Keith Olbermann has gotten a lot of mileage lately out of slamming Glenn Beck. Last night Olbermann put special focus on Beck's plan to hold a "glorified book club" at the same location as Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech on its anniversary date. Olbermann went for a targeted rebuttal, inviting civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton onto his program to rail against Beck's appropriation of Martin Luther King for his own purposes. Sharpton calmly and carefully eviscerated Beck before turning to promote his own "Reclaim The Dream" event.
OLBERMANN: Read that phrase again: "we will reclaim the civil rights moment. We will take that movement, because we were the people that did it in the first place."To your knowledge, who's this "we" he's talking about.
SHARPTON: I have no idea. From my study of history, those that claim to be the Tea Partiers and the followers and supporters of Mr. Beck and Mrs. Palin were the ones that today advocate the things that that march was against. First of all, that march was to appeal to government to intervene and protect the rights of people. They are against big government. I mean, you don`t have to get to race. Their idea of government and the idea that Dr. King and Roy Wilkins of -- and others espoused is the exact opposite of what they`re calling for. Dr. King met with Caesar Chavez and talked about how we protect people, no matter who they are, that come into the borders, and have a sound policy. They`re the ones that are rallying against that...whether it`s an attempt to do the desecration or whether it`s a publicity stunt, it can desecrate. The fact of the matter is the march was 47 years ago. So people that are middle-aged and younger would not understand what it was about if we did not do our rally that we do every year.
SHARPTON: And if we had another hour, I could bring the race part up. If you just use government and what Martin Luther King said -- read the whole speech. It is the exact antithesis of what they represent and what they`re saying in the Tea Party.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.