The Root reported, via Free Republic:
On Friday, television and radio host Tavis Smiley celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Tavis Smiley show on PBS and defended his right to critique President Obama, reports the Huffington Post. But Smiley says freedom of speech hasn’t come without its price.
Smiley contends that members of the Obama administration, whom he didn’t identify, have pressured sponsors to drop their support of his projects, including his anti-poverty initiatives. The White House had no comment, said a spokesman, Kevin Lewis.
Smiley declined to identify the companies, saying he wasn’t authorized to disclose their names.
While he said he understands the desire of blacks to stand protectively by the first African-American president, he’s adamant about his right to take Obama to task on rising black unemployment, the use of military drones and other issues.
“This administration does not like to be criticized. And the irony of it is, there’s nothing I have tried to hold the president accountable on that my white progressive colleagues have not,” Smiley said. “They’re labeled courageous critics, but if I say it, I’m an ‘Obama critic.’ There’s race at play in the very question.”