In what is becoming a very contentious battle of the words, Al Sharpton has quickly and dismissively addressed earlier reports that Bill O’Reilly helped him financially in the past.
Thursday of this week, O’Reilly decided to go public with the fact that he helped Al Sharpton a few years ago. Specifically, he claims that he gave Sharpton a $25,000 check to assist Sharpton’s charity in feeding the poor in Harlem.
O’Reilly’s admission came after Sharpton, and many other Black leaders, accused O’Reilly and Fox News, in general, of using their power to disavow Blacks. Specifically, Sharpton has accused O’Reilly of “attacking the poor.”
Sharpton told Huffington Post:
“I think it really shows exactly what I’ve been saying all along. When Mr. O’Reilly started attacking me after my question of the Zimmerman verdict, he started talking about the grievance industry and that I was a racial huckster, never telling people he knew better and that he was a contributor of mine… If I was huckster, why would he contribute to me?”
The MSNBC host went on to say that O’Reilly “needs to man up and grow up because he needs to understand that just because you make a donation does not mean that people cannot disagree.”
What is interesting about Sharpton’s response is that he affirms O’Reilly’s contribution, but he does not elaborate or provide a context as to why he asked O’Reilly in the first place, especially since O’Reilly used the word ‘begged’ to describe Sharpton’s request for a donation.
This has led some to question, what, if anything else, O’Reilly has on Sharpton. There is an old adage that politicians make for interesting bedfellows and it looks like this is ringing loud and true in this ongoing showdown between Bill O’Reilly and the Rev. Al Sharpton.