Wright speaks out, does he clear the air?
WASHINGTON – The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s former pastor, pinned the blame on the media for the controversy over his fiery sermons, saying they misinterpreted his remarks and the ensuing criticism was an attack on the black church.
Obama has tried to distance himself from Wright, criticizing him for remarks that have included charges that the Sept. 11 attacks were an act of retaliation for U.S. policy and that the government may have created the AIDS virus to kill black people.
On Monday, Wright argued during a National Press Club speech that reporters did not listen to his entire sermons so they did not understand the context of his remarks and that people who question his patriotism are off the mark.
“I feel that those citizens who say that have never heard my sermons, nor do they know me. They are unfair accusations taken from sound bites and that which is looped over and over again on certain channels,” he said. “I served six years in the military. Does that make me patriotic?”
“How many years did Cheney serve?” he said, referring to Vice President Dick Cheney’s deferrals from the military draft. For his full remarks, click here.
Does Wright’s remarks clear the air, does it help or hurt Obama, or has the issue run its course?
– Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Wright speaks to the National Press Club).