The story contains some interesting background concerning Rev. Jeremiah Wright. But for the most part, it’s very “soft” reporting on the Obama-Wright relationship. It also works to excuse Wright’s raving anti-American and racist preaching.
The Times begins:
In the handful of years Senator Barack Obama has spent in the national spotlight, his stance toward his pastor has gone from glowing praise to growing distance to — as of Friday — strong criticism.No mention in that important first sentence of Sen. Obama and Rev. Wright's very close, nearly 20-year relationship.
Instead, we’re told about a “handful of years” during which Obama’s been gradually distancing himself from Wright.
Just “a handful,” you understand.
The “growing distance” is in there so liberals and leftists who trust the Times can say to others: “No, Obama didn’t denounce Wright under the pressure of exposure and awareness he’s being hurt politically. There's been “growing distance” between the two for at least "a handful of years." I read about it in the Times.”
Wright’s prejudices are not new; they go back decades.
Even if you go with the Times about "growing distance" for "a handful of years," there's still the question of why not sooner?
Why was Obama drawn to Wright in the first place?
And why, knowing what Wright is, has Obama brought his daughters to Wright’s church for their religious instruction?
Obama's "I wasn't ever in church" when all those statements were made works at the NYT, NPR and the DNC, but it won't fool most people.
Now let's look at the Times second sentence:
Friday, Mr. Obama called a grab bag of statements by his longtime minister, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., “inflammatory and appalling.”The Times could have said “ a series of anti-American and racist statements Wright’s made over the years.” They’re what are starting to draw notice.
But the Times prefers to say “grab bag.” It has a slighting quality that will encourage readers not to take Wright’s statements as seriously as they might otherwise.
Obama knew enough not to use a term like "grab bag" in his statement concerning Wright's anti-American and racist remarks.
Further on in the story the Times offers this:
Since he arrived at Trinity in 1972, [Wright] has built a 6,000-member congregation through his blunt, charismatic preaching, which melds detailed scriptural analysis, black power, Afrocentrism and an emphasis on social justice; Mr. Obama praised the last quality in Friday’s statement.Wright’s “charismatic preaching” has also included anti-Americanism and racism but the Times can’t bring itself to say that about the close friend, pastor and political ally of Barack Obama.
The Times goes on to quote leaders of the religious left, none of whom are critical of Wright. He’s described as a “beloved figure.”
And yes, for those of you wondering, the Times does work in the “few remarks taken out of context” excuse.
That and the rest of the story is here.