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Could Jesse Jackson Jr. Be TV's Next Star? (In Two And A Half Years That Is...)

by Sergio
August 15, 2013 9:27 AM
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Don’t laugh. There are some people who say that he could be in a few years, once he gets out of The Big House.

Back in February I speculated about the future of Jesse Jackson’s eldest son Triple J (as people like to call him) and since he was sentenced yesterday to two and half years in federal prison (along with his wife Sandi, who got one year), on charges of misappropriating over $750,000 in campaign funds and tax fraud, I thought it was time to revisit that piece..

But the question is, once he’s out, what will he do? People are already taking about a major comeback for him. But where? How?

His career in politics is dead. He can’t practice law since, though he graduated from law school, he never took the bar exam. Now there’s always the option of starting his own Washington D.C. K Street political consulting firm. He has a lot of connections to get something like that rolling. And even this morning there was a newspaper article saying that Sandi Jackson has been already getting offers for political consulting work after she serves her prison term.

However Triple J also has a degree in theology, which means he could, if he wanted to, get ordained, become a minister and establish his own church (Which has been the last refuge for many a scoundrel).

But is there yet another possibility? Some media experts, a few months ago, were saying the he could perhaps pursue a career in the media as a TV political pundit, or perhaps hosting his own issues orientated TV talk show, or a syndicated radio show like his father did at one time on CNN, on a show called Both Sides, back during the 1990s.

Think about it. He does have some factors in his favor. He’s got a famous name and national recognition. And he's smart, telegenic, has the gift of gab, knows politics inside and out, and how the Washington D.C game is played (although he himself didn’t play it too well).

And then, of course, there is the “novelty” factor in his favor. People would tune in to see someone infamous for past transactions, but that novelty gimmick flames out pretty fast.

The downside is that the history of politicians mired in scandals who have gone on to become a success on TV is practically nil. Take, for example, disgraced former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer.

He’s tried twice to be taken seriously as a TV pundit and anchor, and has failed miserably. First there was CNN where he bombed, and he struggled with another show on Current TV. However when Al Jazeera bought Current TV last year, he was given the boot.

Now Spitzer is trying to restart his political career running for office in New York state.

So with factors in his favor and against him, is TV the next stop on the Jesse Junior train? We’ll have to wait and see.

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  • CareyCarey | August 15, 2013 10:22 PMReply

    "You must not surrender! You may or may not get there but just know that you're qualified! And you hold on, and hold out! We must never surrender!! Keep hope alive. Keep hope alive! Keep hope alive! On tomorrow night and beyond, keep hope alive!"

    I am sure some recognize those words from Jesse Jackson's powerful speech at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Well, I am more than sure little Jesse has heard the phrase "Keep Hope Alive". In fact, as one who has been there ( locked behind bar, negro rich and Scoundrelous) I know Jesse Jackson Jr. will be alright in the morning.

    Time behind bars can be a wonderful place to participate in heartfelt soul-searching. Money, big car, diamonds and pearls become less important when one has time to put them in the right perspective. They quickly lose their luster when one realizes they don't really mean a damn thang and they surely cannot bring lasting happiness, nor a piece of mind.

    Forget about it, don't cry for Triple J. 'cause he's a smart man... and he's gonna keep hope alive, and thus, he'll be alright in the morning. And, he will be a better man.

    One more thing, although Sergio was trying to be funny, the ministry is a good fit for Mr. Jackson. Heck, a choir boy can't lead me out of my storms, I need someone who has felt the flames. So, since Jesse Jr. has a degree in theology AND can talk about falling down, I'd be open to hear him preach.

  • No | August 15, 2013 10:19 AMReply

    Of course, in shameless America, anything is possible. But Jackson will be a convicted felon, which may limit his options or may make him more attractive to a cynical media world that rewards notoriety. It's called the society of the spectacle.

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