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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Sunday, January 12, 2003
1:23 PM

On Meet The Press, Al Sharpton told Tim Russert this morning he was "badgering" him for trying to get a clear answer about why Sharpton refuses to apologize for his role in the Tawana Brawley hoax. I caught just the tail end of this. Sharpton's responses matched that of a five-year-old, saying that it was Brawley who made the claim, that we was "listening to women" and more of us should do that (even when they lie maliciously?) and that he, Sharpton, forgave someone who tried to murder him, and forgave Trent Lott.

To recap, this is what Sharpton refuses to apologize for:

The jury found Sharpton liable for making seven defamatory statements about [Steven] Pagones, [Alton] Maddox for two and Mason for one. Pagones, a former assistant county prosecutor, is white; the defendants are black.

"They hurt race relations," Pagones said. "We have enough problems in society. We don't need people like Mason and Maddox and Sharpton screaming out false allegations and creating further hatred."

A jury of four whites and two blacks ruled that Sharpton, Maddox and Mason defamed Pagones in accusing him of raping black teen-ager Tawana Brawley in 1987.

So Sharpton had to pay Pagones $65,000 for falsely accusing an innocent man of raping a teenager. But it's too much to apologize.

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