MSNBC's Sharpton Mocks O'Reilly Retraction and Questions 'Accuracy'
On Friday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC's Al Sharpton used Bill O'Reilly's recent retraction and apology to mock the FNC host by suggesting that The O'Reilly Factor generally lacks accuracy.
After a clip of O'Reilly asserting that "I know you guys watch The Factor for accuracy," Sharpton cracked: "Really? People watch The Factor for accuracy? Hmm. Sounds like another false statement that needs to be corrected."
Introducing the segment about O'Reilly correcting himself for claiming that Republicans were not invited to take part in the Martin Luther King, Jr., 50th anniversary commemoration, the MSNBC host began: "We're back with more fallout from the incredible Republican snub of the march on Washington. Today everyone is talking about a big unexpected apology."
Then came a clip of the FNC host:
Last night, during my discussion with James Carville about the Martin Luther King commemoration, I said there were no Republican speakers invited. Wrong. I was wrong. Some Republicans were asked to speak. They declined, and that was a mistake. They should have spoken. Now, the mistake entirely on me. I simply assumed that since all the speakers were liberal Democrats, Republicans were excluded.
So here is the tip of the day. Always check out the facts before you make a definitive statement. And when you make a mistake, admit it. By the way, I'm sorry I made that mistake. It's very annoying because I know you guys watch The Factor for accuracy.
Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Friday, August 30, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:
AL SHARPTON: We're back with more fallout from the incredible Republican snub of the march on Washington. Today everyone is talking about a big unexpected apology.
BILL O'REILLY, FNC: Last night, during my discussion with James Carville about the Martin Luther King commemoration, I said there were no Republican speakers invited. Wrong. I was wrong. Some Republicans were asked to speak. They declined, and that was a mistake. They should have spoken.
Now, the mistake entirely on me. I simply assumed that since all the speakers were liberal Democrats, Republicans were excluded. So here is the tip of the day. Always check out the facts before you make a definitive statement. And when you make a mistake, admit it.
By the way, I'm sorry I made that mistake. It's very annoying because I know you guys watch The Factor for accuracy.
SHARPTON: Really? People watch The Factor for accuracy? Hmm. Sounds like another false statement that needs to be corrected. Anyway, we know Republicans were invited. So where did they choose to go instead? What was a bigger priority?
Eric Cantor was invited to speak, but, as we told you last night, he was found here. Here he is in North Dakota with oil industry lobbyists. Speaker Boehner, he was invited to take the podium but declined. Now, we know where he was instead. In Wyoming, headlining a GOP fundraiser this month.
What about Senator John McCain? He was invited to speak, and now we know where he was. During the march, he was at a business roundtable in Arizona. So they were too busy with oil lobbyists, donors, and business roundtables. There's that GOP outreach at work.
Joining me now is Victoria DeFrancesco Soto. Thanks for joining me, Victoria.
VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: In his apology, Bill O'Reilly explained that he'd simply assumed Republicans hadn't been invited. The idea that they would just skip the march seemed too crazy, even to him. I think that says a lot, Victoria.
SOTO: It does. But this is part of a larger pattern that we've seen, Republicans snubbing Democratic invitations, from screenings at the White House to state dinners. There's just this partisan divide. Republicans do not want to reach over, engage with President Obama. And, quite frankly, they're being rational about it because they know that their base, their very conservative extreme base is going to punish them if they show any signs of wanting to reach out in a bipartisan fashion, even if it's in something so symbolic as the march on Washington.
SHARPTON: No, you know, you're right. Over the years, we've seen Republicans snub the President, ranging from petty to ridiculous. In 2011, 60 newly elected Republican House members skipped a White House reception. In 2012, Republican leaders, including Speaker Boehner, skipped a White House screening of a film called Lincoln. And this year Republican Congressman Steve Pearce skipped the President's State of the Union Address to attend a hearing on the lesser prairie chicken. So, I mean, this is just a whole pattern of many of the Republicans. And you say it's in reaction to the extremists in their party?
SOTO: It is. And what we're seeing here is a lack of civility, a lack of professionalism, and, ultimately, a lack for the respect of the office of the presidency. Regardless of who is in office, citizens, just regular Joe Schmos and also Congress members need to respect that office. And we're seeing this disrespect continually throughout the presidency of Barack Obama.
SHARPTON: Now, you know, let me let you hear how the right wing reacted to the celebration of the march on Washington. Listen to this.
O'REILLY: Grievance mongering does the cause of civil rights no good whatsoever, period.
ANDREA TANTAROS, FNC: All we heard was, here are the problems, stop and frisk. Here are the problems, Trayvon Martin.
SEAN HANNITY, FNC: Multiple references made to Trayvon Martin.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK RADIO HOST: It's a near crime what is being done here to take the occasion of this man's great address and what he stood for and basically hijack it for President Barack Obama. If I were President Obama, I'd be a little embarrassed I can't stand on my own.
SHARPTON: I mean, Victoria, this is some ugly stuff. We're talking about the commemoration Wednesday with three presidents. We're not talking about the big march last Saturday, raising social issues. For them to talk in that language, and to snub that is some really, really terrible inferences you can draw from that.
SOTO: You know, and it's surprising because if you think back historically to 1964, who was there? Republicans were there. Republicans actually voted to approve the Civil Rights Act at greater proportions than Democrats did. In 1964, later that year, they did start to turn their backs on African-Americans with Barry Goldwater and others of that ilk. But where have they been for the last 40 to 50 years? And I think it culminated in the press that we saw, such as the reels that you played. Where have Republicans been? There is a space for them. Why don't they return to what they were initially doing for the Civil Rights Movement?
-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center