It's the Press' Fault!

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: May 31, 2008 10:29 PM
Shame on the press -- at least to hear Barack Obama tell it.  Judging from his slightly petulant statement announcing his departure from Trinity UCC, the break isn't because of the dubious views of those who have been occupying its pulpit, both as long-serving pastors and guests.  The substance of what's issued from the church isn't an issue for Barack.  Rather, all the press' fault, for two reasons:

(1) The Press' Penchant for Unjust Imputations: 

Every time something is said in the church by anyone associated with Trinity, including guest pastors, the remarks will be imputed to me even if they totally conflict with my long-held views, statements and principles.

Well, if the remarks are of the tenor of those so famously discharged by Jeremiah Wright, that's probably true.  Nor is it unfair, given that Wright (described by Barack as a spiritual mentor and something akin to a family member) spewed racial hatred for twenty years from the pulpit unrebuked (or if we are to believe Obama, unnoticed) by him. 

What's more, it's difficult to understand why Barack feels so aggrieved by such imputations -- given John McCain has been blasted (to the point where he'd have to make statements rejecting them) simply for accepting the endorsement of pastors who are as controversial as Wright, but on the other side of the aisle.  And those are men McCain barely knows, and whose views obviously "totally conflict with [McCain's] long-held views, statements and princples" -- and not people McCain embraced as family for two decades.

In fact, if one were to make comparisons, imagine the uproar if McCain still found a way to commend his controversial pastoral endorsers the way Barack managed to compliment both Wright and Father Pfleger in passing.  He noted that he "continue[s] to admire the work Reverend Wright has done in building up the church"; as for Father Pfleger, according to Barack, he's "someone I knew, who [sic] I consider a friend, who has done tremendous work in the city of Chicago."

(2) The Press' Bad Behavior

Barack's condemnation of the press' behavior seemed more genuinely heated than any criticism he's offered of the pastors.  He essentially charged the press with forcing him to leave Trinity for the sake of its other parishioners:

We've had news organizations harassing members at their homes and their workplaces, we've had reporters grabbing church bulletins and calling up the sick and the shut-in in an attempt to get news about the church, we've had news organizations scrutining Reverend Moss' sermons and attempting to try to make political hay out of even the most innocuous or innocent remarks by him.

For someone who's received such unbelievably favorable press coverage, he's remarkably willing to turn on the MSM, isn't he?  Nobody in the media had better cherish any hopes that a President Obama will embrace the press a la JFK.   In fact, as I noted here back in February, Barack is perfectly capable of stiff-arming the group of people who will have been more responsible than anyone for getting him to The White House.

Here's Exhibit A.