Of course, the main thing Mo’Kelly and most EUR readers want to know is why he left the Tom Joyner morning show.
Specifically, Mo’Kelly went to the heart of the matter and asked if it was due to the pressure he received from listeners in response to his critique of Barack Obama and whether or not he is a supporter of the Democratic nominee?
When asked directly if he left the Tom Joyner show for any reason having to do with Barack Obama, Tavis replied:
“I left Tom Joyner because I had been there for 12 years … and I wanted to do some other stuff.”
Smiley also pointed out that his intentions were to leave the show after 10 years, but with the unexpected success of his book “The Covenant with Black America,” he believed the timing was not right to leave at the end of the 10 year mark.
The radio and TV talk show host also stated that it was Tom Joyner himself that went on air and publicly suggested the reason for Smiley’s departure was due to the “hate” he received from Obama supporters over his commentary on Barack. Smiley once again confirmed that the criticism he got over his Obama comments had no bearing on his final decision, but rather he left to explore new ideas and ventures, and also to give others the chance to be heard.
Bloggers and pundits alike also questioned whether or not Tavis endorsed Hillary Clinton. Mo’Kelly asked Smiley whether or not he endorsed Clinton, Smiley responded by saying:
“Given the role that I play on public television and public radio … the public deserves from me fair and balanced commentary. Because of this reason I do not endorse candidates.”
Smiley went on to state that his job is to hold all officials accountable about their politics. He also confirmed that he and Barack have a good relationship, and despite the differences in opinion they have a mutual respect for one another.
On another note, one of the projects that Smiley has been working on since his departure from the Tom Joyner show is a compilation of some of his commentaries called “On Air: The best of Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner morning show 2004-2008.” It’s a 4 CD set documenting some of Tavis’s most memorable commentaries. One that I found very interesting was the commentary he provided after the atrocities of Hurricane Katrina. He really captured the sentiment that not only Black Americans, but most Americans felt at the time.
Whether you agree with him or not, Tavis continues to remain at the forefront in the struggle for equality for Black Americans. Through his books, radio, or television programs, Smiley continues to pose the questions to all politicians and activist alike: “How are you going to help black people? Tavis unashamedly comes from the paradigm that a boost to Black America is a boost to all Americans and there is noting wrong with that.