The Boogieman of Farrakhan AKA Timmeh’s Racist Crusade

Or why understanding transitive relationships should be taught in Journalism 101.

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What the fuck was that? What do you do to assure…blah, blah, blah.

Timmeh took his cue from Richard Cohen in the Washington Post column:

Barack Obama is a member of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama’s spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright’s daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said “truly epitomized greatness.” That man is Louis Farrakhan.

Except, Timmeh, got the facts wrong on top of it. Wright didn’t say Farrakhan epitomized greatness, that was a part of the Trumpet Magazine award to Farrakhan. Wright is the CEO of the magazine, but his daughter Jeri is the publisher. While those ties might be relevant, it’s very different from Jeremiah Wright saying that. And, in fact, the magazine split off from the congregation in September of 2005.

The thing is, everyone is missing the point about how fucking stupid this line of questioning was. When was the last time Timmeh took on some right wing fundamentalists for being anti-semitic? So why isn’t George Bush asked about every anti-semitic rant by LaHaye or Wildmon since by the transitive property Timmeh is invoking, Bush has close spiritual adivisors who work closely with them?

The Council on National Policy alone contains a whole host of anti-semitic right wing Christians who hobnob with the Tony Perkins and the Richard Lands and the Dobsons of the world, but that transitive connection would never be brought up would it? This isn’t just a connection of someone who goes on a trip with or says something nice, it’s a working group of conservative fundamentalists who welcome anti-semitism into their efforts to bring about a Christian government. Of course, the Bush administration has routinely played footsy with Wildmon, not just had a friend of his be nice to him on occasion.

This would never be an issue for a white candidate and shame on Timmeh for trying to do it to Obama. If Timmeh wants to be concerned about anti-semitism he should start asking the Mike Huckabee’s of the world about their supporters who they actually work with to get elected.

From Talking Points Memo:

I think that breaking down Russert’s Wright/Farrakhan questioning helps illuminate how truly bizarre it is:

1. The title of Obama’s book, “The Audacity of Hope,” came from a sermon delivered by Jeremiah Wright. Wright is Obama’s pastor.

2. Wright is the “head” of United Trinity Church.

3. Wright said that Louis Farrakhan “epitomizes greatness.”

4. Wright went with Farrakhan in 1984 to visit Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

5. Farrakhan has said that Judaism is a “gutter religion.”

6. Wright said that when Obama’s political opponents found out about the Libya visit, Obama’s Jewish support would dry up “faster than a snowball in Hell.”

Russert’s question is then “What do you do to assure Jewish Americans… you are consistent with issues regarding Israel and not in any way suggesting that Farrakhan epitomizes greatness.”

The first question about Farrakhan—and Russert’s insistence on mentioning Farrakhan’s views regarding Judaism after Obama had already denounced Farrakhan’s bigotry—was all foreplay leading up to this masterstroke in which Russert synthesizes the six discrete facts into a knockout punch of innuendo and guilt by association: perhaps Obama thinks that Louis Farrakhan, the man Obama explicitly denounced not one minute before, is the very epitome of greatness.

All of the stuff about going to Libya, Farrakhan’s “gutter religion” comment, and Jewish supporting drying up like a snowball in hell—that was all totally unnecessary to reach the ultimate question, but wasn’t it fun?

8 thoughts on “The Boogieman of Farrakhan AKA Timmeh’s Racist Crusade

  1. …Wait. Obama gets a pass from the media.

    They don’t print facts about his staff questioning how close he is to good-looking blonde lobbyists despite his claim to hold special interests at bay.

  2. Pingback: Radio Left
  3. I watched a recorded version of the debate last night and the instant it was over, I wrote a post about how sickening it was to hear Russert and Williams essentially run the debate by tossing out right-wing talking points one by one, and desperately trying to force Clinton to promise to give the Republican oppo research both her and Bill’s tax returns as well as her White House activity logs (and presumably letting Tim riffle through her underwear drawer), and made the inexcusable effort to make SURE to make a close insinuation that Obama is tight with anti-semitic Farrakhan, complete with reading Farrakhan’s offensive remarks LONG after Obama had said he denounced them.

    And then he pulled his Perry Mason routine on Obama regarding public financing of his campaign, again trying mightily to carry the right wing’s water by straining to try to lock Obama into committing one way or the other.

    I’m sure Timmeh got a pat on the head from his GE bosses, but it was an absolutely deplorable performance, designed to elictit responses that literally no Democratic voter has even thought about, and responses seemingly hand delivered to Russert by Republican oppo researchers.

    It was so disgusting as to enter the realm of bizzarroworld.

    Glad I’m not the only one who noticed.

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