It was either the funniest or the saddest thing on television this week. On Wednesday, Fox News firebrand Glenn Beck sat down with Reverend Al Sharpton. The right-wing host and his liberal activist guest agree on nothing. This was made abundantly clear from the get-go:
Beck: You and I disagree on everything or almost everything?
But don't be fooled. That was just the setup. Beck's larger goal was to forge a consensus with his ideological foe. He went on to list several vague moral platitudes that Sharpton wasn't likely to reject:
Beck: Here's where I'm wondering if we could come together. This show has been... about faith, hope and charity. That's what originally united America together -- faith, different faiths, but a belief in God. Hope, the truth -- the truth shall set you free. And charity -- being good to each other. Would you agree that that approach -- not about politics or policies, but principles -- faith, hope, charity -- could unite America?
Sharpton: Yes, I agree. I think that it could and should unite America.
Unfortunately, from there, they couldn't quite agree on history. Beck mistakenly suggests that Sharpton and Martin Luther King, Jr. were bosom buddies back in the '60s:
Beck: You were at Martin Luther King's elbow.
Sharpton: No. I was after King. I worked more with Jackson --
Beck: You were not walking with?
Sharpton: No. Mrs. King.
Beck: Oh, I didn't know that.
Sharpton: I'm only 55. I was 13 when King was killed.