The fact that Bill O’Reilly and Al Sharpton don’t see eye to eye on most issues is pretty obvious, but the relationship between the two has been so respectful of late that the duo have a dinner summit a couple of times per year. But last week O’Reilly went after Sharpton and fellow civil rights activist Jesse Jackson for not coming to the defense of Herman Cain as he fends off sexual harassment allegations.
O’Reilly wondered in a segment of “The O’Reilly Factor” if the two weren’t defending Cain the way they’ve defended other African-Americans in trouble because Cain is a Republican and not in line with the pair ideologically.
The Washington Times wondered the same thing and asked Sharpton about it (link via The Huffington Post) as he left a building where he had just made a speech. The reverend made no bones that he is discussing Cain on his MSNBC show, but just not in the way O’Reilly would like. “I’ve spoken on any number of platforms about his inconsistencies.” As for O’Reilly, he says that his friend is not upset that he’s not talking about Cain, it’s that “I’m not singing Mr. O’Reilly’s song.”
Not sure if Sharpton actually saw the segment, but if he did he wouldn’t have been so upset. In it O’Reilly throws the assertions in the air, and when his guest, Columbia professor Marc Lamont, tried to assert that the pair have learned from previous defenses where they didn’t have all the facts, O’Reilly did his usual O’Reilly thing, which was talk over him and push his view as fact. It’s probably why the two respect each other so much; conviction in their opinions, no matter how right or wrong they are.
Watch Sharpton take on O’Reilly: