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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Was Rev. Wright a Spectacle? Barack Obama Seems To Think So...

The News is Barack Obama has taken another hit from Rev. Wright. The coverage across American media outlets talk about how Obama Condemns Wright's Defense. Obama has called his ex-pastor's appearances on Monday a 'spectacle.' While he (Obama) continues to narrow the superdelegate gap.

MSNBC - Democrat Barack Obama says he was outraged by the comments of his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and saddened by the spectacle of his appearance on Monday. Wright said Monday that criticism surrounding his fiery sermons is an attack on the black church. Obama told reporters Tuesday that Wright's comments do not accurately portray the perspective of the black church.

US News.com is following this story with links to the major to major news outlets discussing this story. They are reporting that Wright's Remarks Leave Obama Wounded. They report, The public reemergence of Rev. Jeremiah Wright dominated last night's cable news broadcasts and was covered in-depth by each of the three networks, which gave very little attention to any other aspect of the Democratic primary campaign. This morning's major newspapers, likewise, are reporting on the controversial pastor at length. The New York Times notes that in remarks at the National Press Club in Washington, Wright "suggested that the attacks of Sept. 11 were at least in part a response by terrorists to terrorism practiced by the United States abroad. 'You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you,' he said." He "stood by his suggestion that the United States might have invented HIV, the virus that causes AIDS," and "suggested that Mr. Obama's speech in which he distanced himself from some of Mr. Wright's more controversial remarks was politically motivated." The Washington Times adds that Wright also "refused to apologize for his infamous 'God damn America' sermon, saying the US government owed blacks an apology for slavery" and "stood firm in his praise of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan." The Washington Post's Dana Milbank writes, "From the moment he entered the room, Wright seemed to be looking to stir controversy."

The AP says Wright "seemed to relish the chance to speak out after weeks of being derided in the press. He reveled in his retorts, high-fiving an audience member, pointing and winking at his supporters and mocking descriptions of him as Obama's spiritual mentor. According to The Politico, Wright also "said...he will try to change national policy by 'coming after'...Obama if he is elected president."

In a shift, much of the coverage characterized Wright as a serious threat to Obama's campaign whereas in previous weeks his controversial statements were portrayed as more of a distraction Obama had dealt with effectively. The CBS Evening News reported that Wright's "reemergence now just as the Illinois senator seeks to regain some momentum, is a gift to the political opposition which has stressed Obama's difference from the mainstream. ... Wright's inflammatory rhetoric and the endless recycling of his statements on the internet and television had already knocked Obama's presidential campaign off stride." ABC World News called Wright "the controversy" that Obama "just can't seem to shake." NBC Nightly News showed Obama saying of Wright, "He does not speak for me. He does not speak for the campaign. And so, you know, he may make statements in the future that don't reflect my values or concerns."

CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 said Wright's "toxic preaching derailed" Obama's candidacy and added, "We do know the Obama camp is having a bad month and this week isn't looking any better. ... The reemergence of the reverend is exponentially harmful to Obama's mission."
Wright Seen As Harming Obama With Working Class Whites Long Island Newsday reports that Wright's "animated, provocative and sometimes comic 90-minute appearance at the press club is likely to raise more questions than it answered. 'I don't know why he's doing this to his friend...he's seriously hurting Obama,' said Stu Rothenberg, an independent political analyst based in Washington. 'I can only assume that Jeremiah Wright's top agenda is helping Jeremiah Wright,' he added. 'It's already done the damage. It's something for those older white working-class downscale people to latch onto in voting against Obama.'" The New York Post adds that Wright's "latest comments, on the heels of a whirlwind media tour, come at an exceptionally bad time for Obama, who is courting white working-class voters in Indiana to turn back a re-energized Clinton." Similarly, the Christian Science Monitor reports that Wright's appearances "inject issues of race back into the nomination contest at an awkward time for Obama," who "was already fending off new questions about his ability to win enough blue-collar white voters to close the protracted nomination fight with" Clinton. And the New York Daily News says, "For Obama, Wright's leap onto the national stage could hardly come at a worse time, a week before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries. Obama's weakness with white working-class voters helped cost him last week's Pennsylvania primary -- and a chance to put Hillary Clinton away."

Clinton, McCain Stay Out Of Fray In a story headlined "Barack Obama's Foes Avoid Fueling Jeremiah Wright Controversy," the New York Daily News reports that Clinton and McCain "unwrapped the gift of Barack Obama's former pastor in private Monday, letting the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's words do the work for them. Asked about the latest remarks from Wright, neither" Clinton nor McCain "had much to say."

AAPP: OK, now Barack Obama is expert on the black church?

What do you think? Should Barack be condeming Pastor Wright? Is the pastor speaking truth to power? Is his comments untimely? When is the right tme for Rev. Wright to speak Up? Does Rev. Wright speak for black folks?

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