EDITORIAL: Dealing with the Wright issue

How should Obama respond to the Wright issue?

Clarity should always come first.

What is “the Wright issue”?

As defined by the media, it is a question about whether Barak Obama’s association with Rev Jeremiah Wright undermines his credibility and viability as the would-be Democratic nominee.

This would be a serious question were it not for the fact that this issue has been raised, shaped, amplified and given all its gravity by the media itself. The media is by no stretch of the imagination a neutral party here.

Obama needs to distance himself from Wright simply by stating the obvious:

Rev Wright is a free agent who does not and never has represented my campaign. He has neither offered nor been asked to endorse me.

To the extent that he has become an issue in the campaign, this reflects choices made inside editorial meetings in newsrooms across America where every day important decisions are made about what is relevant or irrelevant to the news coverage of a presidential campaign.

If Americans want to better understand why so much attention is now being given to Wright, the clearest explanation will come from within the newsrooms that are now covering the story. If the media would like to bring more transparency to the way it operates, I would welcome this as I am sure would the American people.

Can we expect the media to now turn around and examine and expose itself? It’s hardly likely. On the contrary, what seems to be at work now is a kind of mob frenzy. Jeremiah Wright did the unforgivable yesterday when he mocked the press at the National Press Club.

Wright protests that he has been lynched by the media and an indignant, overwhelmingly white press corp, stung by the insult wants to see Obama show due deference to the tribe whose favor he cannot dismiss by now dipping his hands in Wright’s blood. The media wants Obama, in the most graceful of terms, to say that Wright has in full measure received the opprobrium he deserves. The media wants to be flattered by being able to sustain the illusion that it is and always has been an innocent witness to this spectacle.

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1 thought on “EDITORIAL: Dealing with the Wright issue

  1. halfnhalf

    I think Reverend Wright is getting a bad rap from the media. Bill Moyers interview with Wright was illuminating. Then the latter’s speech to the NAACP (thank you, CNN, for broadcasting it in its entirety late Friday night) further demonstrated that this is a man who has studied his people and white people–their differences and similarities. All this was bolstered by his talk to the press corps yesterday.

    As a woman, older than 55, I had to agree with him on so many points, especially on what we did to native Americans, much less Africans. Now we’re doing it to the Iraqis, too.

    Should Obama apologize for his connection to Reverend Wright? I don’t think so.

    Instead, we whites should ignore all those blithering, blathering talking heads, who, like the Pentagon-supplied retired military analysts, talk the “official” talk. Let’s not forget it was the journalists, in print and on TV, who drummed into us all that Weapons of Mass Destruction nonsense. That W.M.D. story has been responsible for the deaths of over 4,000 Americans and as many as half-a-million Iraqis.

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