Racism Review: Smearing Dr. Wright: White Fear and Republican Leaders, Again

Racism Review

Smearing Dr. Wright: White Fear and Republican Leaders, Again

Reportedly Senator McCain has said he will not use the Dr. Jeremiah Wright “story” against Senator Obama, but some Republican Party operatives (listed as the Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania) in Pennsylvania have ignored that inclination and are now running anti-Obama attack ads highlighting Dr. Wright. CNN has had this weak story up today:

. . . a last-minute television ad that calls attention to Barack Obama’s relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. “If you think you could ever vote for Barack Obama, consider this: Obama chose as his spiritual leader this man,” the ad’s narrator says before clips of Wright’s controversial statements are shown. “Does that sound like someone who should be president?” the ad asks.

The CNN story meekly continues with this:

Sen. John McCain has repeatedly said he does not believe Obama’s relationship to Wright should be an issue — to the ire of some Republicans who feel it raises questions about the Illinois senator’s judgment.

McCain deserves some credit for this if it is true, and apparently it is, or was. Governor Palin has ignored it lately, and presumably McCain could stop her:

“[Obama] sat in the pews for 20 years and heard Rev. Wright say some things that most people would find a bit concerning. But again that is John McCain’s call,” Palin told reporters. The state GOP … defended airing it. “We feel that it is necessary that the American people remember that Obama sat in a church and listened to this man preach hate for many, many years,” said a statement on its Web site. “What does that say about his judgment? Do we want the next president of the United States to have spent years listening to hateful rhetoric without having the good judgment to walk out?”

I pointed out the misrepresentations in such nonsense here in early April. Let us look again briefly at Dr. (notice the media and white politicians rarely give him his correct title) Jeremiah Wright’s famous (and old) sermon with the famous statements that ABC News first spread like wildfire. Five years ago, Dr. Wright gave a 40-minute sermon discussing the racist history o

Newsweek: TalkLeft: A Last Desperate Flurry of Attacks

Newsweek: TalkLeft

A Last Desperate Flurry of Attacks

Fred Eshelman, “a wealthy North Carolina based pharmaceutical executive,” finances a conservative group that claims to communicate “with a zingy edge and a sense of humor.” An example of that humor is an attack ad airing today . The ad exploits Joe Biden’s prediction that the next president will be “tested” by an international crisis. The script of the latest attack ad is less provocative than than the images used. Along with footage of the Twin Towers, the commercial is shot stylistically like the Fox show with shaky camera images of dark-skinned men building a bomb, and ends with the bomb’s detonation in a city. The ad also uses an image of Obama next to one of the terrorists driving a van.

Politico: Labor confronts race issue

Politico

Labor confronts race issue

Since Barack Obama gave a dramatic speech on the subject of race this spring, the issue has lingered over the election, a quiet, awkward factor that the candidates, their campaigns and their surrogates have brushed aside or would rather not talk about at all.

But there’s one place the “national conversation” Obama suggested in March is taking place: among white, Rust Belt union workers, who generally voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primary. Their leaders have led a large-scale, direct and under-the-radar conversation about some members’ discomfort with a black Democratic nominee.

“I think a lot of people expected when he made that speech about a national conversation about race that it would be formalized,” Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said in a telephone interview from Ohio. “In the labor movements and unions and the way they are composed, it just became a reality.

“Some of our own people had never experienced anything like this before, so the dialogue did take place, the conversation did take place,” he said.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98 in Philadelphia, for instance, mailed out a plastic MP3 player to members that featured 60 minutes of local union workers and leaders offering testimonials on Obama’s commitment to labor. 

“This election is not a personality contest, nor should it be about race. So let’s talk about that and get it out of the way right now. The fact that Sen. McCain is white and Sen. Obama is black should not matter. Though I know for some of you it does. You are not alone,” says Local 98 head John Dougherty, through a thick Philadelphia accent. “Don’t let the color of a man’s skin prevent you from doing the right thing. I know Barack Obama. I know him to be a man of great character and conviction.”

Other unions have sent out DVDs to members with the same message.

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s impact on Obama overstated in TV ad — Eye on Ohio

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s impact on Obama overstated in TV ad — Eye on Ohio

THE AD: “He Never Complained Once,” 30-second TV ad.

PRODUCER: National Republican Trust PAC.

WHERE TO SEE IT: Local TV and above.

RATING: 2 on a scale from 0 (misleading) to 10 (truthful)

ANALYSIS: 

John McCain has frustrated and puzzled some strategists and supporters by not making an issue of the relationship between Obama and Wright, a former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago known for giving fiery sermons and dabbling in radical politics.

Stepping in is the National Republican Trust Political Action Committee — a month-old anti-Obama group that has no official tie to the Republican National Committee and says it is spending $2.5 million to air this ad in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Wright, once described by Obama as his spiritual adviser, officiated at Obama’s wedding and baptized his two daughters. Obama credited a Wright sermon, “The Audacity of Hope,” for drawing him to Christianity.

But extensive reporting showed Wright and his church playing no significant role, if any, in Obama’s rising political career, and Obama said they have disagreed since the 1980s about the importance of race as opposed to class in divisions. Obama began to distance himself from Wright before his presidential campaign.

The pastor’s more-inflammatory remarks led Obama to deliver a major speech on race last March in which he rejected the remarks as “not only wrong but divisive.” After Wright’s subsequent comments and dismissal of the speech, Obama angrily denounced him personally and cut all ties, saying: “When I say I find these comments appalling, I mean it. It contradicts everything that I am about and who I am, and anybody who has worked with me, who knows my life, who has read my books, who has seen what this campaign’s about, I think, will understand that it is completely opposed to what I stand for and where I want to take this country.”

Nashville Post Politics: You Want A Wink War?

Nashville Post Politics

You Want A Wink War?

Team Sarah will give you one. A response to this Barack Obama ad:

 

Talking Points Memo: Race-Tinged Attack Ads Start Flowing From Right In Campaign’s Home Stretch

Talking Points Memo

Race-Tinged Attack Ads Start Flowing From Right In Campaign’s Home Stretch

Meanwhile, another winger outside group, Let Freedom Ring, which has been known to spend serious money, is up with this new spot using Martin Luther King’s “content of their character” line to urge a vote against Obama:

Late Update: A commenter below explains the spot’s rationale:

Seems to me like the target audience on the second one is white Democrats who want to be reassured that they are not racists if they don’t vote for Obama. (See, even that black person doesn’t like him, and he can’t articulate why, either!)

Talking Points Memo: Conservative Group To Run Anti-Wright Ads On National Networks Through Election Day

Talking Points Memo

Conservative Group To Run Anti-Wright Ads On National Networks Through Election Day

Get ready for a deluge of Wright rantings.

The National Republican Trust PAC, which has been airing an ad attacking Barack Obama’s association with Reverend Wright in three battleground states, has now put down for a national buy on five networks that will last from now through election day, a consultant with the group confirms to me.

The ad will run nationally on Fox, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC for the next five days, the consultant, Rick Wilson, says — “all the way until election day.”

The ad, which you can watch here, features the now-infamous footage of Wright’s livelier sermons, and intones that Obama “never complained” about Wright “until he ran for President,” adding that Obama is “too radical, too risky.”

Previously, the ad was only running in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, as Ben Smith reported the other day.

Now, however, the ad will run nationally, Wilson says, adding that the group just got through getting the spot vetted with network lawyers and is good to go.

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