Stupid Media Spin on Obama II: The WaPo Editorial Board

posted at 9:55 am on April 30, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The Washington Post editorial board follows the lead in some ways of the New York Times, which pretends that Jeremiah Wright suddenly popped out of the ground this week, offering lunatic conspiracy theories and insane racial genetics with no track record of it at all in the past. Unlike the Gray Lady, the WaPo editorial at least acknowledges that Barack Obama’s long ties to Wright calls into question the judgment he claims as superior to that of Hillary Clinton and John McCain. It then repeats Obama’s assertion that his entire career goes against everything Wright said without — like Obama — offering any evidence to support it:

We didn’t join the renewed and growing chorus calling on Mr. Obama to renounce the Rev. Wright after the minister’s all-about-me rant at the National Press Club on Monday, but the candidate’s motivation is pretty obvious. The Rev. Wright praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, said it was plausible that AIDS was a genocidal tool of the U.S. government to kill African Americans and proclaimed that attacks on him were an attack on the black church. He also delivered a deliberate poke in the eye to his former parishioner, suggesting that Mr. Obama’s conciliatory Philadelphia speech was nothing but politics. With each defiant utterance Monday, the Rev. Wright dug a deeper political hole for Mr. Obama.

Did Mr. Obama climb out of that hole yesterday? It seems to us that the whole sorry episode raises legitimate questions about his judgment. Given the long and close relationship between Mr. Obama and the Rev. Wright, voters will ask: How could Mr. Obama have been surprised by the Rev. Wright’s views? How could he not have seen this coming? Mr. Obama didn’t help matters much by initially seeming to dismiss the furor building over the Rev. Wright’s Washington performance, just as he did with the initial uproar last month. At a media availability at an airport Monday afternoon, he displayed none of the anger and sorrow that etched his face in North Carolina one day later.

But Mr. Obama is right when he says that his entire career is antithetical to the divisiveness of the Rev. Wright’s comments. We’ve found things to cheer and things to criticize about Mr. Obama during this long campaign, but we don’t see how anyone could question his commitment to transcending old racial battles and finding common ground. The Rev. Wright doesn’t speak for the candidate, and we hope the pastor doesn’t become a continuing excuse for political ads built on racial fears.

Well, which is it? If the episode “raises legitimate questions” about Obama’s judgment, why would it be out of bounds for political ads? The Post, in attempting to have it both ways, makes itself incoherent.

It’s not the only incoherence. They note, in a somewhat self-congratulatory manner, that they didn’t join the “renewed and growing chorus” demanding that Obama repudiate the Wright Stuff. However, they then catalogue all the reasons why Obama needed to renounce his former pastor, and scold him for not figuring it out the day before, immediately after Wright’s remarks at the National Press Club. If the Post feels it was that obvious Monday morning, why didn’t they push Obama to account for Wright’s hateful speech?

In this editorial, the Post resembles nothing more than Obama’s own campaign. First they wanted to believe that Wright’s rants meant nothing, then a day later they discovered their inner outrage, far past when the rest of the country’s jaws dropped over Wright’s rhetoric. Now the Post wants to scold Obama for not having the political courage to break with Wright sooner when they couldn’t bother to request it before his late-afternoon repudiation yesterday.


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we don’t see how anyone could question his commitment to transcending old racial battles and finding common ground.

Sitting in a black liberationist church for 20+ years and feigning shock at the hate spewed by its pastor isn’t enough to question his “commitment to transcending old racial battles and finding common ground?”

Biggest load of bullcrap I’ve read all day.

crazy_legs on April 30, 2008 at 10:01 AM

we don’t see how anyone could question his commitment to transcending old racial battles & finding common ground

…unless of course you count the times he’s called racist Wright his counselor, good friend, mentor…

jgapinoy on April 30, 2008 at 10:02 AM

IMO Obama was not angry over Wrights statements… at least until he pointed out that Obama was a typical politician and HAD to say those things…

Thats what ticked him off… thats why yesterdays anger was there… not the black racist rant, but the personal betrayal.

Romeo13 on April 30, 2008 at 10:03 AM

his entire career is antithetical to the divisiveness of the Rev. Wright’s comments.

But that’s a fair point, Ed.

Question: Where has Obama shown in his public career anything that indicates that he believes in any of the noxious nonsense spewed by Wright?

It’s one thing to raise questions about Obama’s judgment. But no one, for me, can show where Obama’s public policy views emanate from the racialist worldview of Wright.

Obama stayed with Wright in whatever relationship they had for personal ambition. My guess is that Wright selected Obama for many of the same reasons. A symbiotic relationship where both helped advance the career of the other.

SteveMG on April 30, 2008 at 10:03 AM

Who is it that benefits from Wrights words the most, Hillary or McCain answer (Satan) Obama not ready for the deep political waters, I blogged about them here.

http://imustimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/30/james-carvillle-likes-to-rodeo-cajun-style/

Dr Evil on April 30, 2008 at 10:07 AM

Obama has shown a consistency in defense of an issue only to abandon it when the heat gets too high.

Just as he insistently claimed he never heard any foul words from Wright only to admit he had, to being unable to disavow Wright only later to do exactly that.

He is naive. Obama believes the rest of America is as willing to be stupid as is his parish.

drjohn on April 30, 2008 at 10:10 AM

And the James Cone thing is a rock that needs to be turned over.

Wright bathes in the hate of Cone, and it’s scary.

drjohn on April 30, 2008 at 10:11 AM

That reads as if they were drunk when they bloviated it.

subbottomfeeder on April 30, 2008 at 10:11 AM

In this editorial, the Post resembles nothing more than Obama’s own campaign.

One shade less partisan than the NY Slimes is what we’ve come to expect and adore about the WaPo.

petefrt on April 30, 2008 at 10:12 AM

I think Wright and Obama both assumed with tin ears that this story would not resonate in the elections because it “Spoke truth to power”

In other words while it was angry words they were accurate words. So therefore there wasnt anything wrong with what was said only how it was said.

That has proved to be wrong not Wright.

William Amos on April 30, 2008 at 10:13 AM

Question: Where has Obama shown in his public career anything that indicates that he believes in any of the noxious nonsense spewed by Wright?
SteveMG on April 30, 2008 at 10:03 AM

A fair question, Obama has not been in any kind of leadership role but for a few years…he hasn’t the experience to have used or shown where his value lay.
So, we go to the most visible record, his relationships, who he has chosen to help him move “forward”, and we see at least too very troubling people.
One, his spiritual advisor for 20 years, a man with beliefs like, whites infected blacks with hiv, and other disparaging weird thoughts. After one year a regular attendee of church knows his pastor and their beliefs, let alone 20 years and being a “prodigy”. Ayers, a most despicable man (read a little about that man, no one should be seen in public with that animal), that would be like if I hung out with McVeigh after he was out of prison and saying, he is a great guy…no worse, Ayers felt he didn’t kill enough innocent people. And then the million man march, to get a little “street cred” he shows up at a march put on by the most anti-Semite, anti-white, anti-christian, bigot in the U.S. Each of these, maybe not so bad, but as group it shows a pattern of who he is influenced by. Oh, and add to this his wifes belief of how bitter she is about the U.S., and it completes the picture…no you don’t need any “official” public statement or action, just look at the man and his relationships. He will never vote to “kill the white man”, he just associates with others that do.

right2bright on April 30, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Obama says he’s all about the racial unity. Today.

Obama does belong to and financially support an organization headed by a blatant and vile racist, whom he regards as his mentor. For 20 years.

Which counts more?

Gilda on April 30, 2008 at 10:19 AM

The WaPo’s theme song:

You’re never alone with a schizophrenic.

profitsbeard on April 30, 2008 at 10:21 AM

But Mr. Obama is right when he says that his entire career is antithetical to the divisiveness of the Rev. Wright’s comments.

What “entire career” is that?

That’s Barry’s problem and what’s going to do him in.

Yes, liberals will vote for him. Of course the nutroots left secretly agrees with everything Wright said, and secretly believes too that Barry does as well, and that they’re all in on it together to fool the rubes.

But the hard left and blacks are the McGovern coalition. They ain’t enough.

The rest of the country will wonder why this guy and why now. Maybe they’ll still even like him, but ‘you’re young Barrry, do something and ask us again in ten years. You’ve got some potential, but you need time in the minors.’

Myself, I think Barry’s running now because he is hard enough left that he’d rather not have a record of achievement that put him outside the mainstream.

But the game’s up. I just hope he wins North carolina and the Dems run this guy. Or, if they wise up, that maybe someone on the right can call in some chits with Hillary, who would be dead if we weren’t so dumb, and maybe get us one not entirely activist supreme court nominee.

Typhoon on April 30, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Question: Where has Obama shown in his public career anything that indicates that he believes in any of the noxious nonsense spewed by Wright? . . .

SteveMG on April 30, 2008 at 10:03 AM

I have heard that Obambi signed a declaration on joining the Trinity church agreeing with the venomous ‘Black Liberation Theology’ that Wright preaches. I can’t find it now on the Web; maybe someone else has a link, preferably to an image of the signed document.

MrLynn on April 30, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Two things.

1) If Wright’s words are true, then is it white’s that are 2/3 human, or blacks? Where do the Illegal Alien Illiterate Peasants fall into this conversation? Are they right brain, left brain?

2) Funny how the Leftist Media shows so much tolerance for BIGOTS, as long as the BIGOTS support their philosophy.

DfDeportation on April 30, 2008 at 10:24 AM

In Obama’s own autobiography he quotes a Write sermon in which Wright blames the problems of the world on the greed of white men.

Yet Obama claims that he never heard Wright make any racially divisive statements until this weekend.

Strains credulity past the breaking point.

MarkTheGreat on April 30, 2008 at 10:28 AM

IMO Obama was not angry over Wrights statements… at least until he pointed out that Obama was a typical politician and HAD to say those things…

Thats what ticked him off… thats why yesterdays anger was there… not the black racist rant, but the personal betrayal.

Romeo13

Exactly! Barry was fine with Wright right up until Monday. It’s only when he saw the film and the personal comments directed at him did he finally get angry. All we need now is an affair and this would be the perfect daytime/nighttime drama.

Almost everyone will agree that Barry used the church to gain a political foothold in the community, and they accept that! I’ve see people here at HotAir not care about that one fact. To me it shows how morally corrupt he is and not what I want in our President. Unreal.

moonsbreath on April 30, 2008 at 10:28 AM

There is no way to Wright the listing S.S. Obama. She’s taken on as much water as she can hold and she’s going down.

moxie_neanderthal on April 30, 2008 at 10:48 AM

Obama stayed with Wright in whatever relationship they had for personal ambition.
SteveMG on April 30, 2008 at 10:03 AM

Link please.

Obama built his career around leftists, marxists and black nationalists.

Of course, it was ambition. But if you were politically ambitious, would you join hands with Rev Wright? Obama joined hands with someone like-minded.

faraway on April 30, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Question: Where has Obama shown in his public career anything that indicates that he believes in any of the noxious nonsense spewed by Wright? . . .

SteveMG on April 30, 2008 at 10:03 AM

Obama certainly doesn’t have much in common with the folks at Trinity. But I’ll answer your point it in the following manner.

I have young kids and like most parents, we try to regulate the things to which we expose our kids. That means we monitor and regulate exposure to TV, Movies, Music etc….because for better or worse, we believe that young minds can be unduly influenced by the things that they are exposed. This is what loving, caring parents do and I don’t think we’re alone in this view.

I have no reason to believe Mr Obama and his wife would not be concerned about exposing their kids to things they found offensive or might due damage to their kids. Quite the opposite, I would think they are loving, caring parents who only want what’s best for their kids.

Within this context, it is worth noting that not only did Mr Obama and his wife attend this church, but they took their kids to Trinity as well. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that they believed there was some benefit which could be derived by exposing their kids to the messages preached at the church and the socialization that would occur by interacting with like-minded people.

moxie_neanderthal on April 30, 2008 at 11:02 AM

The W. Post or CNN should win an award for “Best saving attempt of a Presidential Campaign.” Which of the two should win the award? Do you have any other nominees for this prestigious award?

Travis1 on April 30, 2008 at 11:06 AM

How long until we’re all treated to what might have been….

How long until Chris Matthews waxes “What does this say about America…?”

Better plan on a trip to the bitter, bible thumping, xenophobic gun shop for a new pair of ear plugs before it all starts.

moxie_neanderthal on April 30, 2008 at 11:18 AM

The Post, in attempting to have it both ways, makes itself incoherent.

The Washington Post in a nutshell.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on April 30, 2008 at 11:23 AM

I mean, I could probably find editorials from the Bork confirmation hearings that did the same thing.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on April 30, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Obama’s back story: He grew up under harsh racism and felt alienated; in spite of this he refused to be bitter and rose above, and now his chosen associates look like “a U.N. gathering” because of all their mixed races.

Obama’s reality: He grew up amoung peers who really did resemble “a U.N. gathering” for the mix of races and he was not alienated; in spite of this he chose to be bitter and sunk below, and now his chosen associates foment harsh racism.

Talk about change…

ynot4tony2 on April 30, 2008 at 11:27 AM

1. For 20+ years those actually hoping for unity and reconciliation between the races – as opposed to just talking about it – have recognized for change to actually happen, racist attitudes must be addressed when and where they occur and where they are spread.

2. Combine this with the observation: although segregation has been outlawed, whites and blacks have largely continued to choose to socialize separately.

3. Add the observation: racism and intolerance are largely taught and passed on in social situations where only one race is present.

And it logically follows it falls upon whites to speak up among their fellow whites – and blacks among blacks -against racism, racist attitudes and intolerance when and where it occurs. If they are visionaries and hope to change the future of race relations, the most important, actually critical time when they absolutely must speak up is wherever and whenever they find one existing intolerant racist spreading his\her disease to others.

From what I have been able to get out the revelations about his associates, Senator Obama has been living in an environment with abundant opportunities to establish a long history of on the job experience asserting his leadership and demonstrating his track record of working toward racial reconciliation for the present.

Their must be someone out there this leader of hope and change for the future tried to save from a lifetime of bitter feelings and racial intolerance?

Some letter, or paper, or article or speech on the topic that predates the exposure of Wright?

Anything Obama says now could always just be chalked up to political expediency.

Senator Obama?

Unquiet on April 30, 2008 at 11:40 AM

Unlike the Times’ editorial, the Post doesn’t have the arrogance to believe their readers are so clueless they haven’t noticed Wright was a problem for Obama before Monday. So they do acknowledge that little problem before trying to brush it away as immaterial to the future Obama campaign. From people who thought George W. Bush’s 1972 National Guard service was material to the 2004 election, and John Kerry’s claims about being in Cambodia in 1969 weren’t, it’s not surprising. But it will be fun to see what the Post does if the Clinton campaign fails to take their advance and does make the Rev. Wright a continuing issue in the primary campaign.

jon1979 on April 30, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Shoot- I recognized Wright for exactly what kind’a man he is the first time I saw him speakin’. If I’m that much smarter and more astute than Barack- Then I’m thinkin’ I should be President!

Ex-tex on April 30, 2008 at 11:54 AM

But no one, for me, can show where Obama’s public policy views emanate from the racialist worldview of Wright.

Wright preaches that white America continues to oppress blacks and deny them equal opportunities. Obama supports more affirmative action and racial preference programs. In 2006, Obama recorded a radio commercial in Michigan, urging voters there to reject a state ballot initiative that would prohibit the state from giving advantages in hirings for state job to applicants based on their race/gender. (The initiative passed, despite Obama’s efforts to defeat it).

Wright preaches that “white man’s greed runs a world in need.” Obama is sponsoring a Senate bill to give nearly $1 Trillion U.S. tax dollars to the United Nations over the next 15 years, on top of the U.S.’ already substantial foreign aid contributions, to combat “global poverty.” Obama also advocates tax policies in the U.S. that would redistribute income to make it more “fair.”

AZCoyote on April 30, 2008 at 12:00 PM

but we don’t see how anyone could question his commitment to transcending old racial battles and finding common ground.

There is no evidence that he tried to transcend the old racial battles; in fact, he let his wife & children stew in it under Rev. Wright while apparently still stewing himself over the bleeding wounds inflicted on him by his typical white grandmother.

Cheesestick on April 30, 2008 at 12:05 PM