American politician and civil rights campaigner REVEREND Al Sharpton has slammed US TV network NBC for editing Kanye West's outburst against US President George W Bush from the Hurricane Katrina telethon earlier this month (02SEP05).

Sharpton insists West should have been allowed to speak freely on behalf of the survivors, and is convinced had the rapper insulted anyone other than the American leader, his comments would have been left uncensored.

Sharpton says, "If he got on there calling women names, they wouldn't have censored him. If he got on there saying something derogatory, they wouldn't have censored him.

"For him to stand up for his own people, they censor. I think they should let Kanye say what needs to be said and let the president defend it if he wants to."

At the telethon, West blasted Bush and the media for their portrayal of African-American survivors of the hurricane, saying, "If you see a black family it's looting but if it's a white family they are looking for food... George Bush doesn't care about black people."

While West's controversial comments were aired on America's east coast broadcast of the show, the star's final comment was edited out of the west coast airing, which was broadcast three hours later."