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Friday, November 22, 2013
MRC's Drennen: Obama Should've Said 'Under God' Even Though Gettysburg Address Draft He Read Didn't Say That
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is never going to admit that its attacks on President Obama over the Gettysburg Address.

In the wake of Tim Graham obsessing over Obama not saying the words "under God" in reciting the Gettysburg Address for a Ken Burns video project -- and failing to tell his readers that Burns specifically asked Obama to read an early draft of the address thatdid not contain those words -- Kyle Drennen does the same thing in a Nov. 21 MRC item:

On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams noted President Obama and the four former living presidents reciting the Gettysburg Address to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's historic speech, but ignored the fact that Obama omitted the phrase "under God" from his reading and refused to attend the event marking the anniversary. [Listen to the audio]

Williams made a point of declaring that project orchestrated by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns was "urging Americans to memorize and celebrate the Gettysburg Address," and emphasized: "Considering it's one of the most important speeches in American history, think about this, it was only about two minutes long, 272 words in all." Making Obama's gaffe of skipping two of those words all the more noticeable and embarrassing.

Unlike Graham, Drennen did note that Obama read an early draft of the address -- which contradicts his assertion that Obama committed a "gaffe." But Drennen decided that was no excuse:

The White House has claimed that President Obama simply read a copy of the speech provided by Burns – a written draft preserved by White House staffer John Nicolay that did not include "under God," something Lincoln added extemporaneously.

The obvious question that arises from that explanation is why would you have people recite different versions of a speech you're encouraging people to memorize word for word? In addition, it's the anniversary of the speech Lincoln actually uttered on November 19, 1863, not the anniversary of when a draft of the speech was written.

Instead of berating Obama for reading something exactly as written, Drennen should let go of his Obama derangement and start behaving like the "researcher" he's supposed to be and take the question up with Burns himself.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:30 PM EST
Updated: Friday, November 22, 2013 3:34 PM EST

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