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Obama And Oprah Smeared As Racists On FOX News

Reported by Ellen - March 7, 2007 -

Is there not something especially vile about smearing a church? For the fourth time on “We like America” FOX News last night (3/6/07) Sean Hannity attacked Barack Obama’s church on Hannity & Colmes. There has yet to be any kind of serious discussion about the nature of the church’s doctrine other than Hannity’s grandstanding about its over-focus on BLACK (his emphasis) values and, by extension, the not-so-veiled implication that Obama must be a racist. This time, Hannity’s favorite African American, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, was on hand to make an outright accusation. When Alan Colmes pointed out that Oprah Winfrey belongs to the same church, Peterson was ready to accuse her, too. With video.

Peterson seems to take special delight in accusing blacks of racism. He rarely discusses anything else on Hannity & Colmes. That was certainly his focus last night.

Hannity began the segment by falsely claiming “I am a board member” of Peterson’s organization, BOND. In fact, Hannity is on the Advisory Board, not the Board of Directors. The falsehood set the tone for the rest of the discussion, disingenuously positioned as a discussion about Obama’s relationship to his church when, in fact, it was nothing more than an effort to use that institution as an instrument with which to smear him. A teaser earlier in the show foreshadowed what was to come. The screen read “Obama-nation.”

“It is absolutely racist… Being a member of a racist church like Trinity, there’s no way he’s gonna bring unity,” Peterson said about Obama.

The other guest, Michael Brown, was the typical nice-but-ineffectual FOX News Democratic “strategist.” Brown said, “This is such a non-issue, it’s unbelievable” but he couldn’t articulate a good argument, other than to say that Obama was like Ann Coulter because one small comment (Obama’s disinvitation to his pastor re attending Obama’s presidential announcement last month) had gotten blown out proportion. What kind of “strategist” compares Obama to Coulter????

It was Alan Colmes who made the most important point. He noted that Obama had introduced legislation called the “Dignity For Wounded Warriors Act” which, Colmes said, deals with “issues like what we’re facing now at Walter Reed. What’s more relevant to how good a president he would be, something like that or who the pastor of his church is and what it says on their website?” Note: This is the first instance that the Walter Reed issue has gotten mention on Hannity & Colmes. One suspects that Colmes’ indirect reference was a way to slip it in discreetly past the “real journalism, fair and balanced” FOX News producers.

Peterson could not have cared less about the wounded soldiers. He thought it was more important to accuse Obama of racism. “Well, we absolutely need to know what type of man would be running our country. If he’s a racist, we need to know about that.”

But that wasn’t all we “need to know” about Obama, according to Peterson. We also needed to know that he has “gotten away” with special treatment resulting in an injustice to white people. “If he was a white man, Alan, and a conservative or Republican, I guarantee you, it would be a big deal… Because he’s liberal and because he’s black or Democrat and black, he’s able to get away with it.” He added that the church’s teachings are “not the idea of Christianity. This church is not a Christian church.”

Colmes said that Oprah Winfrey goes to the same church. He asked if everyone who goes to the church is a racist.

Peterson was ready to accuse Winfrey, too. “If they support the ideas of the pastor.”