Obama's Retiring Pastor: Jefferson a Pedophile

You wouldn't know it unless you read Fox News, but the day before Thomas Jefferson's 265th birthday, controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright called the Founding Father a pedophile.


Delivering the eulogy at an April 12 funeral service in Chicago that was officially closed to reporters, Wright said “Jefferson will be called a whackadoodle. Because Jefferson had intelligence – but he also had babies by a 15-year-old slave girl.  I think the judges call that pedophilia.”


In his story, headlined “Rev. Jeremiah Wright criticizes media at Eugene Pincham funeral,” Sun-Times reporter Art Golab mentioned numerous details of Wright's remarks, including Wright's denunciation of “Fix” News and attacks on Fox hosts Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity.  Golab also included a quotation that immediately preceded Wright's accusation of Jefferson:


Thomas Jefferson wrote … “God would punish America for the sin of slavery.' I guess that makes Thomas Jefferson unpatriotic.”


The Associated Press also declined to report Wright's accusation.  An AP report based on the Sun-Times story cited many statements cited by Golab but also added information Golab didn't mention.  [CMI found the AP report in a Nexis search, so we cannot provide a hyperlink.]  The report, headlined “Embattled pastor's eulogy blasts Fox News,” indicates that the unnamed AP reporter listened to the sermon on the Sun-Times Web site. 


AP presented a fuller quotation of Wright's remarks immediately preceding the pedophilia accusation:


The intelligent men who put together the founding documents which gave birth to this nation planted slavery and white supremacy in the DNA of this republic, giving it what Condoleeza Rice calls a congenital 'birth defect.'  They had intelligence but they had no wisdom. … Thomas Jefferson in his Notes on Virginia … said “'God would punish America for the sin of slavery.' I guess that makes Thomas Jefferson unpatriotic.”


Even AP's lengthier version of the quotation above omitted information that should have been provided to readers.  CMI transcribed the Jefferson section of Wright's eulogy in its entirety:


The intelligent men, no women were allowed at the table back then, that's another sign of stupidity.  The intelligent men who put together the founding documents which gave birth to this nation planted slavery and white supremacy in the DNA of this republic, giving it what Condoleeza Rice calls a congenital 'birth defect.'  They had intelligence but they had no wisdom…. Thomas Jefferson in his Notes on Virginia … said “'God would punish America for the sin of slavery.' I guess that makes Thomas Jefferson unpatriotic.  Jefferson will be called a whackadoodle. Because Jefferson had intelligence – but he also had babies by a 15-year-old slave girl.  I think the judges call that pedophilia.  He had intelligence but no wisdom.”


On April 13, Fox News posted on its Web site a story about Wright's remarks based in part on an Associated Press dispatch.  Fox mentioned Wright's pedophilia accusation in passing, but focused on the Reverend's criticisms of Fox.  The Fox story includes a link to a recording of Wright's eulogy.


Brian Fitzpatrick is senior editor at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the MediaResearchCenter.