Editorial by John Ziegler

Why Rev. Wright Still Matters

5/17/2012

In a series of developments that have transpired at lightning speed even by the modern “twitterized” standards of communication, news has broken today that: a Super PAC is planning an effort to make president Obama’s connection to Rev. Wright a major issue in the campaign, Mitt Romney has repudiated the plan, and the major donor behind the proposal has apparently backed away from the idea. All of this occurred before lunch time.
 
As someone who has made a major documentary film which goes into more depth on the Wright issue during the 2008 campaign than another other video entity, who has broken the story (which has been verified by others but largely ignored) about how Matt Drudge helped contain the Wright brushfire during the Obama/Clinton battle, and who knows some of the key players in this story, I may have some insight about these important happenings.
 
First, let’s stipulate that many Americans (including myself) will never “get over” the notion that an inexperienced and unaccomplished first-term senator who promised not to run for president in 2008 because he likes to “know what I’m doing” before he applies for a job could possibly have gotten elected president with a close association to an anti-American racist like Wright. Even more frustrating is the reality that, thanks to incredibly biased media coverage of the issue, many Americans either didn’t even know about the issue or certainly didn’t understand the full magnitude of it.
 
Quite simply, for any other presidential candidacy in American political history, having gone to Wright’s church for twenty years (long after even Oprah Winfrey left because it was too controversial), been married by the guy, written a book whose title was inspired by the man, and having praised him while on the campaign trail, would have faced instant destruction. But Barack Obama was allowed to play be very different rules than anyone else who ever pursued the most powerful office in the world.
 
I also understand those who say that this issue is “old news” and will have no positive impact on the 2012 election and I completely “get” why the Romney camp instantly and strongly repudiated the idea of a Super PAC making Wright the issue that John McCain was afraid to make it (it is important to note that while McCain was indeed a wimp in 2008, it should have been the media’s job to make the Wright association a factor in that campaign).
 
However, there are at least two very good reasons why it would be a mistake to once again take a pass on the Rev. Wright story.
 
The first is that, as I document in “Media Malpractice” the Wright issue has never been properly framed. One of the ways that Obama and the media “conspired” to help him escape this political death trap was to make the issue one of “race.” When Obama gave his much praised (and grossly misunderstood) “race speech” after the Wright issue exploded on the scene, the media decided it had its excuse to quickly move on.
 
But the real issues regarding Wright and Obama have almost nothing to do with race. Instead, the focus here should be on honesty, integrity, the authenticity of the Obama narrative.
 
Obama has sold himself as a “post partisan” “post racial” leader who disdains traditional politics. But the reality is exactly the opposite and his handling of the Wright connection clearly proves this.
 
First, he decided to pick his church based primarily on its ability to give him much needed (for a half-white Harvard grad with a weird name) “street credibility” in the black community of Chicago. Then, when the story broke nationally, he blatantly lied about what he knew of Wright’s sermons and directly contradicted himself in his famous “race speech.” Then he threw Wright under the bus the instant that he became politically expendable and used his own race as an escape hatch.
 
In short, a proper telling of the Wright story reveals Obama to be a fraud. This is obviously potentially incredibly powerful because if the American people are able to better understand that they have been sold a bill of goods regarding who Obama is as a person/politician, then it will be far easier for them to see the light when it comes to evaluating his presidency as a whole.
 
Secondly, a proper attack on the Wright issue could provide a strong defense, or at least a deterrent, on the “Mormon issue” regarding Romney’s religion.
 
The media has already made it clear that they intend to make Romney’s religion a campaign topic, either overtly or covertly, whenever possible. By making Wright a major campaign subject this puts the media/Obama campaign in a rather tough spot. If they condemn the Wright attacks, then it makes it extremely difficult for them to “go Mormon.” If they don’t, then at least the issue is neutralized as very few undecided voters are going to view Romney’s Mormonism as more of a negative than Obama’s Wright connection. My gut tells me this is a good trade for the Romney forces. At worst, it is a wash.
 
My source at the epicenter of this effort tells me that, thanks to today’s developments, the Wright plan is almost certainly dead. This is a shame. The fact that the full truth of this story has never been really widely reported is a damning indictment of the state of our media and our politics. It also increases the chances of the Barack Obama being a two-term president.
 

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