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L. Brent Bozell
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Obama's Clintonesque Speech


Barack Obama came to Philadelphia on March 18 not so much to address his poisonous pastor, Jeremiah Wright, but to talk vaguely of race relations. The news media swooned. No one was giddier than MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who rhapsodized that Obama's speech was one of the greatest speeches in American history, worthy of Abraham Lincoln, and should be read by schoolchildren like "The Great Gatsby" and "Huckleberry Finn." This, after all, is the Chris Matthews who said he "felt this thrill going up my leg" over Obama.

Obama said he could no more disown Wright than his own white grandmother, whom he disparaged as mired in racial stereotypes. ABC's George Stephanopoulos deemed that part of the speech an "act of honor" — even if it publicly humiliated Grandma, and even if Wright's record of paranoid ranting and raving about racism is anything but honorable.

Newspapers and news networks tried to insist that Obama's speech drew praise "across the political spectrum," but this was nonsense. Many outlets utterly excluded conservatives and Republicans from their stories. They were hermetically sealing Obama from criticism. CNN did it for hours before and after the speech, relying only on an array of black and white leftists for analysis.

Inside the sealed liberal-media bubble, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson crowed that Obama was "supposed to be on his heels," backpedaling in a defensive crouch. Obama didn't have to backpedal, because the press didn't demand he hold a press conference. They were content to let him speechify. Once he returned to interviews on CNN, Anderson Cooper and Larry King rolled over and played dead. Here's a Cooper toughie: "How do you decompress?"

Obama brazenly pressed ahead with his crumbling claim to be a uniter of the races. The speech was Clintonesque: it tried to be all things to all people, even as its corroded center remained Slick Barry's stubborn refusal to spurn the man radio hosts like Mark Levin quickly called "the Wrong Reverend Wright."

The press was content to let Obama criticize Wright's view that white racism is endemic, and that Israel is the root of all Mideast problems. But Obama's denunciation begged an obvious question: Why on Earth then would you sit in Wright's church for two decades and pour tens of thousands of dollars into Wright's treasury? Why, then, did you choose this man to officiate at your wedding? To baptize your children?

The press was content to let Obama decry that Wright's sermons were racially charged, but let him claim ignorance of Wright's racial animus, and let Obama claim that "not once" in his conversations with Wright had he heard Wright talk about any ethnic group "in derogatory terms." This is simply unbelievable, a lie.

In his own memoir "Dreams From My Father," Obama described how an early meeting with Wright quickly devolved into Wright telling him in paranoid terms that the black man will never be safe in America.

Obama told of an early sermon that preached of a world of white greed, "a world where cruise ships throw away more food than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks' greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere."

"White folks' greed runs a world in need," but Wright never disparaged whites to Obama's face? Does Chris Matthews think lying is Lincolnesque?

The press was content to let Obama explain away Wright's viciousness by suggesting his reverend was raised in a segregated world where opportunities were constricted and blacks had to scratch and claw to get ahead.

But as Morton Klein wrote in The New Republic, this passage, too, struggled with the facts. Like Klein, Wright went to Philadelphia's Central High School, an academically prestigious school that was 95 percent white, and lived in an upper-middle-class neighborhood.

The press was content to let Obama explain that the anger and bitterness of Wright's generation over their experiences with discrimination have not faded. They did not wonder: Since when does a minister of Jesus Christ preach a gospel of bitterness, vengefulness, and hatred? What kind of man of God expresses an unwillingness to forgive? Why would Obama the Uniter allow this generational bitterness to be handed on like a legacy to inner-city school children, so that they too could despise a White World of Greed? Where are the faith and the hope and the charity in that message?

Obama tried to claim that the outbreak of Wright's poison was a distraction, not a real issue, and the press obediently echoed his complaint. But Barack Obama can't be a Messiah of Unity and embrace his minister who proclaims "God Damn America" and makes crackpot allegations that the AIDS virus was invented by the government for black genocide.

Embracing Wright is not a distraction. It is a disqualification.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. To find out more about Brent Bozell III, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



5 Comments | Post Comment
Mr. Bozell's jeremiad(excuse the pun) seems to overlook the fact that some 20+ percent of the American church-going public sit in Catholic churches every Sunday when they know perfectly well that, for about thirty years, their own leadership at home and in Rome ran, what amounted to, a protection racket for pedophiles; that another significant portion of the public sat in ( or continue to sit in) churches and megachurches run by such flawed human beings as the late Dr. Falwell, Dr. Dobson, Rev. Haggard, Rev. Swaggart, Rev. Farrakhan, Rev. and the late Mrs. Bakker-- all of whom have had their sins enumerated ad nauseum; that an additional portion of the public, in their churches and civic organizations, embrace the unconditional support of the policies of the Israeli government not out of a justification for the morality of such a position, but rather because such support will hasten the curious concept of the Rapture--i.e nuclear devastation, in which those who encourage it by their actions, will somehow be saved from its effects.
And, so it seems, a significant portion of our fellow citizens are weekly or bi -monthly duped by a toxic conflation of religion,politics and media which, if Mr. Bozell were honest with his readers and perhaps himself, would fess up to a fact of contemporary politcal reality that our conservative, (and deist) founding fathers would have found appalling---
that sadly, contemporary political candidates must pass some bizarre litmus test of Christian purity from a segment of a troubled populace enamoured of jejune, and often, profoundly unChristin concepts. ...let he who is without sin cast the (proverbial) first stone.
It also seems that the outmoded concept of cognitive dissonance needs to be resusitated it time like these: that people of all faith traditions and concerned secularists mutually can shed some little light on the pomposity, power, and puerile posturings of media and religious elites who profit, routinely, from divisiveness, and exclusion of some, often dark, "other".
I believe, contra Mr. Bozell, that Mr. Obama has asked that we all join in that unfinished,if daunting, conversation.
Comment: #1
Posted by: George
Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:43 PM
Re: George, Beautifully stated! Summarizes what we the people must contend with as todays market/money driven media and numerous strangely mutated religous institutions' take a frenzied grab at our political life. the manipulating lies and narcissism of so many pundits, the blatant hypocrisy of many relious leaders and of course that strange litmus test you aptly described, all makes me shake my head and blink with wonder at their affectiveness. We could do well without Mr. Bozell's parasitic feeding on our political discussion.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Gauss
Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:35 PM
Totally agree with you, George. "The pot calling the kettle black."
These same Christian churches preached the superiority of the white race, or maybe I should say they preached the inferiority of the black race and every race, to the white race. Most also stood silent while jews were being ethnically cleansed. I wonder what they were preaching in their churches then? Now, they no longer preach race bashing, they preach gay bashing. I'm amazed at the "whitewash" and the audacity of anyone commenting on what anyone else listens to in his church when it is well known the problems all the churches have had with accepting blacks; to the degree they started and attend their own churches and now you criticize that. Professed Christians, in general, are as corrupt a group as you'll find anywhere and seem most intolerant to me, a follower of the teaching.
Comment: #3
Posted by: liz
Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:14 AM
Slick Barry Obama is on a roll again. See his lies, videos, quotes, etc. at Slick -
Comment: #4
Posted by: Figueroa Slim
Mon Jul 7, 2008 11:23 PM
Comment: #5
Posted by: Figueroa Slim
Mon Jul 7, 2008 11:23 PM
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