As proof of his spin prowess, campaign crafter extraordinaire David Axelrod yesterday defended BHO’s former controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright  in a lecture in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Presenting as a part of the Distinguished Speaker Series of Southern California, Axelrod said the initial news reports of Barack Obama’s long-time connection with Wright featured suspect snippets from the pastor that amounted to “ninety seconds of vitriol plucked from thirty years of sermons by some enterprising opposition researcher.” Big Government’s Joel Pollak explains why that runs contrary to all we know about Jeremiah Wright:

The claim that Wright’s sermons were selectively edited by Obama’s political opponents contradicts what is known about Wright’s preaching and the radical, racialist creed of the Trinity United Church of Christ, to which Obama belonged for two decades and to which he contributed a large amount of money.

Axelrod’s claim is also contradicted by Obama himself, who has cited Wright’s enthusiasm for radical politics as the main reason he was attracted to the church.

Axelrod brought up the Wright controversy during a lecture recounting his role as the “architect” of Obama’s rise from the Illinois state senate to the presidency. Axelrod praised Obama’s infamous “race speech,” contrasting his media skills to those of GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin. …

Clearly, Axelrod’s purpose was not to inform, but to inspire. He suggested that Obama would reiterate the “hope and change” message of his 2008 campaign in 2012, and would emphasize economic equality as well as economic growth.

Axelrod’s defense of Jeremiah Wright, however, is a sign that the Obama camp is still resisting and obscuring the degree to which Obama’s own inspirations and ideas remain outside the political mainstream.

Pollak is exactly right. In 2008, Obama actually received a pass when it came to his connection to Jeremiah Wright and other unsavory figures — and he’s likely to receive a pass again in 2012. Yet, his worldview still incorporates the lessons he absorbed as he sat in a pew in Wright’s church.

Meanwhile, the MSM never misses an opportunity to report on the religions of the GOP candidates. The double-standard is blatant — and best be turned against the media if the GOP nominee wants to beat Barack Obama. That doesn’t necessarily mean the GOP nominee needs to sound bitter and angry at the media, as Newt Gingrich often does, but it does mean he needs to master light-hearted deflection and serious record-correcting.