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Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Kessler Pans Obama Speech
Topic: Newsmax

As should be expected from someone with a history of attacks on Barack Obama, Newsmax's Ronald Kessler used his March 18 column to criticize Obama's speech on race matters and the controversial statements made by his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright:

In his eloquent speech in Philadelphia, Obama sought to distance himself from that record while retaining support from blacks who — as my friend Fox News commentator Juan Williams puts it — revel in looking at themselves as victims.

As in the past, Obama carefully parsed his words. Without specifically saying he heard these extremist comments, Obama acknowledged hearing comments by his longtime minister, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., that “could be considered controversial.”

“Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views?” Obama asked. “Absolutely — just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.”

In making that remark, Obama maligned the vast majority of clergymen who would never utter the kind of anti-American hatred that Wright spews forth on a regular basis.


Obama went on to malign the many black churches that would never condone featuring such hatred in their services.

Obama also acknowledged in his speech that "a similar anger exists within segments of the white community" on racial issues, but Kessler didn't refer to that as a victim mentality -- in fact, he didn't mention that at all.

Also, nowhere does Kessler mention the controversy over his March 16 column, in which his claim that Obama attended a church service in which Wright made inflammatory remarks has been disputed by the Obama campaign. Newsmax added a passive-aggressive "clarification" in which it stood by the claim, not acknowledging that New York Times columnist William Kristol, who repeated Kessler's assertion, has retracted it.

(Meanwhile, Jim Davis, the writer of the August 2007 Newsmax article from which Kessler took his claim, now specifically claims Obama attended an early-morning service before leaving for a speech in Miami. The Newsmax "clarification" does not make a claim as to which service Obama is purported to have attended that day, nor have Kessler or Newsmax further addressed the issue.)

Posted by Terry K. at 6:31 PM EDT

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