It’s ridiculous to point out that if Sharpton were a white politician, he would be tarred and feathered, and run out of town on a rail. That would presuppose that there is an even handed treatment of the races in the media that doesn’t exist.

Sharpton has more than $4.5 million in tax liens against him and his businesses, the investigation found. His non-profit organization National Action Network owes some $1.1 million in overdue payroll taxes. He has repeatedly not paid hotels, travel agencies and landlords. He has even relied on friends and his non-profit to pay for his daughter’s education, and been sued twice by his landlord for a cumulative $98,000.

Sharpton told the Times that he is working on paying off the taxes and his outstanding balances are lower than they appear.

“You can say I’m not a great administrator,” he said. “You can’t say that I’m not committed.”

Sharpton’s financial problems haven’t prevented his rise in influence as a television personality and outspoken voice for civil justice. He has also become one of the White House’s go-to guys on racial issues, as our colleague Glenn Thrush reported in August.

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