The three major network news outlets “censored and manipulated” Barack Obama’s longtime pastor Jeremiah Wright’s sound bites to cover up his extremism, a new study by the Media Research Center charges.
In a report scheduled for release Wednesday, the MRC states: “Rev. Wright’s noxious recorded sermons suggesting that America deserved 9/11 and that the federal government created AIDS as a tool of black genocide were widely viewed on YouTube and discussed on talk radio and cable TV. But what about the network news shows, the programs most watched by the least politically involved viewers?...
“A Media Research Center study of ABC, CBS, and NBC news broadcasts from the formal announcement of the Obama campaign on February 10, 2007 through July 15 reveals that a viewer watching only broadcast TV news would have received a much more limited (and even censored) version of Wright’s sermons.”
Among the key findings of the study:A Fox News Channel report on March 1, 2007, delved into the “black value system” of Rev. Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. But the name of Rev. Wright did not surface on the Big Three networks until a year later, on CBS on Feb. 28, 2008.The first story with excerpts from a Wright sermon did not air until two weeks later, on ABC on March 13. By that time, 42 states had already voted in the primaries.Snippets of Wright’s sermons drew only 72 seconds of evening news coverage in all of March, an average of 24 seconds per network.None of the Big Three aired any of Wright’s 2003 sermon accusing the federal government of hiding the truth about their “inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color,” and all three “mostly ignored” his remarks calling the 9/11 attacks “America’s chickens coming home to roost.”On March 18, the evening news shows carried nearly six minutes of highlights from Obama’s “race speech” that day, in which he discussed race in America and defended his relationship with Wright, saying: “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can disown my white grandmother.” That was about five times the air time they devoted to Wright sound bites in the entire month of March.Wright’s April 28 comments at the National Press Club reiterating his claims about an AIDS conspiracy and America deserving 9/11 went virtually unreported, with the AIDS comments receiving no air time and the 9/11 charge just 23 seconds. The same Big Three aired nearly six minutes of clips of Wright’s “softball interview” with Bill Moyers on PBS, the MRC disclosed.
The report concludes: “In today’s rapid-fire political atmosphere of cable news, talk radio, and the Internet, media analysts can easily make the mistake of believing that the leading network news outlets were tough on a candidate because of the general perception of how the entire media — Old Media and New Media — brought a controversy to the public’s attention.
“But voters who sampled only a light menu of news from Big Three network TV could easily have missed the depths of Reverend Wright’s outrageous remarks. No one could find in these stories a scouring scrutiny of Obama’s decades of membership in his controversial church.”
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