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John Edwards had suspended his campaign almost a month earlier. Obama said: "There are a variety of nasty e-mails going out. This would surprise my pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ. A church-related publication saluted Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, a well known anti-Semite, who in turn has praised Obama's candidacy as recently as last Sunday. The Sermons Erupt. Employing clips of Wright sermons that were available on DVDs sold by the church, Ross revealed several shocking pulpit outbursts from Wright:.

The black Republican sellouts.

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They live below the level of Clarence, Colin and Condamnesia. We bombed Nagasaki! And we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans and now we are indignant, because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back into our own front yard! ABC tried to balance this hard-hitting report by bringing in Obama campaign religion adviser Shaun Casey for an interview with anchorman Chris Cuomo. Cuomo asked if Obama would disassociate himself from Rev.

The network coverage that followed was quite sensitive to the idea that Obama was unfairly singled out on this story. The morning shows carried almost five minutes of Wright clips seconds , with ABC whose first story ran 70 seconds of Wright snippets offering the most at seconds.

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It appeared five times on the Big Three evening shows, and thirteen times on the morning shows in March. Wright yelled that black criminals were victimized by America [see box]. On the March 18 Early Show , directly after a "God damn America" clip, Pitts suggested these Wright remarks were merely "comments critics have called anti-American and anti-white. The Race Speech Celebration. The evening news shows on March 18 carried almost six minutes seconds of snippets from the Obama speech or roughly five times more than the Wright bites.

The morning shows carried roughly nine and a half minutes seconds of sound from the speech, led by CBS, who set aside six and a half minutes for viewers to enjoy. That total was nearly twice as much time as the seconds the network morning shows devoted to Wright soundbites in the entire month of March. After decades of media scholars complaining about the way the networks have miniaturized soundbites to seven or eight seconds in length, the networks let Obama speak in a soundbites that lasted a minute or more.

They attempted to add gravity to the remarks by placing still photographs over his remarks, including stills of an admiring Michelle in the audience and old photos of his childhood featuring his parents and grandparents. The coverage was not just heavy, but glowing.

The speech was introduced as historic.

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This is the first time an African-American candidate has a serious, some would say likely, shot at becoming the next President of the United States. The latest controversy has to do with a Chicago minister. George Stephanopoulos declared, "By refusing to renounce Reverend Wright, that was in many ways an act of honor for Senator Obama. It was sophisticated, eloquent. Stephanopoulos also singled out Obama for his great honesty: "I think the other intangible here is how voters will respond, not only to the honesty that Barack Obama showed yesterday, not only the sophistication he showed in the speech, but also the honor that he showed.

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Guest List Tilt. Overall, the pundit count was 16 to 5. But only Greenfield appeared on a panel with other pundits. CBS was the most eager network to book guests supportive of both Obama and Wright. Rodriguez asked, "How careful does he have to be today not to denounce Jeremiah Wright and make black voters angry? Dickerson said Obama was "brilliant. Rodriguez began the segment: "Consensus seems to be that this was yet another great, eloquent speech by Barack Obama. Not every liberal spared Reverend Wright see box , but most did.

Some conservative pundits tried to be non-committal. On the March 20 Today , NBC brought back Dyson again, and paired him with right-leaning Michael Smerconish, who condemned his own talk-show listeners for being skeptical of the Obama speech: "You get an impression when you watch YouTube for 10 seconds. The speech requires an investment of time. But I maintained if you make that investment of time, it removes this issue When Lauer asked Dyson if Obama "went after the speech from a candidate who happens to be black to a black candidate," Dyson replied: "Well, of course not, because in America one is punished for being conscious of the racial restrictions that have been imposed historically, and yet when one seeks to move beyond them, one is ever trapped by them.

While he acknowledged it was a good speech, he noted the Obama campaign was in crisis "over the statements made by Reverend Wright damning America, suggesting that the government spreads AIDS among black people. Yesterday he said, you know, I did hear some of these statements, to be honest with you. Only Newt Gingrich on ABC offered one hard-hitting conservative critique a month later, on the April 29 Good Morning America, in an interview largely about other matters with substitute host Barbara Walters.

And I think he represents a very, very hardline anti-American viewpoint. Reverend Wright Re-Emerges. While the networks tried to drop the Wright story and certainly the Wright soundbites out of the campaign narrative, Rev. Wright failed to cooperate. After weeks of traveling out of the country to let the story cool, Wright accepted several prominent invitations to comment on the last weekend of April: a Friday night interview with Bill Moyers on PBS, a Sunday night address before the Detroit chapter of the NAACP, and most prominently, a Monday morning discussion at the National Press Club in Washington.

Without these events, the Wright story would have been left in a quiet corner. In the last week of April, the networks increased their time devoted to Wright soundbites: seconds on the evening news and seconds in the morning. Wright soundbites amounted to almost a minute more time in April than they did in March on the morning programs. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic, divisive principles.

A numerical breakdown of the soundbites shows that much of the April soundbite time was devoted to soundbites from an hour-long softball interview of Wright by Bill Moyers on PBS. Moyers helpfully built a taxpayer-subsidized platform for Rev. Wright to complain about his victimization in soft tones, much calmer than his screaming sermons. Between the three network morning and evening shows, there were almost six minutes of clips from the Moyers show seconds , but only about two and a half minutes seconds from the National Press Club.

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