August 13, 2008
|CONTACT: COLLEEN O’BOYLE or TIM SCHEIDERER
Broadcast Networks Edited Reverend Wright’s Wrongs
MRC Study Shows How the
Networks Censored and Manipulated Jeremiah Wright Soundbites and
Glorified Obama’s Race Speech
Alexandria, VA— The broadcast
networks buried and at times refused to report the hate-filled and
anti-American sentiment of presidential candidate Barack Obama’s
spiritual mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. A new Media Research Center
study, Editing Reverend Wright’s Wrongs, details the limited
(and sometimes censored) coverage Wright’s comments received from
February 10, 2007 to July 15, 2008. Viewers who watched ABC, NBC,
and CBS saw very little of Rev. Wright’s worst inflammatory remarks
about America deserving 9/11 and the U.S. government inventing the
AIDS virus to kill blacks.
“The broadcast networks have really
shown themselves to be completely useless to voters this election
year. Rev. Wright is a vicious man who welcomed America’s worst
mainland tragedy as just punishment for America’s supposed sins
abroad. He spews forth ridiculous conspiracy theories regarding our
government’s evil designs to murder African-Americans. And Wright
was Obama’s spiritual mentor for two decades. To downplay or simply
censor the significance of these facts is a dramatic dereliction of
duty by the networks,” said MRC President Brent Bozell.
Key points detailing Wright
- The networks tried to hide
Wright. Despite a feisty interview on Fox News Channel’s
Hannity & Colmes back on March 1, 2007 about Obama’s
church’s controversial commitment to a "black value system," the
name of Jeremiah Wright didn’t surface on the Big Three networks
until CBS first broached it on February 28, 2008. The first
story with Wright sermon soundbites aired two weeks later, on
ABC on March 13. By then, 42 states and D.C. had already voted.
- The networks refused to
report Wright’s wildest charges against America. The
networks refused to report soundbites of Wright’s conspiracy
theory about the U.S. government “inventing the HIV virus as a
means of genocide against people of color.” They mostly ignored
his comments that America deserved the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
When Wright reiterated his opinions at the National Press Club
on April 28, the three networks aired only 23 seconds about
America deserving a terrorist attack, and again ignored Wright’s
claims that AIDS was cooked up in a government lab.
- Obama was treated to
expansive coverage and praise when he tried to defuse the Wright
situation. On March 18, Barack Obama’s “race speech” drew a
remarkable 15 minutes of soundbite time on the broadcast network
morning and evening shows in the first 24 hours, much more than
the six minutes they devoted to Wright soundbites in the whole
month of March. It was hailed as a “defining cultural moment in
America” and “another great eloquent speech by Barack Obama.”
Overall, the networks have treated
Wright like a distraction rather than a man who has helped shape the
thought process of a presidential candidate. Hence, consumers of Old
Media (around 26 million people) barely know the impact Reverend
Wright’s sermons had on the man who may be our next president.
To schedule an interview with MRC President
Brent Bozell or another MRC spokesperson,
please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen O’Boyle (x.
122) at (703) 683-5004.
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