I WOULD RATHER BE WRIGHT
Did Senator Barack Obama say that? I don’t think so. The pundits are advising Barack to get over this association with the Reverend and next time he sees a bus coming to give the reverend a big push. Barack is trying to distance himself more gently. Nonetheless his media “advisors” don’t seem to be coming from an impartial perch since most of them are minions of majaor media companies that no doubt place some restrictions on their “independence”, the imprimatur of journalism. Because they are venal captives of show biz, we can forgive the Limbaughs, Hennitys, Levins for their lugubrious oft visious bias, but journalists, already characterized by these punks as “drive-by-media” have more at stake. They have the probity of their profession to protect, a chore the more difficult when their services as commentators are purchased. Commentators and columnists have different franchises; the former, to express personal opinion, the latter to report the news.
Popular media and newspaper columnists risk their independence by syndicating not only their columns in the press but by syndicating themselves to agents who then distribute them on the endless carousal that stops to let them off at various TV talk shows. I was amazed at the near unanimity of opinion expressed about the Reverend Jeremiah Wright after he held center stage at the National Press Club and other venues. It seemed that the pundits, both black and white, either maligned Wright and/or advised Obama to be rid of him. Wright was caricatured as an egocentric showman vying for public attention and was minimized as a voice important to his long-served congregation. Actually his press critics, reporters turned showmen making the rounds on TV shows mirror the Pastor to some extent.
So when serious black leaders like the Reverends Wright, Jesse Jackson or Sharpton come along comes along they encounter derision from the conservative radio talk show establishment as well as some dismissiveness from the rest of the press corps. They are tolerated but not accepted as a serious component of this democracy.
These guys, Ayres and others yet unheard of, are the spokesmen for a large population of African Americans whose ancestors were enslaved and who themselves experienced an American brand of Apartheid practiced legally in the south until and socially in the north until President had to invoke the Army toi assure that black children could go to school with whites children in the south.
We don’t have to agree with these black leaders who are churning the water but we should certainly understand they are fighting for causes they believe will repair their grievances and advance their constituencies.