Last night, Bill O'Reilly had two very vocal figures discuss Michael Jackson on his show last night—Rep. Peter King (R-Long Island), who blasted the media attention devoted to a "pedophile" "lowlife", and Rev. Al Sharpton, who told Jackson's children that there was "nothing strange" about their father. First, O'Reilly had King on; O'Reilly pointed out that Jackson was acquitted of molestation charges and that settling the other case "doesn't mean you're admitting anything" (which the talk show host knows about first hand). King responded:
Bill, I would say an adult male who sleeps with young boys is a child molester. If nothing else, he's molesting and abusing their psyche. How are those children going to possibly grow up normal after spending nights in bed with Michael Jackson? So — and I would say also there's not a daycare center in the United States that would be allowed to hire him...
Listen, if Michael Jackson had died, it got one or two days of coverage, that would have been fine. But the way it went on and on with this wall to wall, round the clock coverage, and at the same time we have Americans dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have the president in Russia trying to negotiate arms control, nuclear arms control. To me it was a real reflection on the culture of our country.
[Video of King's segment, as well as video of Sharpton's after the jump.]
Then Sharpton was brought on—and it's a shame that he was on separately from King. Sharpton had fierce criticism of King, "The issue is that it is totally irresponsible for a lawmaker to disregard the law. Charges were made against Michael Jackson, a mostly non black jury, you talked about 9 out of 10, let's try 12 out of 12 in a jury said he was not guilty of child molestation. That's all. And it's reckless and irresponsible to say he's a child molester, as it would be for me to come on here and say Dick Cheney shoots his friends hunting." Ha!
Then O'Reilly asked Sharpton about Jackson as an African-American icon and his children:
O'REILLY: Answer me this. I heard a lot of people yesterday — and I think you were one of them, but correct me if I'm wrong — saying that Michael Jackson was some kind of African-American icon.Here's the full transcript.
SHARPTON: Yeah, he was.
O'REILLY: Well, then why did he have white children?
SHARPTON: What does that have to do?
O'REILLY: What does that have to do? He chose to have in vitro by a white woman and a white man. What does that have to do?...
SHARPTON: Well, we didn't say he was an African-American — father of African-American children. We said he was an African-American icon.
O'REILLY: An icon? But why would he have white kids then?
SHARPTON: What he did in his personal life and his personal — has nothing to do with his iconic status.
O'REILLY: It doesn't?
SHARPTON: If I said that Bill O'Reilly has a hot television show, does that mean I have the right to go to your house and say but how come his kids chew bubblegum?
King on the O'Reilly Factor:
Sharpton on the O'Reilly Factor: