April 28th, 2008: CNN's Longest Day
Monday April 28th 2008 must have been quite a day behind the scenes at CNN. As we watched earlier today, on the morning of the 28th, CNN's John Roberts and Soledad O'Brien gushed over the videotape of Rev. Wright's speech the night before to the NAACP. One week later, Roberts declared the network a "Wright-Free Zone" when then-Sen. Obama appeared for an interview from the presidential campaign trail.
In between those two events was Wright's equally inflammatory speech on Monday April 28th at the National Press Club in DC (which you can watch at Fora.tv), the word apparently came down from a higher source (presumably, the man whom Newsweek's Evan Thomas later declared was "sort of God") for the network to put the kibosh on the Reverend.
ROLAND MARTIN: You know, David, when he spoke at the National Press Club today, he actually did that. He talked about all these ministries the church is involved in. I mean, I thought his opening statement -- he gave a theological, a sound opening statement. But again, the focus will not be on any of that. The focus will not be on the war, will not be on their HIV/AIDS ministry, will not be [on] any of that. It's going to be his answer to the AIDS question, it's going to be his answer towards -- talking about Dick Cheney. That's the problem with that.
GERGEN: If this man cares one wit about electing an African-American to the highest office in the land, he should get off the national stage. You know that.
MARTIN: I know. I agree. I agree. It just -- it did not help at all, and frankly, it's going to invite more questions, and so now the question is, Reverend Wright -- where does he go next? Does he continue? Does he keep talking, because absolutely, people are going to perceive...
GERGEN: He should just go away, go back to the pulpit.
MARTIN: Well, I tell my radio listeners that every day.