I've been giving Rev. Jesse Jackson's crude comments about wanting to rip Sen. Barack Obama's private parts off because he's been "talking down to black people" a lot of thought.
It's not that I enjoy paying much attention to Mr. Hymietown. I'd much rather revel in the reality that he's truly yesterday's news, a product of a bygone era of race-baiting, muckraking idiocy.
And while that's probably true, his comments in a Fox News Channel studio the other day catapulted him back into the media spotlight, one of his favorite places in the world. Jesse Jackson is a master of the old expression that it doesn't matter what someone says about you as long as they spell your name right.
By now, you've probably seen the video or heard the audio that features Jackson, in a creepy whisper, say to the man sitting next to him that he wants to turn Obama into a eunuch. He did so while sitting in a TV studio with an earpiece in his ear, a microphone clamped to his body, bright lights shining on him, and a camera staring into his face.
I smell a rat.
A media huckster like Jesse Jackson (it's hard to call the man "reverend" considering what he'd like to do to another man with a pair of garden shears) knows every one of the ins and outs of making a TV appearance. As a Fox News Channel contributor, I've learned most of the tips over the years: look into the camera like it's a good friend; pull your suit jacket down and sit on it so it doesn't bunch up; and most importantly: never, EVER say anything while sitting in that studio that you wouldn't want someone else to hear.
It doesn't matter if one is live on-air or sitting through a commercial break. There aren't any on or off switches on a lapel pin microphone; it is always "hot."
Jesse Jackson has done enough TV appearances to know this simple but important rule.
In fact, one standard form of communication when someone is doing a TV appearance like the one Jackson was doing Sunday morning on "Fox & Friends" is to chat with the producer who is sitting at his or her desk in the master control room in New York. That producer is constantly talking into your earpiece during the breaks, telling you what's coming up, who the anchor is, etc.
Do you really think Jesse Jackson doesn't know all of this? Believe me, he's had those kinds of conversations for many years.
So then we're left with a solitary, logical question: why would he purposely do such a thing?
The answer is painfully obvious. It helps Barack Obama.