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Fox News: The Obama Religion And Race Police

Reported by Ellen - April 27, 2011 -

Hot on the heels of Fox News complaining that President Obama did not issue an Easter proclamation (with the obvious suggestion that it was because he’s not a true Christian or is maybe even Muslim), Fox is now attacking the pastor whose services Obama attended on Easter Sunday. This, after Fox News has relentlessly attacked Obama over his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. But while Fox News obsesses over Obama’s faith, it gave a pass to John McCain’s controversial pastor and Sarah Palin’s controversial pastor. It even gives a pass to Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson who has repeatedly gone on Sean Hannity’s shows and made blatantly bigoted statements against black people. Not only has Hannity not objected, he continues to serve on the advisory board of Peterson’s charity.

Both Bill O’Reilly and Hannity put on a thin patina of trying to make the questions about Obama’s judgment but it was pretty clear what they were getting at: Obama is more pro-black than he is pro-America. (Maybe that’s what it says on his missing birth certificate!)

The heart of the matter seemed to be some comments Rev. Wallace Charles Smith made in January 2010 alleging that Fox News is racist. O’Reilly and Hannity seemed to think they could prove him wrong by holding Smith up for ridicule and contempt and alleging that he and the president must be the real racists.

O’Reilly did his best to make it not look like it wasn't really about race - except it was pretty clear that it was. After complaining Obama’s staff “should have checked out the (church’s) whole operation,” especially in the wake of Wright, O’Reilly asked about Obama, “Why would he put himself in a position to sit in front of another bomb thrower?”

Right, O'Reilly wasn't going to call Obama a radical racist, he just wondered what other explanation there could be except, maybe, utter incompetence.

Sure enough, guest Monica Crowley picked up the race-baiting ball and ran with it. She and O’Reilly agreed it was possible Obama’s staff had not properly vetted the church but not likely. Then she moved in for the racial kill. Noting that there are plenty of black churches the First Family could have chosen, she said, “This is a tough thing to say, but there starts to look like a pattern here.”

With the racial door open, O’Reilly complained that the pastor talked about his grandson with too much racial animosity. According to O’Reilly, Smith “quoted” his baby grandson by saying, “I am here, they tried to write me off as 3/5 of a person in the Constitution, but I am here and I am saying I am not going to let anybody stop me from being what God wants me to be.” That sounds kind of inspiring and positive to me, but to a guy like O’Reilly – the kind of guy who was so pleasantly surprised that Harlem diners were polite and well-behaved – this was a racial outrage. “The three-fifths of the Constitution… was overturned in 1865 by the 13th Amendment after hundreds of thousands of white union forces died freeing the slaves. Why would any pastor go back and put that in his baby grandson’s mouth?” O'Reilly asked gravely.

Oh, I don’t know, let me take a wild guess… because he’s an America-hating racist?

Alan Colmes erupted in a bout of righteous, well-placed anger. “You know what this sounds like? It sounds like people who don’t like the president are so desperate to find anything they can… to use to go after the president… The president either doesn’t go to church, which isn’t good enough, he didn’t go to the right church… now he goes to church and let’s attack the president based on something that the pastor said ten years ago or a year ago. It’s ridiculous!”

And just in case O’Reilly hadn’t proven his own racial issues enough yet, he now lectured, “I think Barack Obama, above all human beings who have ever been in this country, is the poster guy for being able to succeed in a race-neutral society. If a half-white, half-black boy from a broken home can become president, that speaks well of America… Then he goes and he sits in churches, churches (O’Reilly stressed the plural) in front of people who run the country down.” O’Reilly didn’t say “black” churches but I’ll bet his audience got the message.

Crowley tied it up in the neat Swift Boating “Obama as somehow anti-American/un-American” package she has previously used. “If the president is sitting in the White House wondering why the birth certificate issue still has traction, why some of these other issues about his origins and his background have traction, it’s not about those issues, per se, Bill, it’s about the fact that he continues to do things like this that are not anti-American, they’re un-American.”

Colmes jumped in. “That’s sick. That’s really disgusting. That’s really reprehensible that you would go there.”

Damn right, Alan.

Like O’Reilly, Hannity also made this “controversy” the top story. Never mind how often he has sat and listened to racist remarks on his own show by his pal, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, the guy who thinks most blacks in Tennessee are racist, that white folks should give freer expression to their racist thoughts and who thinks black racists and guilty white people were the ones who voted in President Obama in 2008 – among other choice thoughts. As I noted above, Hannity sits on the advisory board of Peterson’s charity.

Nevertheless, Hannity complained about Obama, “why is he always in pews listening to such controversial spiritual leaders?”

And speaking of listening to controversial comments, when is Hannity going to come clean about the phone calls he accepted on his radio show from white supremacist Hal Turner (currently in jail for threatening three federal judges)?

There were two African American guests for the Hannity discussion – so we know there couldn’t be any racial insensitivity on Fox News’ part, right?

Not exactly. Guest Michael Meyers stepped right into Rev. Peterson’s shoes. Meyers didn’t just criticize Obama but made a point of attacking him as a resentful-to-America racist. Meyers said, “Wherever there is a preacher of racial rhetoric, Obama feels his soul with an incline. This is the theology of racial divisiveness, the theology of racial hatred… Obama ought to know better… Why can’t we have a theology …of the 21st Century… where a preacher from the pulpit can say ‘God bless America and guess what, black Americans, you were blessed to be born in America, instead of Africa.’”

Hannity – ever obsessed with privileges that black people have over whites – whined, “What if there was a church that said look out for the white person, the white community?”

He moved on to complain about Obama’s other “radical” associates and asked, “What does it tell us about the president?”

Meyers didn’t miss a beat. “He’s a race man. He’s a race man… He doesn’t have people around him who are moderates.” Meyers even brought up the Fox News uber-black boogeyman, Louis Farrakhan!

During the segment, a graphic in the lower right corner of the screen read, "The pastor problem."

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