We’ve endured two years of endless journalistic jawboning about Barack Obama, the great racial healer who would bind us together, the man who would get everyone singing on a sun-soaked hilltop with a bottle of Coke and a smile. So now that he’s in, what have he got?



To the trend-setters on the set of The Daily Show, white-mocking prayers are adorable, and experience in race-baiting churches is an "enormous advantage" for Barack Obama. When liberal PBS Washington Week host Gwen Ifill showed up on Tuesday to plug her "Age of Obama" book, Jon Stewart suggested Rev.



Imagine for a moment that Sen. John McCain won the election in November and that John Hagee gave a sermon at Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University the Sunday preceding the inauguration wherein he slammed the "egregious menage a trois of homosexuals, Hollywood, and hell-bound atheists" for destroying the United States.

The coverage would be non-stop and President-elect McCain would be pressed to repudiate the remarks from his stalwart evangelical supporter, even though he's already distanced himself during in the campaign.



In a January 18 ABC News exclusive interview, former Obama pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright confessed to, but did not repent of, his inflammatory rhetoric directed at the media. Wright's excuse:

"They were arrogant, they were evil, they were devious and I responded in kind," Wright said. "I just talked to you about a 500-year tradition but you don't ask me one question about that because that's not your interest, your interest is to taint Barack Obama. So no, I'm not going to be conservative, I'm not going to kiss anybody's behind and if I'm standing up straight you can't ride my back.

In other words, Wright sees himself as repaying evil with evil and insult with insult. Hmm, I seem to remember Scripture warning Christians not to do that and that pastors and preachers have a higher standard for the words they speak, particularly publicly from the pulpit. And that's a 2000-year old tradition!

Yet apparently ABC staffers Tahman Bradley and Ferdous al-Faruque failed to question Wright on whether his demeanor from the pulpit exhibited more the gospel of class and race warfare than the gospel of Jesus Christ. What's more, Bradley and al-Faruque failed to point out that some print journalists such as Newsweek's Eleanor Clift have hailed Wright as a "prophetic" voice, something that cuts against Wright's view that the MSM has had it in for him.



National Public Radio's Morning Edition celebrated the end of 2008 on New Year’s Eve with black commentator (and Huffington Post contributor) John Ridley listing the top "non-troversies" of 2008, which he defined as "what seemed monumental then, in retrospect has all the significance of a Dennis Kucinich stump speech." Ridley’s top "non-troversy" was Reverend Wright’s sermon clips about America deserving 9/11 and the U.S. government inventing AIDS. Ridley claimed he was only saying what the Robertsons and Falwells did:

And the number non-troversy of 2008? Are you ready for this? How dare Jeremiah Wright say the bigoted, hurtful things in the privacy of a black church that men of God like Pat Robertson, John Hagee, and the late Jerry Falwell said in public? Barack Obama denounces Wright, comes across as a rational black man, then delivers a historic speech on race in America and ends up in the White House. I mean, the whole thing worked out so well, I have a feeling that somewhere Wright and Obama are secretly sharing a cigar, swapping one of those terrorist fist jabs Fox News warned us about, and saying to each other, ‘We got 'em, baby. We got 'em.’



Praise the Lord and pass the video clips!



All in all, I like Politico's list of the Top Ten Media Blunders of 2008, by staff writer Michael Calderone, appearing on the website this evening. How can you be too tough on a list that includes, among other faux pas:
  • MSNBC's use of Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as election night and convention co-anchors;
  • The New York Times's suggestive but unsubstantiated story about John McCain and lobbyist Vikki Iseman; and
  • The MSM's lack of curiosity despite the National Enquirer's solid reporting on the John Edwards affair?
But no story about a list would be complete without some beefing and second-guessing, and I have some.  Here's blunder #6 on the Politico list [emphasis added]:


Rev. Jeremiah Wright was a voice crying in the wilderness that the mainstream media and middle class America weren't quite ready for and megachurch pastor Rick Warren is an ignorant evangelical rube who isn't totally without hope, given his awareness of AIDS and other favored liberal causes.

That's essentially what Eleanor Clift preached to her choir in her December 19 "Capitol Letter" column, "Choosing a Church: Obama's next big decision -- and its implications."

Wrote Sister Eleanor (emphasis mine):



Don't get me wrong. I love Christmastime. But in many other respects it can be the most dreaded time of the year for us media watchers. It is, after all, the time when liberal journalists decide to assign their year-ending accolades on everything from movies and music to politicians.

It's doubly dreadful when we're talking about Time magazine's Joe "Anonymous" Klein.

In a December 17 piece doling out his "Teddy awards" -- as in the first President Roosevelt, not the lingerie -- Klein began by cooing sweet nothings over Obama's political courage before giving muted praised for McCain. When all was said and done, Klein even praised Condi Rice, but even that was in service of his left-wing affinity for negotiating with dictators. [for our archive of Klein bias, click here]

While Klein largely disdained the McCain campaign's post-Palin message, he cheered the Arizona Republican for keeping Rev. Jeremiah Wright off-limits:



On Wednesday’s The O’Reilly Factor on FNC, during the show’s regular "Miller Time" segment, comedian Dennis Miller used humor to make a serious point about Barack Obama’s connections to corrupt and questionable characters in Illinois, and whether the President-elect was aware of the darker sides of his colleagues. Miller: "It’s just nice to know that my President-elect went through that entire system – all of these guys – Ayers, Blagojevich, Rezko, the Reverend Wright – and he didn’t notice any of them. At his worst, he is oblivious. At his absolute worst, he is disingenuous. He had to know something about some of these guys. ... We’re told that he’s the smartest guy on the planet on one hand. In the other hand, he never noticed any of this stuff. Come on, get the antenna up there, Barack. You got to wake up."



"I don't know why he's attacking Time magazine," a puzzled Seton Motley told "Fox & Friends" host Steve Doocy this morning, referring to the president-elect's former longtime pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. On Sunday the retired minister -- who married the Obamas and baptized their children -- issued a fiery screed against the media -- calling the mainstream media the "gates of hell" -- from the pulpit of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ.

"They [Time magazine] were certainly much nicer to him than a lot of journalistic outlets were, and by nicer I mean hiding him and preventing him from being a bigger player in the presidential race," the MRC director of communications added. "Look, the media's not going to cover this guy in the way that they should because of his 20-year relationship with Barack Obama." [audio available here]

Doocy and Motley also discussed the media's reticence on reporting on Obama's Bill Ayers connection during the campaign. To see the full appearance, click the play button on the embedded video to your right.



Rev. Jeremiah Wright returned to the pulpit of Trinity United Church of Christ on Sunday, reports Manya Brachear of the Chicago Tribune. Will the networks notice that Wright suggested ABC and CNN were "the gates of Hell"? They might enjoy Wright suggesting Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly were Satan, but he also listed the Chicago newspapers and Time magazine.