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April 28, 2008

Stuffing Wright Vs. The Right Stuff

Wright-Lyndon-Johnson

Asked about those who wondered about his love of the U.S. in light of his “God d— America” comments during a sermon, Wright said “those citizens who say that have never heard my sermons, nor do they know me…I served six years in the military, does that make me patriotic? How many years did (Vice President Dick) Cheney serve?”

–ABC News Political Punch blog

With Reverend Wright’s mug curently blanketing the media, one picture I don’t expect to see making the rounds is this one.

Presented by Bill Moyers during his extended interview with the Reverend earlier this week, the photo shows six-year veteran and Naval cardiopulmonary technician, Jeremiah Wright (beyond the I.V. stand), monitoring President Johnson’s heart as he recovers from gall bladder surgery at Bethesda.

Sorry if I’m unable to join the media parade, impugning Wright as an angry black malcontent in a daishikis, or just completely tossing him in a more “pragmatic” way, as simply a hopeless egomaniac or a strategic liability to the Obama campaign.

(updated 12:07 pm PST)

2 part Bill Moyers interview with Jeremiah Wright (PBS)

Nice Little Gem From Anderson Cooper Blog (CNN)

Why Is It So Quiet After the Moyers-Wright Interview? (Dave Winer – Huffington Post)



(image: Bill Moyers Journal)

  • http://www.typepad.com/t/comments Megalomania

    Please understand in my explanation I am not up set or angry but have begun to understand more about race integration and how it has been applied or manipulated through time. On both sides of the spectrum the Black man and the White man are filled with what appears as an Archimedean spiral of physical and mental form that moves through time. Here, both sides are filled with bias, prejudice, Grace, and Blessings that do not result in an even mix as man moves forward.
    In this continuum of time man may view this spiral perhaps more as a pendulum of good and bad times as mans mind and appearance swings through it. So, what is my point?
    In America we have elites on both sides struggling with each other for power and money. Even though my disrespect and disappointment for the Mainstream Media is exhausted and has every little patience, it is the people that operate these corporations that need to be replaced to reshape America for something better. The people who own these media corporations are the very problem America has today.
    In the disinformation and realty of what news is and how it is controlled can be sensed now by the very tone and demeanor that is continually exposed by this Internet transparency, and just watching first line Journalist across the spectrum. The bias, hate, prejudice, greed, and obvious shamelessness are apparent more often, and “At a Will they can not control any longer” those who hold this power realize this grip is slowly slipping away. Don’t you wonder as watching some super analyst talking in one widow while watch the person he is talking about is in another window with no sound, here, this same person telling you what they really mean is extraordinary.
    It is pretty obvious by now Bush and Company only had one goal, to take what ever they can, as long as they can, using any reason they want. So, now America is choking on the economy, barrowed money, in a war that is designed to work in a slow burn. All complicit with the very enemy we are fighting, the Arabs. Here, is an admission that is a monument difficultly for Mainstream Media to address for they are embedded in this mess and the premier sponsors that have screwed America for decades.
    The Democratic Party knows this, the Real Conservative Party knows this, and the Neo-Conservative Bush party knows this. Obama knows that those red states that he won in the primary gave him the illusion to win the nomination. Those states have not voted for a Democratic President in forty years, let alone a Black man connected to Farrakhan through a fanatic like Reverend Wright. What American is going to vote to open up National Security Secrets to this man is preposterous even on a notion of a connection like this. American would really have to be out of their mind to vote for Obama.
    Obama’s character shrunk and stinks at the same time all the while America watches as Obama dances around the questions about reverend Wright. Obama knows not only are the cross over Limbaugh dot heads spiking his numbers but those Neo-Con cross overs, Obama calls Obamacans that want to bury Hillary are adding to the false numbers Obama has, and will bolt to McCain in the fire fight of the final days.
    Obama needs to reconcile his character, the only way to it is to spend time in the political arena to redeem him self, and concede the nomination to Hillary. Perhaps work as a Vice President, learn the ropes while showing America what you want to be. Going for the top Presidential slot right now is a lost cause for Obama. McCain and the Republican Neo-Con machine will rip Obama apart, they the Media are already doing it.

  • catfood

    At risk of overstating what SHOULD be obvious, the flap over Wright’s out-of-context remarks is a manufactured controversy intended to marginalize Barack Obama’s candidacy. At most, they are no worse than statements made by Jerry Falwell in the aftermath of 9/11 or Rev. Hagee following Katrina.
    I confess that I also used the “chickens coming home to roost” analogy after 9/11, which is not to suggest that the victims deserved their fate or to absolve the perpetrators of any responsibility for their cruel acts. It is simply to point out that there will inevitably be blowback when our government’s foreign policy hinges on facilitating arms deals around the globe and training killers, be they mujahedeen or right-wing death squads in El Salvador.

  • chimproller

    Thats real brave Megalomania – that is the kind of thinking that probably led Hillary to vote for the War in Iraq.

  • blackdogbarking

    I watched most of this interview via internet. There were streaming problems early in the 2nd part, maybe fixed now.
    In their conversation about this photo Moyers points out that the gentleman standing in the back, blocked in this photo by corpsman Wright is LBJ’s Press Secretary, a young Bill Moyers.
    Wright expands on his experiences of that morning, e.g. early start so they’d have good news before the stock market opened at 9am. He told of leaving the president’s suite for coffee, being slammed against the wall by Secret Service on his return. Not everyone received that kind of special security handling that morning.
    Watching this interview left me dumbstruck at the magnitude of the gap between my perception of the Rev Wright sitting down with Bill Moyers and the Rev Wright raining hellfire from 8 second pulpits in broadcast sound bites.
    One wonders why Rev Wright is the extremist revolutionary firebrand while other broadcast ministries — those calling for political assassination, claiming that the creator of the universe sent a hurricane to break up gay pride parade — are met with a shrug.
    Actually, the different approaches make sense. The polemics of Falwell, Robertson, Hagee, et al, are obvious stagecraft, rasslin’ talk. No one not actually sending money to these figures believes a thing they say. It’s just talk. They’re goofin’,
    On the other hand, if one wants to show that Rev Wright is just goofin’ one is likely to find an argument. A reasonable argument. Nothing puts the fudge in a talking head’s nappy like the prospect of reason.

  • DVJ

    The republican media selects only the GDAmerica sound bite not only because it is incendiary, but because it is the only potentially indefensible statement (that I’ve heard) him say. To bring up anything else would lead to arguments about what, exactly, our government was doing anyway. Can’t have that!
    I have heard a few comments about the AIDS reference by Wright also being indefensible. But even on that there is justification for those feelings in the black community. Reference to [1] the Tuskegee experiments, [2] the movie and TV documentary, “Les Origines du SIDA” (2003) about the polio vaccine made and distributed in the 1950’s in the Belgian Congo, and [3] Gary Webb’s expose of the Contras and the CIA distribution of crack cocaine into the “inner city” of Los Angeles which resulted in hearings with Rep. Maxine Waters and the CIA at a black church in LA. Is it any wonder?
    So much for the intelligence and veracity of the reverend. As to the personal conflicts, I heard one report on one of the MSNBC programs (I think it was Abrams’) where the guest said he was at a book signing of Obama’s a few years ago and the reverend was there. He thought it was apparent that the reverend was not happy that his protege was getting so much attention.
    I doubt this is the first time a mentor (if that’s what he was to Obama) has been overshadowed by his pupil and resented that. Further, Wright has what we shall call a healthy ego; he would have to to lead such a large, prominent church. That would certainly explain the reverend’s current activities on behalf of Clinton and the republicans.

  • http://baileyalexander.typepad.com/europhile bailey alexander

    Everything is so petty and personal for Americans, politics is about a bunch of 2nd rate hacks that can’t make it in the private sector and realize that power and money come through relationships and contacts in politics. I know the guy that fired Tony Blair when he was trying to make it as an attorney, thus his cringe inducing political success.
    Great photos, fantastic analysis about those photos, yes, Obama is completely otherly and far too thoughtful and authentic for the political game. I’m convinced MCBush will take it because liberal bloggers are completely in denial about how very, very, very, very conservative America has become and no matter how much ‘hope’ we may have, the pathological strains are too great to help now…litigious, evangelical, therapy ridden negative strains have killed the creativity and modern attitudes that made the country so cool in the 60’s and 70’s…
    Wright has every right to say whatever he wants to say, and bringing up race and religion can only be a good thing, that is, if North America is ready to sit at the grownups table and have a dialogue about it…
    bailey/paris

  • tenacitus

    He seems to be out of the picture now

  • jtfromBC

    America, “is the greatest perpetrator of violence in the world today.” Martin Luther King.
    Thoughts on racism, militarism and capitalism from this award winning speech:
    Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence. April 4 1967 http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm
    I render on to Wright that which is historical accurate and to Obama I question his audacity of forgetfulness or certain denials and ask him what has qualitatively changed about US foreign policy in the past 40 years.
    I do not entertain these thoughts because I’m a hater of America. We all share the same hopes but we had better acknowledge some of our past and present terrorist behavior as well.

  • katsat

    Rev. Wright was great in the Moyers interview – intelligent, learned, charming.
    He was a little over-the-top in his NAACP speech but not yet over the line.
    BUT he went WAY over the top in the question-and-answer part of the press conference.
    Do not confuse the three different occasions.
    Wright is not all “black” or all “white,” pardon the pun. He is not a bad man, and I’m sure he is basically a decent person. But he betrayed Obama in such a selfish and egotistical way. It was very hard to understand how anyone could have done that with absolutely no conscience.
    Regardless of what his views might be, he purposely hurt someone who used to be his friend in the biggest public venue he ever had. It boggles the mind.

  • http://www.650keni.com/pages/ScottRhode.html Grumpy

    “Wright as an angry black malcontent in a daishikis”
    Everyone knows the white man stole medical scrubs from daishikis.
    You might add that Bill Moyers pointed out that he visible standing behind Wright. Moyers was LBJ’s press secretary at the time.

  • jtfromBC

    katsat ~ ” he betrayed Obama in such a selfish and egotistical way”
    is you assumption of betrayal extrapolated from the following comment, if so please elaborate, I’m happy to share my interpretation on this or any other statement from which you believed was purposely intended to hurt Obama.
    REVEREND WRIGHT: What I mean is what several of my white friends and several of my white, Jewish friends have written me and said to me. They’ve said, “You’re a Christian. You understand forgiveness. We both know that, if Senator Obama did not say what he said, he would never get elected.”
    Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls, Huffington, whoever’s doing the polls. Preachers say what they say because they’re pastors. They have a different person to whom they’re accountable. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/28/us/politics/28text-wright.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1209636070-oNJ/LS2RadIq/TUc145mjA&pagewanted=all
    Wright did a great job of mocking the press, sounds of Colbert and his infamous skit which made King George squirm in time with the media hacks. The Rev might have mentioned that politics is also based on focus groups, speech writers, stragetists and uncomfortable truths that must be downplayed, minimised, ignored, redirected, glossed over or denied, surely I’m not telling you something you don’t know ;-)

  • jtfromBC

    katsat, I screwed up on the link, please google
    Reverend Wright at the National Press Club – New York Times

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