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NBC Brings On Al Sharpton to Slam 'Offensive and Misogynist' Limbaugh; Ignores Reverend's Offensive Past

On Saturday, NBC's Today actually had the nerve to give left-wing activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton a platform to condemn Rush Limbaugh, with co-host Amy Robach wondering: "...is this something the Republican Party needs to deal with right now?"

Sharpton mounted his high horse as he proclaimed: "They're going to have to deal with it, one, because they have really made Rush Limbaugh such a great part of the conservative movement....you can't have him as a major spokesman in your movement and then he says something as offensive and misogynist as this and you act like he's just an entertainer." [Listen to the audio]

What Robach failed to mention about Sharpton was the Reverend's own history of offensive remarks and actions. In 1991, Sharpton fueled anti-Semitism in New York City when he denounced "the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights."

In 1987, Sharpton defended Tawana Brawley in her claim that she was raped by several white police officers. Later, when it was revealed to be a hoax, Sharpton, along with Brawley and her lawyers, were ordered to pay damages to those falsely accused following a defamation lawsuit.

When challenged on the Brawley case in 2007, on MSNBC, Sharpton refused to apologize.

On Saturday, hours before Limbaugh apologized for his comments about Sandra Fluke, Sharpton bashed him not having done so: "...he's not even apologized. He's doubled down on this and has gone through a three-day tirade against this young lady that is offensive to everybody."

Robach didn't bother to question Sharpton's moral authority on the matter, instead, she helpfully suggested that Republican moderate Senator Olympia Snowe's decision to not seek reelection was the result of incidents like these: "She's saying she's not going to be seeking reelection due to what she calls, quote, 'The dysfunction and political polarization of Congress.' Is there room for moderates in Congress anymore?"

Sharpton replied: "That's become the question. The fact that you have people like Senator Snowe leaving, the fact that you have this debate around contraception." He added: "I think that it is that kind of polarized atmosphere, kind of like push everybody's buttons kind of politics that a lot of people say, 'Wait a minute, we need some adults to come in the room or I'm leaving.'"

When did Al Sharpton become the voice of moderation and adulthood?

Wrapping up the interview, Robach promoted an upcoming protest being led by Sharpton against voter ID laws in several states: "We know you're leading a march, Reverend, this week from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to commemorate the historic civil rights march that occurred there in 1965. Why is it important, given especially the political environment we're in right now?"

Sharpton ranted:

...this year we are faced in 34 states, voter ID laws, where they're actually changing how people can vote. 5 million people, according to the Brennan Institute, may be disenfranchised. So, this is the first time since the '65 march, in 47 years, that a large segment of the country may lose its right to vote based on state voter ID or early voting being eliminated....we're going to bring the nation's attention that voting rights are again at risk for many people, particularly in black and brown communities.

Here is a full transcript of the March 3 interview:

7:15AM ET

AMY ROBACH: Well, we head now this morning to politics. And the GOP has a lot on its plate this morning. We're just three days away from Super Tuesday and the fallout continues from controversial comments from conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. The Reverend Al Sharpton is the host of Politics Nation on MSNBC. He joins us this morning. Reverend, thanks for being with us.

AL SHARPTON: Good morning.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Limbaugh Controversy; Rev. Al Sharpton Weighs In On Rush's Comments]

ROBACH: So, let's get right – let's get started with this contraception debate, it reached a fever pitch this week, Rush Limbaugh with his comments against Georgetown law student and contraception advocate Sandra Fluke. Both Santorum and Romney came out and spoke out against Limbaugh's tactics, but is this something the Republican Party needs to deal with right now?

SHARPTON: Yeah. They're going to have to deal with it, one, because they have really made Rush Limbaugh such a great part of the conservative movement. They've called him a great leader of the conservative movement. They had him as an honorary member of Congress. So, you can't have him as a major spokesman in your movement and then he says something as offensive and misogynist as this and you act like he's just an entertainer. You've made him a lot more than that, he has become more than that in America. And then he's not even apologized. He's doubled down on this and has gone through a three-day tirade against this young lady that is offensive to everybody.

ROBACH: Well, and then we have Senator Olympia snow from Maine. She's a moderate Republican. She's saying she's not going to be seeking reelection due to what she calls, quote, "The dysfunction and political polarization of Congress." Is there room for moderates in Congress anymore?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Decision 2012; Does Washington Have Room For Moderates?]

SHARPTON: That's become the question. The fact that you have people like Senator Snowe leaving, the fact that you have this debate around contraception. We're not talking jobs now in the Republican primary. Super Tuesday in the Republican presidential nomination process is this Tuesday. We're not talking jobs, we're not talking about how we rebuild infrastructure. We're talking contraception in 2012. And I think that it is that kind of polarized atmosphere, kind of like push everybody's buttons kind of politics that a lot of people say, "Wait a minute, we need some adults to come in the room or I'm leaving."

ROBACH: Yeah, and let's talk about Super Tuesday. The next contest before that is Washington state. Today, Mitt Romney looks like he's going to win that. Is that going to be enough to give him the momentum he needs come Super Tuesday?

SHARPTON: No, I think that it will be just another caucus. But I think what will happen is every – all eyes will be on Ohio, Tennessee, the key states, major states on Tuesday.

ROBACH: Ohio, Ohio, Ohio again. We know you're leading a march, Reverend, this week from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to commemorate the historic civil rights march that occurred there in 1965. Why is it important, given especially the political environment we're in right now?

SHARPTON: Well, National Action Network, our civil rights organization, is partnering with others because this year we are faced in 34 states, voter ID laws, where they're actually changing how people can vote. 5 million people, according to the Brennan Institute, may be disenfranchised. So, this is the first time since the '65 march, in 47 years, that a large segment of the country may lose its right to vote based on state voter ID or early voting being eliminated.

We're marching not only to commemorate, but to deal with the challenges of today. So, I'll be leaving later today, we start tomorrow. Five days we're going to bring the nation's attention that voting rights are again at risk for many people, particularly in black and brown communities.

ROBACH: Alright, Reverend Al Sharpton, we appreciate it, as always.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

ROBACH: Thanks for stopping by.

SHARPTON: Alright, thank you.

-- Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.