ALEXANDRIA, VA - Since last Thursday when Reverend Jeremiah Wright's anti-American and bigoted video clips were first aired, the media have gone into full damage control mode to minimize their impact on Senator Barack Obama's Presidential campaign.
The networks have refused to broadcast some of the most egregious of Wright's railings. On the Sunday after 9/11, Rev. Wright blasted America as a supporter of terrorism and crowed that "America's chickens are coming home to roost." But this inflammatory comment has yet to be shown on the ABC, CBS or NBC evening news shows.
And after Obama's Tuesday speech to expressly address the issue, the three network evening newscasts skewed its coverage - not focusing on what it said about Obama's judgment but by admiring his success in "confronting" the issue of "race in America" in an "extraordinary" speech.
MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews called it "worthy of Abraham Lincoln" and "the best speech ever given on race....one of the great speeches in American history." On NBC, Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart asserted "it was a very important speech for the nation. It was very blunt, very honest" and so "a very important gift the Senator has given the country."
The media would roundly denounce a Conservative who refused to forswear a relationship with an avowed racist - Obama, however, has been hailed as honorable for standing by a friend in his hour of need. ABC's George Stephanopoulos said, "By refusing to renounce Reverend Wright that was in many ways an act of honor for Senator Obama."
Brent Bozell was appalled:
"Reverend Wright is an anti-American bigot who has 'preached' racist rage for decades. Senator Obama chose Wright as his pastor, attended his services for nearly twenty years and invited Wright to perform his marriage and baptize his daughters. The media have gone out of their way to minimize these facts in order to protect Obama's candidacy.
"The media have spun Obama's speech on the issue away from his refusal to disavow Wright into some sort of a general proclamation on race in America - and somehow found nobility in Senator Obama's stubbornly clinging to this horrendous human being. It is yet another pathetic media display.
"The media know the detrimental effects that the honest, fair reporting of Jeremiah Wright would have on Barack Obama. Their cowardly coverage is shameful damage control to protect Obama's quest for the Presidency."
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