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Wright Back in the Spotlight: For Better or Worse?

Rev. Wright

Rev. Jeremiah Wright addresses the National Press Club on April 28, 2008. Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

Rev. Wright went on a weekend media tour — appearing on PBS Friday, a televised event for the NAACP on Sunday, and speaking before the National Press Club today.

We dissected the impact on today's show. Listen and continue the conversation here. Why is Wright speaking out now? What's your reaction to his defense? How will it impact the race for the White House?

For more, USA Today has audio excerpts of Wright's comments to the National Press Club and a wrap-up of some of the resulting press coverage.

Related Links:
Karl Rove on Rev. Wright's Latest Comments
McCain Tries to Have It Both Ways on Rev. Wright
Rev. Wright Breaks Silence—and Obama's Campaign?



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Rev. Wright should have held a press conference the day his "Contoversial Sermon" was aired, his interview on PBS gave him that missed opportunity. Viewing the National Press Club interview Rev. Wright has lost perspective, he says he's coming for Obama on January 21, 2009 for what. He did not publicly challenge prior administrations. Rev. Wrights' lates tirade makes me wonder wheter he has sold his soul to the Clintons.

Sent by Joyce Conner | 7:56 PM | 4-28-2008

I have to ask the Washington Post question: if a Catholic bishop or priest said the same things --from a Catholic perspective, of course-- as Rev. Wright said, what would the Washington Post headline read? I'm guessing that there wouldn't be much appeal to "context," or "perspective," or worries about "sound bites" taken out of the aforementioned.

How do I know this? Well, a sound bite was taken out of a academic discourse --not even a sermon-- by Pope Bendict XVI where, in a one-and-a-half hour ago lecture, one quotation from an eleventh-century Byzantine emperor got broadcast a couple of weeks later without any of the context or perspective. What was the Washington Post headline that day? Something to the effect of "Pope Calls Islam 'Evil.'"

Rev. Wright complains about the media. Puh-leeze. The good doctor doth protest too much. None of his congregants have been murdered because of what the media have said about him. Sadly, the same can't be said in regard to how Catholics have been treated in Muslim country in the witch hunt which occured after the Pope's quotation.

Sent by Matthew Scallon | 8:58 PM | 4-28-2008

Ref: News and Notes commentators say Rev Wright is not helping Barack: I am a white independent with liberal bent. I changed to vote for Barack and still would even after the Wright sound bites. Figured very few of my own Catholic pastors that I would agree with. However, I was unsettled. After hearing the whole Bill Moyer show I have to admit I agree with his view. I have been saying to friends and folks that what China is doing in Tibet is no different than what we did to the Native Americans. What we did to the Africans exported into slavery is even worse. Wright is calling a spade a spade. Let the Spirit work. I think Barack can handle it and perhaps, I pray, so can we.
Its about time.

Sent by Paul Pierlott from the Philadelphia area | 9:38 PM | 4-28-2008

My only consolation when I stay late at work is that I get to listen to News and Notes on my way back home. I love the show as I feel knowledge allows to bring people of different backgrounds together.

Today however I was very appalled by your guests' comments about whites' 'untrained ears' and the inability of blacks and whites to have a conversation because each 'speaks a different language' and uses a different vocabulary.

I understand that the point they were trying to make is that you need to put a speech in context.. So why don't you help me understand that context rather than tell me that I am incapable of understanding? Why do you not educate me rather than increase the divide between us?

What was most shocking is that the person claiming that whites and African Americans cannot communicate is a professor. As a professor I found it very shocking and appalling that an educator believes that education is infeasible. Personally I still believe in the power of education to bridge the divide between people. Do not let me lose my belief! Educate me.

Sent by Professor Aya Chacar | 10:47 PM | 4-28-2008

For me, the Obama campaign needs to learn how to deal with adverse publicity, no matter what the source. Apologizing, and hanging one's head because the truth is spoken, and because some people can't take it, is a sure way to lose the race to the White House.

Americans like their leaders strong and brash, and while Rev. Wright is some misinformed white peoples' worst nightmare, Rev. Wright is not running for President. Mr. Obama cannot disavow every single person he knows or has encountered in life - he is running for President, not appeaser of those who weren't going to vote for him anyway, no matter what, because of his race. I say, if Rev. Wright bothers you, turn him off. However, he has a right to speak and defend himself and his church if he so chooses. The uproar over Rev. Wright is ridiculous - where were these people when Pat Robertson and John Hagee were reported making all their crazy comments, or when John McCain was seeking Hagee's endorsement?

Sent by G. Glover | 10:59 PM | 4-28-2008

Tirade?!? Call it what you may but Rev. has skill. Rev. Wrights agenda is to elevate the Black Church with or without Obama. I grew up hearing these words..."The Church helps first." Reverend, be it a glint or a ray, take this light thrust upon you and brighten it's focus then turn it back on all of us. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Sent by Phistro | 1:39 AM | 4-29-2008

The way I feel about Rev. Wright's media blitz over this past weekend and especially yesterday can be found here:!2D30651C10302D91!477.entry

Better than repeating myself.

Sent by Moji | 2:44 PM | 4-29-2008