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Media Plotted To Kill Rev Wright Stories

From The Daily Caller:

Documents show media plotting to kill stories about Rev. Jeremiah Wright

By Jonathan Strong

July 20, 2010

It was the moment of greatest peril for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s political career. In the heat of the presidential campaign, videos surfaced of Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, angrily denouncing whites, the U.S. government and America itself. Obama had once bragged of his closeness to Wright. Now the black nationalist preacher’s rhetoric was threatening to torpedo Obama’s campaign.

The crisis reached a howling pitch in mid-April, 2008, at an ABC News debate moderated by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. Gibson asked Obama why it had taken him so long – nearly a year since Wright’s remarks became public – to dissociate himself from them. Stephanopoulos asked, “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?”

Mr. Wright’s bizarre comments first became public in January 2007, thanks to our efforts. (See below.)

Watching this all at home were members of Journolist, a listserv comprised of several hundred liberal journalists, as well as like-minded professors and activists. The tough questioning from the ABC anchors left many of them outraged. “George [Stephanopoulos],” fumed Richard Kim of the Nation, is “being a disgusting little rat snake.”

Others went further. According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.

In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”

Michael Tomasky, a writer for the Guardian, also tried to rally his fellow members of Journolist: “Listen folks–in my opinion, we all have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy in whatever venues we have. This isn’t about defending Obama. This is about how the [mainstream media] kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the people.”

“Richard Kim got this right above: ‘a horrible glimpse of general election press strategy.’ He’s dead on,” Tomasky continued. “We need to throw chairs now, try as hard as we can to get the call next time. Otherwise the questions in October will be exactly like this. This is just a disease.” …

Thomas Schaller, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun as well as a political science professor, upped the ante from there. In a post with the subject header, “why don’t we use the power of this list to do something about the debate?” Schaller proposed coordinating a “smart statement expressing disgust” at the questions Gibson and Stephanopoulos had posed to Obama.

“It would create quite a stir, I bet, and be a warning against future behavior of the sort,” Schaller wrote.

Tomasky approved. “YES. A thousand times yes,” he exclaimed.

The members began collaborating on their open letter. Jonathan Stein of Mother Jones rejected an early draft, saying, “I’d say too short. In my opinion, it doesn’t go far enough in highlighting the inanity of some of [Gibson’s] and [Stephanopoulos’s] questions. And it doesn’t point out their factual inaccuracies …Our friends at Media Matters probably have tons of experience with this sort of thing, if we want their input.”

Notice that these people know that the Soros-funded Media Matters are the people to turn to if you want to squelch a story or if you want to stifle any debate.

Jared Bernstein, who would go on to be Vice President Joe Biden’s top economist when Obama took office, helped, too. The letter should be “Short, punchy and solely focused on vapidity of gotcha,” Bernstein wrote

Columnist Joe Conason weighed in with suggestions. So did Slate contributor David Greenberg, and David Roberts of the website Grist. Todd Gitlin, a professor of journalism at Columbia University, helped too.

Should we be surprised?

Journolist members signed the statement and released it April 18, calling the debate “a revolting descent into tabloid journalism and a gross disservice to Americans concerned about the great issues facing the nation and the world.”

The letter caused a brief splash and won the attention of the New York Times. But only a week later, Obama – and the journalists who were helping him – were on the defensive once again.

Jeremiah Wright was back in the news after making a series of media appearances [including at the NAACP]. At the National Press Club, Wright claimed Obama had only repudiated his beliefs for “political reasons.” Wright also reiterated his charge that the U.S. federal government had created AIDS as a means of committing genocide against African Americans.

It was another crisis, and members of Journolist again rose to help Obama.

Chris Hayes of the Nation posted on April 29, 2008, urging his colleagues to ignore Wright. Hayes directed his message to “particularly those in the ostensible mainstream media” who were members of the list.

The Wright controversy, Hayes argued, was not about Wright at all. Instead, “It has everything to do with the attempts of the right to maintain control of the country.”

Hayes castigated his fellow liberals for criticizing Wright. “All this hand wringing about just how awful and odious Rev. Wright remarks are just keeps the hustle going.”

“Our country disappears people. It tortures people. It has the blood of as many as one million Iraqi civilians — men, women, children, the infirmed — on its hands. You’ll forgive me if I just can’t quite dredge up the requisite amount of outrage over Barack Obama’s pastor,” Hayes wrote.

Hayes urged his colleagues – especially the straight news reporters who were charged with covering the campaign in a neutral way – to bury the Wright scandal. “I’m not saying we should all rush en masse to defend Wright. If you don’t think he’s worthy of defense, don’t defend him! What I’m saying is that there is no earthly reason to use our various platforms to discuss what about Wright we find objectionable,” Hayes said

“Part of me doesn’t like this shit either,” agreed Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent. “But what I like less is being governed by racists and warmongers and criminals.”

Ackerman went on:

I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It’s not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright’s defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.

And I think this threads the needle. If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction

This is our news media with the mask off. If the press were what they claim to be, none of these ‘reporters’ would have jobs this morning. But of course nothing whatsoever will come of this exposure, except that maybe their credentials will be burnished.

Still, in point of fact, the media blackout about the Reverend Wright wasn’t just on the left. Not that there was any cabal conspiring to keep him out of the news, as there was on the left – or rather – in our (out of the mainstream) media.

As regular readers will recall, we were the first site anywhere to uncover Mr. Wright’s bizarre views, back on January 25, 2007. Indeed we posted an audio clip of one of his sermons also on January 25, 2007.

And we followed up these posting with numerous other revelations, such as this Wright rant, through the following months. However, despite our best efforts, and our extensive rolodex, none of the news media – not even the ‘rightwing’ media — would touch the story.

Though our posts did manage to catch the attention of the Obama campaign itself. In fact, it was our posts that caused Mr. Wright to be to uninvited to speak when Mr. Obama announced his campaign for the Presidency.

Alas, if the truth about Mr. Obama’s “spiritual mentor” for twenty years had gotten national exposure in January 2007, we would probably not be talking about President Obama today.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 20th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

15 Responses to “Media Plotted To Kill Rev Wright Stories”

  1. NoNeoCommies says:

    These guys really need a “watchdog” group that publically flogs them for any and every breach of objectivity.
    One that gets a lot of free prime airtime to do so.

  2. Right of the People says:

    “Stephanopoulos asked, “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?” ”

    I don’t remember the O-hole’s answer but if he said YES it would have been truthful since he hates this country as much as his “spiritual” mentor.

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    We here at S&L knew where the truth lay about this. Rush even mentioned this site today as one of the few places that knew the media was poo pooing this off to make Bamster shine in the neon glow. He was their boy and nothing was gonna stop them from aiding his election.
    “You are who you associate with” is what my mother told me when I was growing up.
    This…….about sums up dingleBarry.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Too bad the Fourth Estate is in disrepair.
      Our watchdog is MIA.

    • tranquil.night says:

      Someday students of History will search for insights and lessons from these times. I hope when they do that the search inevitably leads them to these archives, where the revolt against the Propogandist wing of the ruling class evolved from Talk Radio to an agressive new front of which this site I believe has become the nexus.

      S&L: the turd in the LSM’s punchbowl since 2005. Mr. Gilbert is the undisputed best at picking out media bias and lies, he’s an award-deserving investigative journalist, brilliant satirist and just all around humble guy that’s given a scrub like me a venue of wise patriots with which to juggle the issues. And this isn’t even to mention how vital for the country his work has been in combatting the lies of the regime since the immaculation.

      Rush’s saying is that at the Golden Mic “half of his brain is tied behind his back to make it fair for the rest.”

      IMO Steve, more than less, is that other half.

    • Steve says:

      Gosh. Thanks, Tranq!

    • proreason says:

      Anybody noticing that Hot Air is creeping toward rino-ism since Townhall bought them?

      Allahpudit was alway a foursquare Rino, but Ed Morrissey was pretty hard-hitting. Not anymore. Example: not a peep about the Ruling Class / Country Class article, even though Rush has spent the better part of two days talking about it. And Ed is now being very careful to end everything he writes with “the other side” of the story.

    • wterrier says:

      Completely agree with you tranquil.night.
      Thank-you Steve for all the great work you are doing.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      This is for pro……before the Revolution starts in 2012, dingleBarry will try to snuff Fox, Rush, Hannidy and all forms of Conservative and like minded internet chatter.
      The wussies are just covering their 6. (a$$ for all you non military types)

  4. canary says:

    So, while these journalists were up in arms to stop U.S. Americans from knowing Obama’s damming America & Jews; Obama made it clear he loved Wright as much as the woman who raised him, sacrificing for him, just to have him slander her in front of the entire world, quickening her death in the tower she was imprisoned. Having been stripped of fluids for 3 days, her lips to parched to give her last words which would have been something like “I should have whipped your as, and tried to turn you into a good seed, the monster you are.

    As far as Rev Wright goes & his penance to his Lord, for his spewed hatred should be to write a book about Obama, and “the things” he claimed Obama did “wrong”.
    He could make some money, but probably afraid the black panthers and their muslim nature of punishment & violence might get him killed.

  5. tranquil.night says:

    “Creeping towards RINO-ism”

    I get where you’re coming from. They’ve always geared their analysis emphasis towards fiscal and political matters over social ones. Allahpundit is definitely more skeptical of Palin and is in the Romney 2012 camp, but they both have done a decent job in defending her and producing constructive debate within our camp. There’s some dedicated social cons in the Green Room and I still don’t miss anything from Doctor Zero.

    But overall I notice what you’re saying Pro, that there’s an agenda, especially since the Townhall merge; their comfort with some of the inside-the-beltway political games is concerning. It may be a new attitude coming from how big a public player they’ve become, there may be personal aspirations wrapped up in it, or perhaps the content really was co-opted to one degree or another. For instance: less Obama bashing, more talk of Republican ideological differences – subtle narrative shifts that’ll isolate the debate against elements of the party that the establishment wants silenced. Note the chilly response to Bachmann’s TP Caucus (but not necessarily by Hot Air, APun was as carefully neutral as Cantor – you’d think he were the politician).

    Sadly, I think this phenomenon is going to start happening more as some of these players start vying for control of the party as the Dems approach their Great Crash. I suspect a lot of the heads on our side have been talking the talk for now but their intentions are less than noble. No disillusions, there’s alot of visions out there on our side that still don’t reflect our side. Newt 2012? With humility and respect: get real.

    It’s why we’re so blessed to have Steve and Rush; and it’s the qualities so many gravitate towards in Palin. I’ve never gotten the sense there’s any ego in the mission here. Maybe I’m just delusional after this long in the Obamanation, but if anything I’ve almost seen an attempt to shelter S&L to a degree. Even though Steve’s signature style of media analysis has become part of Rush’s (and others’) vernacular everyday, I rarely see the site linked to or even mentioned much anymore (today the exception). Figured it’s to keep the Media Matters drones away.

    So thank you again SG. (And with apologies as this was a reply)

    • proreason says:

      Morrisey’s post on the JornoList scandel today is classic. The first part of the post is his normal style, well-written, pointed, muted outrage. But now, he feels obligated to add an addendum. This time he says (paraphrased) “oh, but be sure, we can’t smear all journalists by the actions of a few”. I say, “right, only 99% of them”.

      He has definitely been co-opted.

      I used to post a lot at Townhall, and got banned so many times that I gave up. Hugh Hewitt and his partners are Washington insider wannabes. In other words, it’s ok for liberals to say anything, no matter how extreme, but conservatives have to stay within strict boundaries of decorum, kind of like McLame did with Bamster. How’s that workin for you all?

      Here’s the ultimate classic. When Pelosi and and her band of idiot Black Causus strutters walked through the Mall with the giant gavel after ObamyCare passed, what do you think they were doing? They were deliberately attempting to provoke a racial incident, that’s what. It’s as obvious as the nose on your face. When they were unsuccessful they simply lied about it. That’s how you know it was deliberate. Who has told the truth about that incident. Not HotAir, thats’ for sure.

      Welcome, HotAir to the Ruling Class, or at least, panting wannabe additions to the Ruling Class.

    • tranquil.night says:

      “In other words, it’s ok for liberals to say anything, no matter how extreme, but conservatives have to stay within strict boundaries of decorum.”

      Exactly, which is true if were talking about adhering to truth and principle, but that’s not at the core of this.

      “Painting the entire journalistic profession as evil and conspiratorial because the Journolisters either participate in proposing smears and government totalitarianism or silently give implicit consent is as unfair as painting the Tea Party movement as racist because a few neo-Nazis and LaRouchies show up as provocateurs.”

      You’re right, this is the type of defensive equivocation that drives the grassroots nuts. Facts like this should go without saying, but become necessary disclaimers for Conservatives who worry about being criticized on stupid points. In a Climate Change debate, the equivalent is prefacing every point with “Well I’m a firm supporter of alternate sources of energy, let’s make that clear, it’s just..”

      Ed is certainly moderating his tone but I’m unconvinced still whether it’s because of his rising public profile or if he’s truly out to help the establishment put the skids on those rowdy gun-toting non-PC social values-Cons (who’re the Bushiites just out to regulate everyone’s personal behavior if not their fiscal behavior anyway) in favor of a less ideological and stronger strictly fiscally Conservative party.

      It is what it is, but this isn’t ’94 where people just want a check on power. The new media has helped people understand that there’s more to this than mere spending problems. We’re nearing the end and beginning of two competing revolutions.

      Those Journolist files are delicious. What morons.

    • proreason says:

      “I’m unconvinced still whether it’s because of his rising public profile or if he’s truly out to help the establishment put the skids on those rowdy gun-toting non-PC social values-Cons ”

      I’m not suggesting he’s changed his views. I’m suggesting he has been given marching orders by Townhall, the bastion of moderate conservative thought, i.e., rino-ism.

      As you say, it might also be because of his rising profile. If so, that’s just as bad.

      And here is my underlying point: calm, studious, phlegmatic political discourse is the equivalent of surrender. Occasionally, a Reagan will emerge who has a unique talent at communicating, but Reagan certainly didn’t mitigate his views, he was just amazing at expressing them in a congenial manner. (Chris Chistie may have the same gift, but there isn’t another conservative in America today that is demonstrating that ability. Perhaps Marco Rubio will, but it’s too soon to tell.) Meanwhile, liberals say and do things that are many times more outrageous than anything a conservative would ever be “allowed” to say or do. By asking for permission, the argument is lost before it is begun.

  6. wardmama4 says:

    Like the DNC, the Congress & the Supreme Court – the MSM was complicit in the election fraud that was the 2008 Election. There is virtually no one speaking for We The People any more. And the fight is going to become more and more revolutionary – when all of our checks and balances are on one side – the anti-American side.

    If the Rev Wright spewings had been played in mainstream outlets, along with his ‘typical white person’ and a real expose on Obama’s life and experience (NOT) – Obama would have never won. Not a single MSM outlet stepped up and requested Obama’s long form birth certificate (which oh btw, the Senate demanded from McAmnesty). The MSM knew all of it and reported almost nothing or distorted it into a smear of the ‘other side’. They also played a part in the ‘nomination’ of McAmnesty – as in the early primaries – people crossed over party lines to nominate the most left Republican out there, without a story from the DNC’s peeps but later when Rush started Operation Chaos – suddenly they found their collective ‘voices’. In this case I also blame all the other Rep candidates who gave up and gave in way too quickly (and one has to ponder if they aren’t indeed part of the ‘DC Clique’ – and thus part of the above mentioned problem).

    It goes to my precise problem with _________(fill in the blank MSM, Dems, politicians, government, non-profits/community organizing, anti-war, etc) if you have to lie, distort and cover up – Something is very, very wrong with your position/belief/ideas – and You KNOW it. And the JournoLists – proved beyond a shadow of a doubt – that they are biased, stupid (Schieffer, Brokaw, Rather) and are so intentionally.

    Because here’s what they believe – as proven with historical facts – if they side with the aggressors (whom they believe will ‘always’ win – since they lie and cheat to win) – the ‘journalists’ know that they will have a job – as long as they continue to spew the ‘party line’ – so like politicians and other government bureaucrats – they will be set for life. They also believe that should the ‘other side’ win – they will no longer be so viable as the ‘other side’ isn’t into one-sided journalism (even though the JournoLists screed daily that the ‘other side’ is indeed even more biased than they) and of course they can’t abide by the ‘other side’s’ core beliefs – which are God, Country, Guns, Motherhood and Apple Pie (which is a no-no in liberal land for thee but not for me) and of course rampant, un-repentant racism (which of course li(e)brals never, ever could abide).

    There are two problems which the Left is totally ignoring (again intentionally):
    This is America – not some 2nd rate country – We The People have had uncommon Freedom, Individuality and Tolerance above and beyond anything a Li(e)bral can ever imagine in their wildest fantasies – and We The People won’t let go so easily of our true American RIGHTS. The JournoLists may have kept hidden but now it is proven that the 2008 election, the passage of Obamacare and most of the Financial/Auto ‘crisis’ – are fraudulent and back-room double dealing scams – not ‘majority’ approved and accepted ideals)- reinforced by the MSM lies and distortions, shadings and simple non-reporting on all of the above issues and surrounding scandals as revelations emerge from the few pj and truly investigative InterNet media) [Sorry for the horrible run-on sentence]
    Read The Book – fact or fiction, religious or not – GOOD always triumphs – and as 2001 proved – Don’t Wake A Sleeping Giant – You may not like the result.

    For Obama, the DNC and the socialist agenda they are ramming down America’s throat it is indeed coming to their revolution, their Waterloo, their end – and they will be shocked at the reaction from We The People.

    And for all of you who call yourselves Conservative and a Ron Paul supporter – he just ‘crossed the aisle’ (again) and joined with the Thug Administration to cut the Defense budget (possibly the only government spending the DNC can find to cut) -proving that Paul is just another RINO and a dangerous one at that, sort of like McAmnesty.

    Remember in NOvember, Take America Back.

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