Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The media is pro-Republican and racist

The Jeremiah Wright story should have been put to bed a long time ago. It's much ado about nothing, especially the recent outrage swirling around Wright's statement that AIDS was a man-made disease aimed at blacks. The media is branding him a conspiracy theorist nut. I guess none of them ever heard of the Tuskegee Study. (Actually, some people in the gay community believe AIDS was created for and targeted at them. Why doesn't some investigative journalist pursue that story and maybe ask Dick Cheney's daughter what she thinks, or are Republicans hands-off?)

And why isn't the media focusing on those nuts who think Wright's speech at the National Press Club event was set up by Clinton supporter Barbara Reynolds? Is is possible the media favors Clinton over Obama? Oh, wait, that's just my nutty theory.

This is the bottom line for me: What's really relevant here is not what Jeremiah Wright says but what Barack Obama believes.

That opinion comes from the Boston Globe, where the writer reminds us that Obama said unmistakably that Wright does not speak for him, and "no matter what conspiracy theories the reverend subscribes to and no matter what moral equivalencies he draws, it's Obama, not Wright, who is the presidential candidate."

This is going to sound like another nutty conspiracy theory, but I think the media is afraid to see a black man in the White House. How else to explain the fact they've let other controversial clergyman's statements slide (of course, they just happened to be white clergymen)? From the same opinion column above, comes this example:
...Jerry Falwell, a pillar of the Christian right, who died last year. Falwell regularly made offensive comments against gays. And after Sept. 11, he opined that the attacks had come because this country had forfeited God's protection, and that pagans, "abortionists," feminists, gay and lesbian activists, the ACLU, and People for the American Way had "helped this happen" by trying to secularize America. (He later offered an unconvincing apology for that comment.)

That didn't diminish the premium Republicans put on Falwell's approval.
And don't forget this televangelist/former presidential candidate:
Televangelist Pat Robertson, meanwhile, has been a veritable artesian well of asinine assertions. Reacting to Orlando and Disney World's decision to allow a "Gay Days" weekend, he once said that accepting homosexuality could result in "earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor." Interviewing an author critical of the State Department, he declared that "If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer."

In this campaign, however, Rudy Giuliani proudly accepted his endorsement. I don't recall the talk-radio types holding Giuliani responsible for Robertson's views or expressing concern about what the candidate's association with Robertson told us about Giuliani's character.
And last but not least, we can't forget the way the media lets John McCain off the hook:
Certainly Republican John McCain, who sought the endorsement of televangelist John Hagee, hasn't been held responsible for Hagee's various controversial statements, including his (later retracted) suggestion that the devastation of New Orleans was God's punishment for a planned gay-pride parade.

McCain has a confusing pose in regard to Hagee. Although he has rejected Hagee's controversial comments and allowed that it may have been a mistake to seek Hagee's endorsement, McCain has also said that he admires the man and remains pleased to have his support. Still, his unpersuasive attempt to distance himself from Hagee has largely been accepted.
I'm also ashamed that the media was biased in their portrayal of Wright. The Reverend recently spoke in Michigan at the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner and columnist Jack Lessenberry had nice things to say about him - warm, funny, intellectual and patriotic (gasp!).
The real Jeremiah Wright puts the patriotism of most politicians to shame. He was born the same year as Dick Cheney. As a future minister, he likely could have gotten a deferment during the Vietnam War. Our future war-loving vice president got five deferments. Wright enlisted in the Marines, served two years, and then went into the U.S. Navy.

Not bad for someone who hates America.

Afterward, he got a couple master's degrees and a doctorate, married, and raised five children. He took over a struggling, down-and-out Chicago church with 87 members and built it into a powerhouse that is now the largest church in the entire United Church of Christ fold — a mostly white denomination, by the way.
How often have you read about that side of the pastor?

So what's my point in bringing all of this to your attention? Because I think Wright is being maligned by the media and/or the other candidates. If you're going to judge him by his words and ideas, then you need to judge the other preachers and candidates in the same way. And in Obama's case, he deserves to be judged by his own beliefs, not those of Rev. Wright.


Lew Scannon said...

I believe the corporate media has decided a long time ago that this contest was to be between Hillary and McCain (both owned by corporate and pro-Israel interests) and view Obama as a spoiler (hence the attempts to tie him to Muslims, Hamas and now Rev. Wright).

abi said...

Great post, Kathy - lots of good points.

Yes, I think race has a lot to do with criticism of Wright. Otherwise why do people laugh off the other ministers you mentioned, but are outraged by Wright?

I'm disappointed that Obama caved so completely over Wright. I guess he's doing what he has to to get himself elected. But that tells me he's no different than other pols.

Kathy said...

Lew, I thought the media was liberal?! ;-)

Abi, I'm disappointed Obama caved too, but I'd probably do the same thing if I were in his shoes. The media and people responsible for pushing this nonsense won't give up unless he does something to distance himself from it.