Tavis Smiley contends the Obama administration pressured sponsors to not support his initiatives…typical Smiley whining or Obama Team playing hardball?

Tavis Smiley has been a critic of the president since 2007 when he did not attend his State of Black america conference. His criticism cost him his job on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. Since that time Smiley and Joyner have had a very public, brutal parting of the ways. This morning on the TJMS they were mocking Smiley’s contention that the president was pressuring his sponsors to drop him. If I had heard these Smiley musings a month or so ago I would have dismissed it as another case of Smiley sour grapes. In 2011 Smiley lamented that President Obama was the first president in years who had not extended an invitation to the White House to him. So there is a history of Smiley indignation with this White House, but in light of the AP scandal and the IRS debacle it is not so easy to dismiss Smiley. Many contend that Smiley is not the influence he used to be, but he still has an audience and therefore he still has influence, and he might actually have a valid point.

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