destroyed America’s economy because they do not want tax increases for the wealthy.
    The wealthy, the corporations have ALWAYS been in power in Washington, and it got worse with Republican Presidents in office, any you can’t change that overnight, or in a few years.
    You got a problem with this? Then run for President and win. Can’t do that because you are not smart enough? Then shut the “f” up.

  8. hilda banks says:

    West and Smiley, two clowns. Keep driving, nothing to see here. So, they haven’t been invited to the WH. I am sure if they called the President personally and talked to him as man to man, they would get a different outcome but to bash and complain about the President is just absurb. We all know President Obama is being held to a much higher standard than any other President ever elected so why can’t people see this. Everything he does is never met with “yeah, good job, Mr President but always with the President should have done this or that. I am the type of person who will always stick with someone when he is being kicked around like a football, I will not give up because I know that this is a concerted effort to make sure as Bachmann says, to make sure President Obama is a one term President and if everyday your own base is consistently bashing you, they will make sure that happens, then they will spend the next four years talking about what the Republicans are doing. Keep it up, progressives, and you will dig your own grave.Just my opinion.

  9. ed strong says:

    I don’t really know the real story behind the fallout between the President and Mr. Smiley, but I think it’s a good time to reconcile their differences. If I was Mr. Smiley I would rally the troups behind the President; helping him to win a second term. Then ask the president for that audience again; I sure he means well. Every little step will help, but we should focus more on issiues and elections in each individual state for our best results.

  10. Eric L. Wattree says:

    The hostility that Tavis and West have for President Obama is so transparent that if it were glass we would have walked right through it and cut ourselves to shreds. These two are shameless, and it’s a national disgrace how the establishment media is allowing them to prance around posing as the savior of the average man – in fact, even helping to promote them with continuous interviews that allow them to perpetuate their fraudulent image.
    These two thought that they were gonna become the Grand Dragons of the Black Community – which is a very profitable gig when you’re selling access to the Black community to ALEC corporations like Tavis. Tavis Smiley is the biggest corporate shill in the Black community. He fronts for Walmart, Wells Fargo, Exxon/Mobile, Allstate Ins., Nationwide Ins., etc. – a veritable who’s who of the corporations who are victimizing the poor and middle class, and who are spending millions of dollars to obstruct minority voter rights. That’s what makes it so ironic that they’re trying to portray themselves as the saviors of “the poor minorities.”
    During Obama’s first campaign for president Smiley and West had already hitched their wagons to Hillary Clinton. She was 37 points ahead of Obama in the Black community at the time, so they were all set to gain the clout, prestige, and riches of having presidential access and being acknowledged as the new grand viziers of the Black community, but then, Obama won and caught them by surprise. In fact, Cornel tried to jump the fence and began campaigning for him when it became clear that Obama might actually win, but Obama wasn’t having it. That’s what caused the controversy over West not being invited to the inaugural celebration.
    West tried to frame the issue like Obama was an ingrate for not inviting him to the inauguration after he campaigned for him, but he’s not mentioning the fact that he started off dogging Obama – and on the very day that Obama went to Springfield, Illinois to announce his candidacy instead of coming on Tavis’ “State of the Black Union” jibfest.
    Look at the video below and notice how entitled West sounds. He stated on national television that the Black community couldn’t trust Obama because he didn’t come on Tavis’ show. That was the very morning that I realized that both Tavis and West were egomaniacal fools. That’s also the morning I started investigating them, and I’ve written nearly 30 articles on them since.
    Notice how you can see Wells Fargo and Exxon/Mobil logos floating by behind West even as he’s ranting about how Obama is surrounding himself with people who can’t be trusted. Tavis was later involved in the Wells Fargo “Ghetto Loans” scam, where Wells Fargo ended up having to settled a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice agreeing to pay poor and middle-class minorities $175 million as a result of the scam. This is the biggest scandal EVER perpetrated by a Black man on the Black community, but the establishment media is refusing to cover it. That’s why I am.

  11. Dave says:

    Presidents are not, in fact, dictators. They can only do so much. Last time I checked, the GOP controlled the House, and the the Tea Partiers are a quagmire of inactivity. Oh, and it seems there’s a large amount of racism existing in those corners, hiding in plain sight. What Tavis and Cornel except of Obama is beyond me, even after listening to them.

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