Appearance Alert
MRC's Bozell to appear on FNC's 'Kelly File' at 9:40pm ET

ABC's David Wright Urges Viewers to Feel Obama's Pain --5/1/2008


1. ABC's David Wright Urges Viewers to Feel Obama's Pain
ABC reporter David Wright filed a report on Wednesday's Good Morning America in which he urged viewers to sympathize with how difficult it must have been for the Senator to finally break with his controversial pastor. The journalist mournfully announced: "For Obama, whose own father abandoned him as a child, this must have been another painful break." Rather than wonder why Obama repeatedly stood by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a man who absurdly claimed that the United States government created the AIDS virus, David Wright lobbied for Americans to realize what a "big deal" the break was for Obama: "Imagine having to publicly denounce the minister who married you, who baptized your kids, who prayed with you the day you announced your candidacy for President."

2. Michelle Obama on NBC: Focusing on Wright 'Doesn't Help Kids'
The Obama campaign has chosen NBC's Today show as the venue to try to move beyond the Jeremiah Wright controversy and a preview aired on Wednesday's Nightly News, of the session to air Thursday morning, showcased Barack and Michelle Obama making their case. While Meredith Vieira apparently did ask Barack Obama why he had not denounced Wright sooner, Nightly News viewers heard Barack Obama boast in response that he had resisted doing the "politically expedient" and Michelle Obama resorting to a plea reminiscent of the Clinton era: "We got to move forward. You know, this conversation doesn't help my kids, you know. It doesn't help kids out there who are looking for us to make decisions and choices about how we're going to better fund education." Anchor Brian Williams set up the story by relating how "Barack and Michelle Obama sat down with Meredith Vieira from Today on NBC as they try to put the drama over their former pastor behind them." Andrea Mitchell explained Obama was "clearly trying to move past the controversy over the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, but when pressed, explaining why he didn't denounce his former pastor sooner."

3. Williams Puzzles Over Counter-Cultural Cornucopia of Sunday NYT
A bemused Brian Williams, anchor of the NBC Nightly News, revealed a puckish sense of humor in his April 28 entry on his msnbc.com "Daily Nightly" blog, "What Times Is It?" in which he admitted his puzzlement over the counter-cultural cornucopia that is the Sunday New York Times, with subjects ranging from gay grilling aficionados to sex chairs. Williams declared: "It's tough to figure out exactly what readers the paper is speaking to, or seeking." But after commenters complained about his criticism of the paper (and his praise for Peggy Noonan), the next day Williams assured them the Times is "normally my first journalistic stop every morning" and "it is quoted here," on Nightly News, "more than any other publication, for good reason."

4. ABC Corrects Clinton's Tale Blaming Bush for Closed Factory
ABC reporter Jake Tapper on Wednesday night undermined Hillary Clinton's campaign trail tale blaming the Bush administration for allowing a Valparaiso, Indiana manufacturer of magnets for smart-bombs to move to China, costing 200 jobs and giving the technology to the communist regime. Tapper, however, pointed out that the sale occurred in 1995 and was approved by....the Clinton administration. "Senator Clinton decries how the company Magnequench moved from Indiana to China in 2003," Tapper reported, "but there's one key part of the story Senator Clinton tends to leave out: Her husband's role." He elaborated: "Over and over again, Clinton blames President Bush for dropping the ball on a national security issue -- including in a new TV ad....What Clinton does not say is that her husband could have stopped it because the Chinese bought Magnequench in 1995 when he was President. And his administration approved the deal despite national security concerns..."

5. Behar: 'Reverend Wright Might Be Being Paid By the Republicans'
Jeremiah Wright is on the Republican "payroll" according to View co-host Joy Behar. Discussing the Reverend Wright controversy on the ABC daytime show, Behar offered her conspiracy theory of a Republican dirty trick: "I think Reverend Wright might be being paid by the Republicans. That's what I think." She soon exclaimed: "He's on the payroll!"


ABC's David Wright Urges Viewers to Feel
Obama's Pain

ABC reporter David Wright filed a report on Wednesday's Good Morning America in which he urged viewers to sympathize with how difficult it must have been for the Senator to finally break with his controversial pastor. The journalist mournfully announced: "For Obama, whose own father abandoned him as a child, this must have been another painful break."

Rather than wonder why Obama repeatedly stood by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a man who absurdly claimed that the United States government created the AIDS virus, David Wright lobbied for Americans to realize what a "big deal" the break was for Obama: "Imagine having to publicly denounce the minister who married you, who baptized your kids, who prayed with you the day you announced your candidacy for President."

[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Tuesday afternoon, with video, on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

After being prompted by GMA guest host Charlie Gibson, Wright did acknowledge the obvious reason as to why Obama separated from his minister: "Well, cynically, you can say he slipped nine points in the polls. Hillary Clinton has surged and Obama is struggling to win over the white working class voters..." But David Wright also appeared to be following the template of spinning the controversy to Obama's benefit.

He claimed the presidential candidate had "little choice" but to break with the reverend and pointed out some of Reverend Wright's extreme statements: "For instance, Wright suggested America had it coming on 9/11 and that AIDS was a genocidal plot." However, just last week, on April 25, the ABC correspondent portrayed Jeremiah Wright as "soft-spoken" and patriotic. He asserted that many of his comments were "taken out of context." Now that Obama has discarded his former preacher, it appears as though David Wright will be dropping his defensive reporting of the minister. For more on Wright's classification of the reverend as "soft-spoken," see an April 28 CyberAlert posting: www.mrc.org

A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:02am on April 30:

CHARLES GIBSON: We're going to begin with the race for 2008 and this defining moment, or could be a defining moment, in his campaign, Senator Barack Obama's public denunciation yesterday of his longtime pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. And ABC's David Wright has the latest on that down in Washington. David, good morning.

DAVID WRIGHT: Morning, Charlie. Even for a generation that grew up believing that the personal is political, there's no precedent for this. Barack Obama has disowned his pastor, the man with whom he shared some of the most important moments of his life. And no matter what you think of the Reverend Wright, this is a big deal for the Obama campaign, but also you have to believe for Barack Obama as a person. Imagine having to publicly denounce the minister who married you, who baptized your kids, who prayed with you the day you announced your candidacy for President.
SENATOR BARACK OBAMA: Obviously whatever relationship I had with Reverend Wright relationship has changed as a consequence of this.
DAVID WRIGHT: Wright left Obama little choice. Wright's appearance Monday at the National Press Club was, in Obama's words, a spectacle.
OBAMA: It was more than just him defending himself. What became clear to me was that he was presenting a world view that, that contradicts who I am and what I stand for.
DAVID WRIGHT: For instance, Wright suggested America had it coming on 9/11 and that AIDS was a genocidal plot.
JEREMIAH WRIGHT: I believe our government is capable of doing anything.
DAVID WRIGHT: Just last month, Obama rejected Wright's most controversial ideas but embraced the man.
OBAMA: As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me.
DAVID WRIGHT: So, Wright assumed that meant Obama didn't really object.
JEREMIAH WRIGHT: He had to distance himself because he's a politician.
DAVID WRIGHT: For Obama, that seems to have clinched it.
OBAMA: Reverend Wright thinks that that's political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn't know me very well and based on his remarks yesterday, well, I may not know him as well as I thought either.
DAVID WRIGHT: For Obama, whose own father abandoned him as a child, this must have been another painful break.
OBAMA: I will talk to him, perhaps, some day in the future, but, you know, I do not see that relationship being the same after this.
DAVID WRIGHT: Obama essentially had to choose between his pastor and presidential ambitions. He hasn't yet said whether he's going to quit the church but, Charlie, you have got to figure there's a lot of folks in that congregation who have fond feelings for the Reverend Wright.
CHARLES GIBSON: David, I'm curious, you cover the campaign every day and Barack Obama has been very measured since that Philadelphia speech that he gave six weeks ago on race. Very measured in his criticisms of Pastor Wright and I'm curious what flipped him, because, because the pastor didn't really say anything that he didn't say before. So what changed in Barack Obama?
DAVID WRIGHT: Well, cynically, you can say he slipped nine points in the polls. Hillary Clinton has surged and Obama is struggling to win over the white working class voters but, also, this appearance wasn't just a bunch of scattered sound bites over 20 years of sermons. This was kind of the cliff notes of controversy, all in one day, all of it in context and Obama simply had to confront it.

Michelle Obama on NBC: Focusing on Wright
'Doesn't Help Kids'

The Obama campaign has chosen NBC's Today show as the venue to try to move beyond the Jeremiah Wright controversy and a preview aired on Wednesday's Nightly News, of the session to air Thursday morning, showcased Barack and Michelle Obama making their case. While Meredith Vieira apparently did ask Barack Obama why he had not denounced Wright sooner, Nightly News viewers heard Barack Obama boast in response that he had resisted doing the "politically expedient" and Michelle Obama resorting to a plea reminiscent of the Clinton era: "We got to move forward. You know, this conversation doesn't help my kids, you know. It doesn't help kids out there who are looking for us to make decisions and choices about how we're going to better fund education."

Anchor Brian Williams set up the story by relating how "Barack and Michelle Obama sat down with Meredith Vieira from Today on NBC as they try to put the drama over their former pastor behind them." Andrea Mitchell explained Obama was "clearly trying to move past the controversy over the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, but when pressed, explaining why he didn't denounce his former pastor sooner."

Mitchell moved on to comments on Wright made by Senator Hillary Clinton, which came in what Williams had described as "an unusual setting" -- an interview with FNC's Bill O'Reilly.

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Transcript of most of the story on the Wednesday, April 30 NBC Nightly News:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: We turn now to the presidential campaign. Barack and Michelle Obama sat down with Meredith Vieira from Today on NBC as they try to put the drama over their former pastor behind them. At the same time, Senator Hillary Clinton, in an unusual setting, repeated some of her criticism of the whole situation. Our report on politics tonight from NBC's Andrea Mitchell.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Barack and Michelle Obama today campaigning together in Indiana.
BARACK OBAMA AT CAMPAIGN EVENT: The situation with Reverend Wright is difficult. I won't lie to you.
MITCHELL: Before sitting down for an exclusive joint interview with Meredith Vieira for the Today show tomorrow.
BARACK OBAMA, IN TODAY INTERVIEW: This is somebody who married Michelle and I.
MITCHELL: Clearly trying to move past the controversy over the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, but when pressed, explaining why he didn't denounce his former pastor sooner.
BARACK OBAMA: If I wanted to be politically expedient, I would have distanced myself and denounced him right away. Right? That would have been the easy thing to do, that would be the standard stock political advice. I don't think anybody who watched me yesterday thought I was being calculating because it obviously wasn't an easy thing to do.
MICHELLE OBAMA: You know what I think, Meredith? We got to move forward. You know, this conversation doesn't help my kids, you know. It doesn't help kids out there who are looking for us to make decisions and choices about how we're going to better fund education.
MITCHELL: Also in Indiana today, Hillary Clinton, who was campaigning again skyrocketing gas prices, but criticized Obama for not quitting his church sooner when pushed during an interview with Bill O'Reilly on Fox.
HILLARY CLINTON ON FNC: I'm going to leave it up to voters to decide.
BILL O'REILLY: But what do you think as an American. You're an American.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, what I said when I asked directly is that I would not have stayed in that church. I think it's offensive and outrageous and, you know, I'm going to express my opinion. Others can express theirs.
MITCHELL: Clinton is courting O'Reilly's viewers, even though he has been one of her harshest critics....

Williams Puzzles Over Counter-Cultural
Cornucopia of Sunday NYT

A bemused Brian Williams, anchor of the NBC Nightly News, revealed a puckish sense of humor in his April 28 entry on his msnbc.com "Daily Nightly" blog, "What Times Is It?" in which he admitted his puzzlement over the counter-cultural cornucopia that is the Sunday New York Times, with subjects ranging from gay grilling aficionados to sex chairs. Williams declared: "It's tough to figure out exactly what readers the paper is speaking to, or seeking." But after commenters complained about his criticism of the paper (and his praise for Peggy Noonan), the next day Williams assured them the Times is "normally my first journalistic stop every morning" and "it is quoted here," on Nightly News, "more than any other publication, for good reason."

[This item, by the MRC's Clay Waters, was posted Wednesday on the MRC's TimesWatch site: www.timeswatch.org ]

An excerpt from the April 28 post by Williams:

I read that the New York Times Sunday (and weekday) circulation is down. I must admit that on Sundays it becomes a tough paper to figure out. While this week's paper featured an op-ed piece by Elizabeth Edwards bemoaning the lack of serious, in-depth coverage of the political race, it's tough to figure out exactly what readers the paper is speaking to, or seeking.

Consider this: the Sunday Styles section lead story on April 13th was "Scavengers on the Urban Savannah" (people buy things at flea markets!), and promoted on Page One was "A Sex Chair Becomes A Battlefield." Alrighty then.

This Sunday's lead story was "Through Sickness, Health, Sex Change..." in a section that included the essay, "Was I On A Date Or Baby-Sitting?," and "Let's Say You Want To Date A Hog Farmer" (and who among us hasn't?).

The magazine cover story this week was "The Newlywed Gays!" (happy gay men in Massachusetts who are married outdoor grilling enthusiasts!), and another feature story profiled a man who "lives and paints" in New Mexico (one of those states west of New Jersey) and has an old-fashioned typewriter!

SUSPEND Excerpt

Williams was also bemused by the lead Travel story (nudist resorts) and a wedding where the groom wore "the obligatory sneakers with his tux." Perhaps most controversial for his blogs liberal readership, Williams praised iconoclastic conservative columnist Peggy Noonan:

On the other hand, one sparkling piece of journalism (which touched on a lot of themes frequent readers of this space will recognize) was by Peggy Noonan in this weekend's Wall Street Journal . Curl up with this one and give it the quality time it deserves. I'll say it again: Peggy is doing the work of her career and must be considered an early favorite for next cycle's Pulitzer for commentary.

END of Excerpt

For the April 28 "Daily Nightly" page: dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com

The majority of online commenters were either indignant at Williams's dissing of the Times, angry at his praise for Noonan, or both. (None of the rants did much to shatter the stereotype of humorless liberals.)

Williams responded by assuring his angry left readers that he does indeed cherish the paper in an April 29 follow-up entry, "Different Times."

So, in this space yesterday, I had a little fun with the New York Times . I hope it's obvious to our frequent readers that the Times's news pages are normally my first journalistic stop every morning -- for all the arguments over ideology, the paper's depth and breadth are often without parallel. In fact, it is quoted here more than any other publication, for good reason.

For the April 29 "Daily Nightly" posting: dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com

For the latest every weekday on bias in the New York Times, check: www.timeswatch.org

ABC Corrects Clinton's Tale Blaming Bush
for Closed Factory

ABC reporter Jake Tapper on Wednesday night undermined Hillary Clinton's campaign trail tale blaming the Bush administration for allowing a Valparaiso, Indiana manufacturer of magnets for smart-bombs to move to China, costing 200 jobs and giving the technology to the communist regime. Tapper, however, pointed out that the sale occurred in 1995 and was approved by....the Clinton administration. "Senator Clinton decries how the company Magnequench moved from Indiana to China in 2003," Tapper reported, "but there's one key part of the story Senator Clinton tends to leave out: Her husband's role." He elaborated: "Over and over again, Clinton blames President Bush for dropping the ball on a national security issue -- including in a new TV ad....What Clinton does not say is that her husband could have stopped it because the Chinese bought Magnequench in 1995 when he was President. And his administration approved the deal despite national security concerns..."

As for "one of Senator Clinton's main arguments" -- that "the Chinese now know our secrets" -- Tapper relayed how "former Magnequench Vice President Andrew Albers says that's false. By the 2003 move, he says, the Chinese already knew everything" so no secrets or intellectual property were transferred to China.

[This item, by the MRC's Brent Baker, was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]

Tapper's ABCNews.com matching article, "Hoosier Responsible? Clinton Decries China's Acquisition of Indiana Company -- Ignoring Her Husband's Role in the Sale," provides a lot more information on the matter and Clinton's claims, plus video of Tapper's story as it aired: abcnews.go.com

Transcript of the story on the Wednesday, April 30 World News:

CHARLES GIBSON: And as Hillary Clinton cris-crosses Indiana, ahead of next Tuesday's primary, one economic story about lost jobs and foreign competition has become a staple of her campaign stops. But it turns out to be a story with some holes in it. Our senior political correspondent, Jake Tapper, has been looking at that story. Jake?

JAKE TAPPER: Good evening, Charlie. Well in Indiana, Senator Clinton decries how the company Magnequench moved from Indiana to China in 2003. Magnequench makes high-tech magnets with defense applications, including in smart bombs. And now, China has a monopoly on the technology. But there's one key part of the story Senator Clinton tends to leave out: Her husband's role.
This rusty, abandoned factory in the heart of Valparaiso, Indiana, housed magnet-maker Magnequench until it moved to China, costing more than 200 jobs. It's a story Senator Hillary Clinton tells a lot as she campaigns throughout the Hoosier state.
HILLARY CLINTON: A Chinese company bought Magnequench. And then they decided that they were going to move the whole company from Indiana to China.
TAPPER: Over and over again, Clinton blames President Bush for dropping the ball on a national security issue -- including in a new TV ad.
HILLARY CLINTON IN TV AD: George Bush could have stopped it. But he didn't.
TAPPER: What Clinton does not say is that her husband could have stopped it because the Chinese bought Magnequench in 1995 when he was President. And his administration approved the deal despite national security concerns, raised partly because the Chinese companies were run by sons in law of then Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping.
PROFESSOR VIRGINIA SHINGLETON, DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY: If we believe this was truly a national defense issue, the company should not have been allowed to be sold in 1995.
TAPPER: One of Senator Clinton's main arguments, the Chinese now know our secrets.
CLINTON: Not only did the jobs go to China, but so did the intellectual property and the technological know-how to make those magnets.
TAPPER: Former Magnequench Vice President Andrew Albers says that's false. By the 2003 move, he says, the Chinese already knew everything.
ANDREW ALBERS: There was nothing new that we were doing that the Chinese didn't already have and know about.
TAPPER: This month Clinton held an event in Valparaiso.
HILLARY CLINTON: We've got to elect a President next January who's going to remember Magnequench.
TAPPER: Clearly, some things about Magnequench Clinton has conveniently forgotten.
The Clinton campaign argues that the Chinese government promised in 1995 to keep jobs and technical production in the United States. But, Charlie, they only promised to do that until 2005. And at any rate, they broke that promise.
GIBSON: Our senior political correspondent, Jake Tapper, down in Washington, tonight.

Behar: 'Reverend Wright Might Be Being
Paid By the Republicans'

Jeremiah Wright is on the Republican "payroll" according to View co-host Joy Behar. Discussing the Reverend Wright controversy on the ABC daytime show, Behar offered her conspiracy theory of a Republican dirty trick: "I think Reverend Wright might be being paid by the Republicans. That's what I think." She soon exclaimed: "He's on the payroll!"

This wasn't the first time Behar has hypothesized on the evil genius of the right. The daytime diva accused Republicans of causing Democratic Senator Tim Johnson's stroke. See the December 15, 2006 CyberAlert: www.mrc.org

And in February she wondered if the "right-wing" planted the bogus McCain/Iseman story: www.mrc.org

[This item was adapted from the NewsBusters blog post, with video, by the MRC's Justin McCarthy: newsbusters.org ]

The controversy created a huge late morning fight as Elisabeth Hasselbeck strongly denounced Obama's ties and felt he should have cut off ties to Wright a long time ago. What set Obama off, according to Hasselbeck, were not the anti-American sermons, but that Wright called Obama a "politician."

Goldberg and Behar sought to justify Obama's connection to Wright by pointing to despicable rhetoric by other pastors loosely associated with some Republicans. Goldberg noted Jerry Falwell blaming 9-11 on those advocating a more libertine society. Joy Behar mentioned John Hagee, who endorsed McCain, and blamed hurricane Katrina on a gay pride parade. Although these comments are indefensible, it does not justify Wright's extremist remarks and neither of these men were McCain's pastor for 20 years. Elisabeth Hasselbeck noted "that has nothing to do with McCain. Someone supporting you is not the same as you choosing someone for 20 years time and time again, different."

From the April 30 show:

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Obama was upset yesterday. He was upset. And he called Reverend Wright divisive and destructive. And Reverend Wright is not backing down of course. But why is Obama taking all of the heat while Hillary's mistakes and McCain's mistakes have been sort of- we all said "yes you made a mistake, okay, you're fine you're fine." He said "I was, I made an error in judgment. I got away from the man." Then he disappeared. Wait a minute.
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: He sort of got away from the man.
GOLDBERG: No he didn't. He got away from the man. He said "I'm no longer going to that church." And he didn't.
HASSELBECK: He did not disown him.
GOLDBERG: Elisabeth.
HASSELBECK: He didn't.
GOLDBERG: Elisabeth, do you have to disown? Now there's- you, you said to him he needs to distance himself from Reverend Wright.
HASSELBECK: No, I thought he should have a long time ago. I thought he should have 20 years ago.
GOLDBERG: But when he did it, you weren't satisfied.
HASSELBECK: No, no a lot of people weren't.
GOLDBERG: I'm sorry. I'm just, I'm just talking to you though.
HASSELBECK: I know, but you asked me a question. I answered the question.
GOLDBERG: What was the question? I don't know what the question was. [laughter] But I'm simply saying that yesterday he once again came out and said "I don't subscribe to what this man says. I don't believe that his beliefs reflect mine."
HASSELBECK: Hmmm.
GOLDBERG: Now, you say "hmmm," and I say to you okay when- should I think of John McCain as a racist because 20 years ago he didn't see the, the value in making Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a holiday and then 16 years later, or however many years later, he says "you know what I made a mistake"? "I made a mistake." Should I think to myself oh well now are you closet racist because at one time you said "gee, you know, the, the flag, that southern flag-"
SHERRI SHEPHERD: The Confederate flag.
JOY BEHAR: The Confederate flag.
GOLDBERG: "-the Confederate flag is a terrible, terrible thing" and now you're saying "oh it's a part of history," should I be questioning that? No.
HASSELBECK: Can I respond?
GOLDBERG: Because he said, you can let me just finish the thing. Because he's made these assertions, as have all of our candidates. We have all seen, Jerry Falwell said that, that the towers came down because of gay folks and, you know-
SHEPHERD: Lesbians.
GOLDBERG: -the lesbians. And we said "you know that's terrible" and that played on the TV for two days and then it was gone. This Reverend Wright thing has lasted and lasted and lasted. And I think it's because they couldn't find another way to get to Obama to scare people.
HASSELBECK: Really? Or is it that Reverend Wright keeps coming out, so that's why we're still talking about it? [light applause] Here's my issue with it. My problem is, and I find it almost hysterical, and I don't agree with anything that Reverend Wright has said thus far that we've heard, except for the fact that I sort of understand why he's so ticked at Obama because for 20 years these two tight. And now all of a sudden it's not cool with the polls in America that they were tight and Reverend Wright was his spiritual adviser. Obama decides to all of a sudden push himself aside.
GOLDBERG: Not all of a sudden. Not all of a sudden.
HASSELBECK: Hang on because it wasn't when, it wasn't when Reverend Wright said that we got what we deserved on 9-11. It wasn't when he said "the chickens came home to roost."
GOLDBERG: But why is that-
HASSELBECK: Let me. I let you finish. I let you finish.
GOLDBERG: Yes, but now you talked over me.
BEHAR: We're here too by the way.
[laughter]
HASSELBECK: It wasn't when-
GOLDBERG: Well, say something.
BEHAR: I can't get in the conversation.
HASSELBECK: It wasn't when he said that-
BEHAR: There has to be a period at somebody's sentence.
[laughter]
HASSELBECK: It wasn't when he said that the white man infected the black man with AIDS that got Obama ticked off. No, he waited until Reverend Wright said "oh he's acting like a politician." And then that ticked Obama off! [light applause] Now that it's personal with Obama, he's so full of himself that it's not until the attack got personal that he decided to step up.
GOLDBERG: You didn't, you were looking for something and then you found it. Go ahead.
BEHAR: Yeah, I think Reverend Wright might be being paid by the Republicans. [laughter and applause] That's what I think.
SHEPHERD: You know, you know for me, I-
BEHAR: He's on the payroll!
SHEPHERD: For me I really respected Obama when he said "I can not disown this is a friend of mine." I absolutely respected that. If you looked at Obama's face when he said "this is over," he looked so hurt to me.
BEHAR: Didn't he?
SHEPHERD: I thought he looked so hurt. He did not want to do this I think a little bit what just Wright has done. I thought, you know, I thought it was a pride thing that he came out and said this. And, I just feel very badly. A friendship has been torn. I don't feel he's full of himself at all.
HASSELBECK: Lack of judgment on his part.
BEHAR: Look, the guy comes out, Obama comes out and he says, "you know, this is my spiritual adviser. This is like an uncle, and I don't, I can't disown him completely. He's like a family member, although I disagree with what he said." This other one, Jeremiah, with the ego the size of Australia, comes out and says "that was a political remark." That wasn't a political remark. That was a, you know, that was a very nice thing that he did actually. He didn't disown his, his sort of uncle, the guy who baptized his kids, et cetera. And now this one says that it's political. That's very cynical.
HASSELBECK: It is, it is political because when Barack Obama decided to run for president and at the invocation was originally going to have Reverend Wright give the blessing. He thought "too heavy for America. Why don't you just pray for me downstairs under cover and I'll keep you hidden a little bit and then I'll go out and talk to the people?"
BEHAR: Elisabeth, isn't it political to wear a flag pin when you really don't give a damn? Is that political? A lot of things are political. We're in a political year. People are running for president. To, to sabotage the first black American who's at this point is outrageous to me.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Go Joy!
BEHAR: It's outrageous. Can I just finish this? This Reverend Hagee, this Reverend Hagee who endorsed McCain, he says "all hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens." Really? "I believe New Orleans has a level of sin that was offensive to God." Blame the people in New Orleans. "And they were recipients of the judgment of God for that. There was going to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that Katrina came," says this nut job.
HASSELBECK: He supports McCain!
BEHAR: And this nut job is endorsing McCain.
[applause]
HASSELBECK: That has nothing to do with McCain. Someone supporting you is not the same as you choosing someone for 20 years time and time again, different.

-- Brent Baker