Saturday, March 22, 2008

How the Media Got Wright Wrong

Florida, Iraq War, George Bush, Swftboats, Hannity, Coulter, Rove - you would think with a record like this of lie after lie people would start to catch on that Faux News has issues with telling the truth. But no, time and again the MSM goes back to them and repeats their talking points. This time it is Sen. Barack Obama and his former pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright Jr. who have drawn their ire.

All of you, those not living in caves, by now have seen the clips this "news" agency has put out on the reverend. All of you have seen media source after media source parrot the idea that Barack must harbor, exclusively, these 10 second sound bites and hate America and white people. And we, as a country, have eaten it up. If it's on TV it must be true, right?

But any honest journalist, especially one dealing with politics, knows that context is king. Just watching Colbert's "Better Know a District" segment will show you what a sound bite can be used for. You can make anyone sound like the biggest idiot or racist bigot if you get just the right 10 seconds. Yet the "journalists" at media outlet after media outlet failed to acknowledge this most basic fact.

Fortunately, Rev. Wright's former church has started a YouTube channel with the full sermons. Snippets like "America's chickens have come home to roost" are turned into sermons decrying violence as a response to violence and a call to love our enemies. "God damn America" is turned to God is a god of love who is against oppression.

I leave you now with the actual post 9-11 sermon Wright gave to Trinity United:


Distributorcap said...

do we honestly expect most of america -- which has the attention span of a gnat to listen to the context of anything....

the media loves to cook up a storm --- especially the cable news outlets -- it is their bread and butter, their survival.

but the american public has been so dumbed down over the years -- it is easy to see how they can succumb to the sound byting...

BAC said...

This is the problem Obama will face, should he become the nominee. This could very well become the "swiftboat" campaign that sinks Obama's chances. Not a lot of people are paying attention right now, and the Republicans know it. Obama knew last year that Wright would be a problem, yet he made the decision not to distance himself from him.

Unfortunately, Democrats are going to pay for this rookie mistake should Obama become the nominee.


John J. said...

Dcap, I couldn't agree more.

BAC, if this is the best the right can come up with, they will fail. It became one of Obama's most shining moments when he took the lead and made his speech. The problem is that we, as bloggers, are more willing to spread lies like you did recently by reposting a right wing nutjob's post than these facts.

FranIAm said...

John- great post. I have really given this a lot of thought these past days.

In my pursuit of this matter as a critically thinking pragmatist and a Catholic(which may seem mutually incompatible to you, but I can assure you they are not) I get more and more to the point that Wright's speech was less offensive than I thought. Not that I was that jazzed about it in the first place.

Anyway, thank you for your usual thought provoking material John J.

If you have time to check out a blog called Reflections on Faith, Politics and Society you should go, it is on my blogroll.

The author is this very interesting guy named Tom. He is a without a doubt one of the the most free thinking and wise religious people that I have encountered. (Despite my church going, I am often suspicious of them!)

He writes with great passion about Obama and as a UCC theological student, well let's just say he has a lot to say about Wright. And it is not bad.

If you go tell him I sent you!

John J. said...

Thanks for pointing me to that blog Fran; I will have to take a look.

I have never thought that any religious person, much less a Catholic (I was one for 18 years and most of my family still is), is closed minded or not a pragmatist just because of their religion. I may be agnostic now, but that is a personal view and not something I push on people.

odds-maker said...

john j, I suppose you thought the 10 minutes of Wright's sermon somehow countered the brief clips that have appeared on the news.

Even though I had seen and read much of what was included in the ten minutes of the YouTube you provided, it was not until now that I saw it in a single stretch.

Here's the bottom line. He's far worse than I thought.

If Obama is nominated, he will lose to McCain. One big factor in that loss will be Wright, who is a vile anti-Semite and clearly a disciple of Louis Farrakhan.

Wright admires Malcolm X, a man of unremarkable intellect.

In the big picture, Obama's connection to these black separatists -- that's what they are -- will cost him almost all the white support he has enjoyed till now.

The idea of reparations will enter the campaign and whites will quickly understand that Obama is the candidate who might attempt to transfer a vast amount of US wealth from whites to blacks.

For this reason and many more, he will lose as though he were running against George Washington himself.