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The Reverend Al Sharpton challenged to debate by Dr. Ben Carson

Growing as tiresome as a broken record
Growing as tiresome as a broken record
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

It is the debate Americans would pay for much like a great prize fight. Moderate conservative commentator Dr. Ben Carson told Fox News Monday, "I had an opportunity to speak with Rev. Sharpton a couple months ago at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. We want the same kinds of things but we have very different approaches to achieving them. What do you think about a public debate to talk about the various ways that we can get this done?"

One can only imagine the tension as these two very different men meet on stage to discuss the Ferguson riots as their leading talking point. It is an intriguing thought, but the chances of it happening are next to nil. Debate is not a strong point of Rev. Al Sharpton. Described as a “drive-by racial agitator” to more than one community he has visited during trying times, Sharpton has honed his racial talking points to please the crowd that he can rile up the best.

Sharpton is utilizing those skills again this week. In the wake of the police shooting of an 18-year-old black man in Furgeson, MO, who moments before had robbed a convenience store, Sharpton has arrived to fire up the anger and hatred. Although the facts of the incident are far from conclusive, Rev. Al, Rev. Jesse Jackson and a host of other outside agitators have converged on the St. Louis suburb to supposedly “heal” the African-American community.

Sharpton and the others are in their element. Meanwhile, it was reported the Reverend was "initially enthusiastic" about the debate challenge presented by Dr. Carson, but haven’t been able to schedule a meeting yet. Few believe Sharpton would ever face the scrutiny from any opponent without a teleprompter and, God forbid, an impartial live audience.

Rev. Sharpton understandably dodged the debate challenge, "But the offer still stands," said a bemused Carson on Fox News, where he is a paid consultant. That comment was met by Sharpton’s talking head who claimed she had "not heard of the debate challenge." According to her, the Reverend has invited Carson onto his MSNBC-TV show on previous occasions and Carson had declined.

No comment from MSNBC for obvious reasons, including the off-chance of the network getting caught lying. Nevertheless, Sharpton’s paid protector called it "an open invitation" to be a guest on his show. You can almost see the betting line in Las Vegas being being set if the Reverend ever faced open criticism on live television.

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*** Read my book, “Redistribution of Common Sense: Selected Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009 – 2014,” now available at, Barnes & Noble and many other book outlets nationwide.

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