Media Giving Rev. Wright a Pass

Few comedies are as destructive and dispiriting as what the mainstream media has become in America. Facts, description, and perspective are habitually altered in the name of their mutated version of social justice. Many journalists believe that only when our collective consciousness changes can utopia result.

Of course, the characteristics of such a utopia would prove most unsavory. No doubt the first thing an omnipresent progressive government would do is shut down every independent outlet of information. That is what they have done in the past, and the leaders of such a state will respond to the celebrated mantra -- "dissent is the highest form of patriotism" -- by locking the cell door behind whoever utters it.

Luckily for the rest of us their coveted era has yet to arrive. Until then, the commentariat must be content to revel in fantasies of what their champion, Barack Obama, will do should he become president. Mr. Obama remains the probable recipient of the Democratic Party nomination despite Hillary Clinton's roaring back in the polls like the lion she never was.

However, this has been a tough week or two for the "Change We Can Believe In" crowd. Barack's cheerleaders, as the English say, are at sixes and sevens. The Reverend Jeremiah Wright imbroglio greatly unsettled them, but their champion's latest explanation -- which included an actual denunciation -- should be enough to satisfy his fellow party members.

Given the paucity of primaries left, Hillary's counter-strokes may be no more than a glorious ending to an inglorious campaign. Exploiting the serious weaknesses of the Democratic frontrunner is a job John McCain (read: conservative 527s) will inherit, which is not confidence-inspiring. The Republican nominee seems rather queasy about negative advertising.

Irrespective of the future, the recent spectacle that is Reverend Wright showcased numerous social pathologies, not least of which is the corrupt and illegitimate nature of the mainstream media. Only in November will we discern whether the antics of a part-time minister and full-time performance artist managed to alter the course of history.

The reverend's whirlwind self-promotional tour -- which took him to Bill Moyer's PBS studio, a NAACP function in Detroit, and Washington, DC, among a legion of fans at the National Press Club -- left no doubt that the man who baptized Senator Obama's children is every bit the racist he initially appeared to be.

Certainly, his shtick at the Press Club underscored his contempt for the nation. He shared that we as a people deserved 9/11 due to the terrorism he imagines we commit. Wright regards the federal government as being so sinister that its minions intentionally spread AIDS among the black population. Yes, by the time he finished it became apparent that only Aldrich Ames is a citizen whose sense of patriotism is surpassed by the reverend.

Another trait that Wright gaudily displayed was megalomania. His narcissism is such that he equates criticisms of him with criticisms of the black church on the whole -- even though most of their institutions revolve around the teachings of Jesus Christ rather than the virus known as black liberation theology.

While Wright's spoken word recitals appear to have ended, the episode reveals both the biases and misperceptions of the mainstream media. The media's inconsistency and hypocrisy concerning Obama and Wright will make their advocacy for him much less persuasive with the general public in the fall.

In March, when ABC News "broke" the story of his pastor's anti-American ministry -- a tale of which conservatives had been aware for over a year -- pundits implied that quoting directly from his sermons was somehow unfair and an act of racism.

It seems Wright's missives were "taken out of context" or were merely sound bites, and definitely not a complete picture of the man. Quoting from his monologues or publicly linking him with Obama was tantamount to playing the race card.

Of course, this was, and is, a bogus contention. Most of us reckon that what a person says correlates with his values. Moreover, judging men by the company they keep may be unprogressive, but it's a time-tested way to ascertain the authenticity of strangers.

Journalists defended Obama religiously and cast aspersions on his foes, yet the circling of their carbon-neutral wagons was spurious. No member of the Fourth Estate ever cited "contextualizing" or the misuse of sound bites whenever a white person was excoriated for uttering the N-word. No qualifications would have been permissible in such a situation.

The fellow who repeats the same syllables that some blacks recite on a daily basis morphs into a Vir Horribilis seconds after doing so. Only two syllables can make a Caucasian an outcast with no mechanism for appeal. Indeed, the N-word is so poisonous that one can even be fired for saying something that sounds similar. Regardless of society's empathy gap, Wright and the Democratic Party frontrunner both made chumps out of their defenders last week. They bedeviled the media by re-contextualizing the conversation for them.

The one they hail as uniter and redeemer clarified succinctly that there is nothing redeeming about Reverend Wright: "I'm outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday. ... The person I saw yesterday was not the person I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but they also give comfort to those that prey on hate and I believe they do not accurately portray the perspective of the black church. They certainly do not accurately portray my values and beliefs."

Given their prior false accusations of racism, one hoped that the commentariat would do the honorable thing and apologize, but that is not their way. Instead, they spun in a new direction.

Predictably, the New York Times editorialized in Obama's favor. They too, it now appears, thought Jeremiah the Entertainer "shocking" even though there was nothing new about Wright's statements. His virulent opinions were available on YouTube for over a month.

The Times was not content to merely take Barack's back. They assumed omniscience and pretended that his March speech -- which they heralded as "Mr. Obama's Profile in Courage" -- made distinctions they never thought "would sit well with many voters."

Their claim, unlike Reverend Wright's invective, is shocking. When did they express such reservations? Was it when they observed that Obama's "speech should end the debate over his ties to Mr. Wright"?

The fact is that they never offered any reservations. Their conclusion was unambiguous. Obama "not only cleared the air over a particular controversy -- he raised the discussion to a higher plane." Though that was the last thing he did. The candidate's earlier speech was but a sham.

Regardless, the Times, along with most of the press corps, "moved on" the second after Obama rebuked Wright. Soon the whole caper will be no more than a trivia question in their minds.

By the end of their latest editorial, the Gray Lady went over to the offensive. The editors signaled that in the future they will libel as racist any criticisms of Obama's relationship with his spiritual mentor: "This country needs a healthy and open discussion of race. Mr. Obama's repudiation of Mr. Wright is part of that. His opponents also have a responsibility -- to repudiate the race-baiting and make sure it stops."

What an audacious trick. By their calculus, that Obama has a closet brimming with embarrassment is the fault of conservatives due to their having the nerve to notice it. Our pointing out that he cavorts with racists renders us ... racists. Once again we find that the press fears logic almost as much as pajama-clad bloggers typing on keyboards.

The Times recommends an open discussion as long as it is operationalized within their predetermined parameters. Verboten to such a conversation is the subject of the baleful haters with whom Senator Obama has associated for over two decades.

As they often are, the publishers of "All the News That's Fit to Print" omitted a major truth. Mr. Obama previously said, "I can no more disown him [Reverend Wright] than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother." These sentences cannot be banished from the psyche via editorial. The bond between the two men is fair game, and one that our side must exploit.

This wayward duel of egos, along with the kultursmog proliferated as a means to shroud it, remains germane. In the leftist vernacular, we must ask, "What did Barack know and when did he know it?" Let's keep him under the microscope because one who walks with demons usually gets singed. Hopefully, Obama's marks will remain detectable at least until November.

Bernard Chapin wrote Women: Theory and Practice and Escape from Gangsta Island, along with a series of videos called Chapin’s Inferno. You can contact him at [email protected]