On Imus in the Morning yesterday, Tim Russert supplied an answer to that question — bubbling online and, yesterday, on the New York Times’ op-ed page — given WrightGate, where is HageeGate? You know, not that it’s an apples-to-apples comparison (Obama’s relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and McCain’s relationship with Rev. John Hagee) but why have Wright’s way-out words received wall-to-wall coverage while Hagee’s hateful homilies have hardly been mentioned? [complete article]
Editor’s Comment — If there’s a lesson to take away from the Wright issue, I’d say it’s that we should hope that there will not be a HageeGate?
How come? Wouldn’t there be some sort of parity in that?
Firstly, McCain insulated himself quite effectively from the get go by saying, “It’s simply not accurate to say that because someone endorses me that I therefore embrace their views.”
Secondly, Hagee is a slimy hatemonger who will gladly appear on any “telecast” and tailor his message to fit his audience.
Thirdly, bringing attention to Hagee will help him serve as a proxy who will fire up xenophobic support for McCain that McCain himself might not want overtly solicit.
Fourthly, attacks on Hagee will be used to imply that his critics are anti-Semites.
Fifthly, HageeGate could easily become as big a distraction from the slim possibility of there being a substantive campaign as has been the Wright issue.
Sixthly, to compare Wright to Hagee is an insult to Wright.
As for whether Tim Russert has any interest in digging into this: On MSNBC last night, he actually said there’s plenty of time for this issue to be brought up. That sounds like he was saying, when a news organization decides that now is the time to air a Hagee video, that’s exactly what they’ll do. But if instead of it being one of his attacks on Catholicism, it’s one of his attacks on Islam, this election will turn uglier than anything that’s happened so far.