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Top Hillary Backer Brought Wright To The NPC

From a column in the New York Daily News:


The Reverend Doctor Barbara Reynolds and the Reverend Doctor Jeremiah Wright at the National Press Club event Monday, which was organized by Reynolds.

Is Jeremiah Wright a colossal disaster for Barack Obama or a press trick?

Tuesday, April 29th 2008

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright couldn’t have done more damage to Barack Obama’s campaign if he had tried. And you have to wonder if that’s just what one friend of Wright wanted.

Shortly before he rose to deliver his rambling, angry, sarcastic remarks at the National Press Club Monday, Wright sat next to, and chatted with, Barbara Reynolds.

A former editorial board member at USA Today, she runs something called Reynolds News Services and teaches ministry at the Howard University School of Divinity. (She is an ordained minister). [Sic]

It also turns out that Reynolds – introduced Monday as a member of the National Press Club “who organized” the event – is an enthusiastic Hillary Clinton supporter.

On a blog linked to her Web site- www.reynoldsnews.com- Reynolds said in a February post: “My vote for Hillary in the Maryland primary was my way of saying thank you” to Clinton and her husband for the successes of Bill Clinton’s presidency. [Sic]

The same post criticized Obama’s “Audacity of Hope” theme: “Hope by definition is not based on facts,” wrote Reynolds. It is an emotional expectation. Things hoped for may or may not come. But help based on experience trumps hope every time.”

In another blog entry, Reynolds gives an ever-sharper critique of Obama: “It is a sad testimony that to protect his credentials as a unifier above the fray, the senator is fueling the media characterization that Rev. Dr. Wright is some retiring old uncle in the church basement.”

I don’t know if Reynolds’ eagerness to help Wright stage a disastrous news conference with the national media was a way of trying to help Clinton – my queries to Reynolds by phone and e-mail weren’t returned yesterday – but it’s safe to say she didn’t see any conflict between promoting Wright and supporting Clinton.

It’s hard to exaggerate how bad the actual news conference was. Wright, steeped in an honorable, fiery tradition of Bible-based social criticism, cheapened his arguments and his movement by mugging for the cameras, rolling his eyes, heaping scorn on his critics and acting as if nobody in the room was learned enough to ask him a question.

Wright has, unquestionably, been caricatured and vilified unfairly. The feeding programs, prison outreach and other social services he has built over more than 30 years are commendable, and his reading of the Judeo-Christian tradition as an epic story of people trying to escape slavery is far more right than wrong – and not something to be caricatured or compressed into a 10-second sound bite.

But Wright should have known – and his friend and ally Reynolds, a media professional, surely knew – that bickering with the press can only harm Wright and, by extension, Obama.

I hope that wasn’t their goal.

This is very likely the case. Of course not the laughable claim that the Reverend Doctor has been “unfairly vilified.”

But in the words of that other great black leader, “the bitch set him up.”

And somehow the highly learned holy man fell for it like a ton of bricks.

Of course Mr. Wright also has an upcoming book to promote, so the might not have been quite so duped as our author suggests.

After all, why should he care what he is doing to his spiritual protege’s prospects?

He’s got to eat too.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 29th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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