It promises to be more scintillating than the Thrilla in Manila, though, sadly, this verbal donnybrook will mostly behind closed doors, according to the Rev. Al Sharpton's camp.
I'm talking about the news fresh from Rev. Al's flack Rachel Noerdlinger that Sharpton's taken up an invite from Joe Arpaio to visit the septuagenarian sheriff in his 19th floor lair, from which Arpaio surveys his kingdom -- otherwise known as Maricopa County.
Just how they plan to squeeze both of those egos into one room remains to be seen. Maybe they could slap on some of the Crisco Arpaio uses in his hair.
Ego blubber aside, the meet's to take place at 1:30 p.m., after Sharpton, who's President of the civil rights advocacy group the National Action Network, meets with victims of racial profiling at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Phoenix from 7:30 to 7:55 a.m. Later, presumably after the prayer breakfast planned for there, Sharpton will greet the media from 9 to 9:30 a.m.
Noerdlinger tells me that Sharpton still plans to do his radio show from Phoenix, but that a location has yet to be confirmed. An ACORN press release I blogged about earlier in the week had the Rev. doing his show from county Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox's restaurant El Portal. But with the recent news that Arpaio has a "criminal investigation" underway of Wilcox for some bogus reason, maybe Sharpton's peeps figure the MCSO will have Wilcox's restrooms bugged. (A good assumption, actually.) That'd make any off-air comments subject to the sheriff's scrutiny.
A little advice for Rev. Al regarding his closed-door confab with our corrupt top constable: Wear a wire. Arpaio and his team are notorious spinners and prevaricators. You'll want to have a record of what transpires for legal purposes, should Arpaio try to use it against you in the media or in court.
Otherwise, let the old coot have it, Rev. He needs an oratorical slap on the nose. Wish I could be the proverbial horsefly on the wall for this one. It's as big as the time the Rev. Jerry Falwell paid a visit to porn kingpin Larry Flynt in L.A. Well, almost.
Here's the release from Sharpton's camp:
!!!MEDIA ADVISORY!!!MEDIA ADVISORY!!!MEDIA ADVISORY
ACCEPTS INVITATION TO MEET WITH SHERIFF ARPAIO IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA
DISCUSS ALLEGATIONS OF RACIAL PROFILING AGAINST IMMIGRANTS
Rev. Sharpton Will Meet Also Meet With Some of the Alleged Victims of Racial Profiling to Investigate Claims
WHO: Reverend Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network
WHAT: Rev. Sharpton will meet with alleged victims of racial profiling and community members as well as with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
FRIDAY, JUNE 19, 2009
7:30am - 7:55am
MEET with Racial-Profiling Victims
Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church
1401 E Jefferson St
Phoenix, AZ 85034
9:00am - 9:30am
MEDIA Availability FOLLOWING MEETINGS
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1:30 p.m. Meeting with Sheriff Arpaio
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
100 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85003