Rev. Wright And Media Hypocrisy

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[Elections 2008]


I appreciate the chance to comment on the March 17 article "Reverend Jeremiah Wright" by Mr. Greg Fuller. 

There is an opportunity here in the present political scenario for a dialogue on race that in my opinion has been badly needed for a long time; that is, if the media do not stoop to tabloid tactics and make our current political scenario into hysterical flight from all reason and factual analysis.

I am speaking from two perspectives, one being the fact that I was a licensed social worker for many years. The other is that I am the son of a preacher who, until his death in 1979, often preached in his small-town Southern white churches in a "Fire and Brimstone" rhetorical style not substantially different from that of Rev. Wright.

From the pulpit, my father frequently issues screaming denunciations of secular American society and materialistic culture, usually characterized as "worldly things," or simply "the world."

Based on my experience, I can say with conscientious certainty that there was never the remotest possibility that ABC News, NBC News, CNN, or any of the other major media outlets would ever have taken even the slightest interest in my father's rich, full-voiced condemnations of secular America, up to and including his peppering his sermons with invocations for "God" to "damn" some damnable thing or other, and the reason is quite simply that there was no way for the media to make political hay out of my father's sermons.

The attempts to focus on Rev. Wright as the spiritual mentor to Senator Barak Obama is disingenuous on the part of the major media outlets, and I will stand by that stance until such time as anyone can demonstrate to me how it is incorrect. I find it frankly absurd, even laughable. One recent news clip showed a Fox news journalist challenging a guest on Senator Obama's claim that he was not aware of some of Rev. Wright's comments.

It was all I could do not to laugh out loud at my Internet monitor over the presumed belief that every listener could be expected to recall every single statement out of his pastor's mouth over a period of years. Personally, I do well to remember more than one or two statements my pastor says by dinnertime Sunday, and that is with a good sermon.

These media people are trying to make a problem where none exists and I challenge them to prove otherwise to me by recalling every statement their own pastor ever made, and furthermore, by demonstrating that their pastor never made any comments that could be construed as divisive.

The phrase has been badly overworked, but once in a while something comes along that deserves no more or less than the irreverent words of the infamous Bart Simpson:  "Give me a break." 

Thank you for your time and attention, and for giving me a chance to get a few things off my chest about media hypocrisy.




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