Do my tax dollars really have to support the anti-American vitriol that comes out of the mouth of PBS's Bill Moyers every week?
Before you answer, consider that the host of "Bill Moyers Journal" followed up last week's much publicized sycophantic lovefest with Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama's America-hating pastor by going on a six minute defense of the junior senator from Illinois and the reverend this Friday which was filled with Democrat talking points.
Readers are warned to proceed with caution before either reviewing the highly-offensive transcript that follows, or clicking on the embedded video in the upper-right (h/t TVNewser):
I once asked a reporter back from Vietnam, "Who's telling the truth over there?" Everyone he said. Everyone sees what's happening through the lens of their own experience." That's how people see Jeremiah Wright. In my conversation with him on this broadcast a week ago and in his dramatic public appearances since, he revealed himself to be far more complex than the sound bites that propelled him onto the public stage. Over 2000 of you have written me about him, and your opinions vary widely. Some sting: "Jeremiah Wright is nothing more than a race-hustling, American hating radical," one viewer wrote. A "nut case," said another. Others were far more were sympathetic to him.
Many of you have asked for some rational explanation for Wright's transition from reasonable conversation to shocking anger at the National Press Club. A psychologist might pull back some of the layers and see this complicated man more clearly, but I'm not a psychologist. Many black preachers I've known - scholarly, smart, and gentle in person -- uncorked fire and brimstone in the pulpit. Of course I've known many white preachers like that, too.
But where I grew up in the south, before the civil rights movement, the pulpit was a safe place for black men to express anger for which they would have been punished anywhere else; a safe place for the fierce thunder of dignity denied, justice delayed. I think I would have been angry if my ancestors had been transported thousands of miles in the hellish hole of a slave ship, then sold at auction, humiliated, whipped, and lynched. Or if my great-great grandfather had been but three -fifths of a person in a constitution that proclaimed, "We the people." Or if my own parents had been subjected to the racial vitriol of Jim Crow, Strom Thurmond, Bull Connor, and Jesse Helms. Even so, the anger of black preachers I've known and heard about and reported on was, for them, very personal and cathartic.
Stop the tape. Bill Moyers was born in 1934, fully 30 years before civil rights legislation was enacted which addressed all these issues. If white, liberal Americans are never going to move beyond what divided the races decades and centuries ago, how can we expect black Americans to?
What Moyers was employing here at the beginning of his anti-American "essay" was the classic liberal motif of excusing abhorrent behavior today by bringing up abhorrent behavior in the past. This isn't the way adults behave, Bill. But I digress:
That's not how Jeremiah Wright came across in those sound bites or in his defiant performances this week. What white America is hearing in his most inflammatory words is an attack on the America they cherish and that many of their sons have died for in battle — forgetting that black Americans have fought and bled beside them, and that Wright himself has a record of honored service in the Navy. Hardly anyone took the "chickens come home to roost" remark to convey the message that intervention in the political battles of other nations is sure to bring retaliation in some form, which is not to justify the particular savagery of 9/11 but to understand that actions have consequences. My friend Bernard Weisberger, the historian, says, yes, people are understandably seething with indignation over Wright's absurd charge that the united states deliberately brought an HIV epidemic into being. But it is a fact, he says, that within living memory the U.S. Public Health Service conducted a study that deliberately deceived black men with syphilis into believing that they were being treated, while actually letting them die for the sake of a scientific test.
Stop the tape! Excuse me, Bill, but this is a classic Democrat talking point concerning this matter. Yes, 76 years ago, BEFORE YOU WERE BORN, there was a shameful experiment begun by the U.S. Public Health Service in Tuskegee, Alabama. It was disgraceful and deplorable.
However, it was concluded in 1972, and by NO stretch of the imagination justifies anyone to claim that the HIV epidemic was created to kill black people. These issues are totally unrelated despite this sickening Democrat talking point that you disgracefully reiterated on Friday evening. But I once again digress:
Does this excuse Wright's anger? His exaggerations or distortions? You'll have to decide for yourself. At least it helps me to understand the why of them.
But in this multimedia age the pulpit isn't only available on Sunday mornings. There's round the clock media — the beast whose hunger is never satisfied, especially for the fast food with emotional content. So the preacher starts with rational discussion and after much prodding throws more and more gasoline on the fire that will eventually consume everything it touches. He had help — people who for their own reasons set out to conflate the man in the pulpit who wasn't running for president with the man in the pew who was.
Behold the double standard: John McCain sought out the endorsement of John Hagee, the war-mongering Catholic-bashing Texas preacher, who said the people of New Orleans got what they deserved for their sins. But no one suggests McCain shares Hagee's delusions, or thinks AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality. Pat Robertson called for the assassination of a foreign head of state and asked God to remove Supreme Court justices, yet he remains a force in the Republican religious right. After 9/11 Jerry Falwell said the attack was God's judgment on America for having been driven out of our schools and the public square, but when McCain goes after the endorsement of a preacher he once condemned as an agent of intolerance, the press gives him a pass.
Stop the tape! This is another disgraceful, Democrat talking point that Moyers was sharing with his viewers. John Hagee is NOT Sen. McCain's pastor, spiritual leader, or mentor. By contrast, Rev. Wright represented all these to Obama.
What Obama supporters and biased sycophants in the media like Moyers miss is that there is a VAST difference between seeking someone's endorsement, and going to someone's church for twenty years for spiritual guidance and mentoring.
The fact is that politicians take money and receive endorsements from all kinds of people and entities, many whose positions and opinions they don't necessarily share. Hence the term, "Politics makes strange bedfellows."
Ever heard this, Bill?
This is far different than attending someone's church for 20 years that you've publicly and in writing declared as your spiritual leader and mentor.
In reality, regardless of his biases, Moyers certainly must know this, which means that his reading of this Democrat talking point Friday represented even a greater journalistic fraud. But let's continue:
Jon Stewart recently played a tape from the Nixon white house in which Billy Graham talks in the oval office about how he has friends who are Jewish, but he knows in his heart that they are undermining America. This is crazy and wrong -- white preachers are given leeway in politics that others aren't.
Which means it is all about race, isn't it? Wright's offensive opinions and inflammatory appearances are judged differently.
Stop the tape! This is offensive and disgusting.
Let's be clear about something, Bill: if Rev. Wright was white, his words and his connection to Obama would have received JUST as much attention, and have been perceived as EQUALLY racist and antagonistic. The mere suggestion by you, on television no less, that America's response to this pastor is because he's black is nothing less than race-baiting on your part, and about as abhorrent an assertion as possible given the circumstances.
He doesn't fire a shot in anger, put a noose around anyone's neck, call for insurrection, or plant a bomb in a church with children in Sunday school. What he does is to speak his mind in a language and style that unsettles some people, and says some things so outlandish and ill-advised that he finally leaves Obama no choice but to end their friendship. Politics often exposes us to the corroding acid of the politics of personal destruction, but I've never seen anything like this — this wrenching break between pastor and parishioner. Both men no doubt will carry the grief to their graves. All the rest of us should hang our heads in shame for letting it come to this in America, where the gluttony of the non-stop media grinder consumes us all and prevents an honest conversation on race. It is the price we are paying for failing to heed the great historian Jacob Burckhardt, who said "beware the terrible simplifiers".
No, Bill. It is America-hating, racist liberals like you in the media that prevent this country from having a serious dialogue about this subject. It is INDEED folks like you -- whose guilt over the past, and hatred of white people as a result -- that add to racial problems rather move the nation closer to a solution.
Maybe even worse is that my tax dollars go to support this vile invective. How do I get my money back?