The media struggles even as the media tries to get off of their Obamadulation. Here are three laughers:
Exhibit 1: Mark Halperin of ABC News "The Page" presents an excerpt of Obama's remarks about Wright; Obama invokes Bobby Kennedy and urges us to seize this moment to come together. Very uplifting, and what Dem can resist Bobby! All that is missing is any attempt to explain why Obama is the man or this is the moment.
What I really want to see is the text of Obama's comments as summarized in this AP report, where Obama seems to describe his vision for healing America's wounds:
He said schools should do a better job of teaching all students African-American history "because that's part of American history," as well as women's struggle for equality, the history of unions, the role of Hispanics in U.S. and other matters that he suggested aren't given enough attention.
"I want us to have a broad-based history" taught in schools, he said, even including more on "the Holocaust as well as other issues of oppression" around the world.
More Victims Studies in the public schools, because they have done such a great job with reading, writing, and arithmetic. I want to hear a lot more about this, at least until I can fix my satellite connection and tune in to the Comedy Channel. While I work on that, what does Barack have to say about teaching more on Native Americans, the Japanese internment during WWII, the Chinese building of the western railroads, the grim history of the Irish underclass performing similar labor in the east, the gay-lesbian struggle for equal rights... geez, we could be here a while.
To be fair, Brian Ross of ABC News took the lead on airing Jeremiah Wright in all his anger. But can we fish Halperin out of the tank?
Exhibit 2: The Politico - Mike Allen of The Politico delivers a laugher explaining why the media ignored Wright for so long:
To reporters who had followed the campaign, it was an old, oft-written story. But this time it had video of Wright saying things like “U.S. of K.K.K.A.,” available on YouTube and played endlessly by cable news channels.
It was old news! And well covered! As evidence, we get this:
The minister’s controversial history has been written about countless times throughout the campaign. Wright has ties to the Rev. Louis Farrakhan, the black supremacist leader of the Nation of Islam — a fact that has been noted in more than 100 news stories just in the past few months, according to the Nexis database of news coverage.
Oh, stop - Tim Russert asked Obama about Farrakhan during a televised debate. But I just don't recall Tim asking about "God Damn America", or whether America deserved to get attacked on 9/11, or "Hillary has never been called a n****r". Hmm, that last would have made for great live television; you'd think I would remember it.
Mike Allen further deepens my embarrassment about my lapse in news-awareness:
On Feb. 20, after a fiery guest sermon by Wright in Little Rock, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ran an article that said: “On Tuesday, Wright criticized the U.S. invasion of Iraq and likened the insurgents to the Israelites under Babylonian rule.”
At 9:20 that morning, Obama opponents were already trying to get Politico to link to the story.
That’s why many news outlets — including Politico — did not initially pile on with rehashes after Ross’s story on “Good Morning America.”
Geez, how did I, or any of us, miss that Democrat-Gazette article? Let's see, Wright spoke on a Tuesday and was reported on Wednesday; at Memeorandum on Wednesday morning folks seemed to be more interested in the fact that voters went for Obama on Tuesday in Wisconsin.
In the private meeting in Cleveland with 100 Jewish leaders last month, Obama talked about his 2005 trip to Israel, his views on a Palestinian state and regional Middle East security. He was quickly questioned about his own pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and an award his church magazine gave last year that said Farrakhan ''truly epitomized greatness.''
Apparently video and transcripts of this meeting are available; a questioner actually read specific quotes from Wright.
So Obama's prompt denunciation of those remarks was in private and never reported, nor were the remarks themselves. Let's remind ourselves of Obama's position taken at the Huffington Blog:
The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments.
Made it clear to whom? Well, I guess it wasn't clear enough. If the Obama campaign could point to a press release or contemporaneous news story describing the denunciations, that would be a helpful start. Here is the "denunciation" reported by the Times when covering the Obama decision to drop Wright from his campaign kick-off:
Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, said the campaign disinvited Mr. Wright because it did not want the church to face negative attention. Mr. Wright did however, attend the announcement and prayed with Mr. Obama beforehand.
“Senator Obama is proud of his pastor and his church, but because of the type of attention it was receiving on blogs and conservative talk shows, he decided to avoid having statements and beliefs being used out of context and forcing the entire church to defend itself,” Mr. Burton said.
That almost hits all the key points!