April 28th, 2008
06:46 AM ET

Morning Buzz

Morning folks...

The infamous Rev. Jeremiah Wright gave his first sit down interview late last week but last night he took center stage. In Detroit,  at an NAACP awards dinner, he told an audience of thousands that he was "descriptive" but "not divisive" when he talks about race relations in America. "I am sorry your local political analysts and your neighboring county executives think my being here is polarizing and my sermons are divisive, but I'm not here to address an analyst's opinion," he said. "I am here to address your 2008 theme ... (of) change is going to come."

The WASHINGTON TIMES wrote: Defending the black religious tradition in America as misunderstood, Sen. Barack Obama's controversial former pastor told supporters of the NAACP here last night that he is not a political figure or interested in preaching for political gain, despite media criticism he says is to the contrary."I'm not here for political reasons. I am not a politician. I know that fact will surprise many of you because many in the corporate media have made it seem that as if I have announced that I am running for the Oval Office," the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. told a crowd of about 10,000 gathered at Detroit's Cobo Hall. "I'm not running for the Oval Office. I've been running for Jesus for a long time, and I'm not tired yet."

The NY TIMES focused on John McCain's critical remarks of  Obama’s Former Pastor. McCain delved on Sunday into remarks made by Senator Barack Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., saying it was “beyond belief” that Mr. Wright had likened the Romans at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion to the Marines and had suggested that the United States was acting like Al Qaeda under a different color flag.

AND on Fox news yesterday - in an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Obama acknowledged that speeches Sunday and today by Wright come at an awkward moment for his presidential bid. Obama did not dispute Fox anchor Chris Wallace's assertion that Wright's re-emergence "obviously isn't helpful to your campaign."

CNN's Soledad O'Brien was at the dinner last night and will keep close tabs on Wright's appearance the Washington Press Club today in DC and will file a piece for AC360...

Meanwhile on the campaign trail... Hillary Clinton said "debate me one one one - no moderators...a Lincoln-Douglas style debate..." Barack Obama gracefully declined...The CHICAGO TRIBUNE's take: "I'm not ducking," Obama said of the debate question. "We've had 21." Candy Crowley  will bring us up to speed on today's campaign stops, as well...


AND FINALLY - The LA TIMES says beaches in San Diego County that were closed after a deadly shark attack will reopen Monday. At least eight miles of sea front were closed to swimmers over the weekend after Friday's attack. A retired veterinarian David Martin died after he was bitten in the legs by a shark thought to have been a great white...

ALL for now....

Filed under: The Buzz
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Saani Tucker

    I think Rev. Dr. Wright made an outstanding Speech. It was a speech on race relations in America. the question America is now pondering over is "how many Americans both black and white are secret racist". they'll say one thing in public to appear politically correct, but behind closed doors they have'nt really changed. I applaud The Rev. as a man of God in standing up for what he believes and not allowing the politics of the day to change his message. The conversation about race is an important one, one that will not be solved by just electing an African-American president. If you listen to the whole sermon the Rev. said (paraphrasing) God will dam America if it keep thinking it's God, by doing things only God can do like, taking human life. Diffrent does not mean deficient, it just means diffrent. We as Americans can all get along better without judging or putting down each other diffrences. I am a student of history. American history has Shown we Americans do not like to hear the truth if it doesn't make us look good. We cant change unless we understand the good and the bad in ourselves, and in our country. Lisen to the Revs. message, it really is a positive one. Its not political, its socal, religous, and progressive. He's a precher not a politician. Remember there is a separation between church and state.

    April 28, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  2. C, CA

    I am completely baffled by Rev. Wright. I cannot form an opinion on him b/c I cannot figure him out. I didn't pay too much attention to the previous stories about him, since they were just small clips taken out of context, so I listened to most of his speech last night and part of the PBS interview also.

    Maybe I'm slow but I cannot figure out where he stands on Obama's candidacy. Does he support Obama or not? He is certainly not stupid or naive, so he knows that his comments are not going to play too well in middle America. He may already have killed Obama's chance of getting the nomination. I can't figure out if he is deliberately doing this to get back at Obama for distancing himself for political gain, is he just an ego-maniac that wants the TV time, or what? I can just see the 30-second clips that will be pulled out of the speech last night and aired over and over again.

    April 28, 2008 at 12:51 pm |
  3. Bev C. NY

    Rev. Wright is wrong. He is devisive and not descriptive. I listened to his speech this morning when CNN had it on from 5-6 a.m. Sarcasm galore. I don't why he has picked now to re-appear and possibly cost Obama votes. But, then, this is America and he is free to say what he wants. We don't have to listen to it.

    April 28, 2008 at 12:44 pm |
  4. Ryan Field

    One of the reasons I love being an American is because of the separation of church and state. So I truly hope all this with Rev. Wright disappears quickly, and we can continue to watch two wonderful democratic candidates campaign for the nomination.

    April 28, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  5. billy bob

    brilliant speech!!

    April 28, 2008 at 12:19 pm |
  6. Peggy Lougheed

    Anderson, why do other people not understand that Blacks. unlike Jews have never had their suffering validated by any one, how do you think we are suposed to get past something that is never really validated, we are just told to suck it up, get over it and forget it. Then you have this situation with CNN acting as though you all are Hillery's campaigne managers and do everything in your power to tear Obama down, do you not realize that you all are setting race relations back 50 to 60 years with all this unfair reporting. If Hillery is so wonderful and soo experienced, how come there has been any contest between her and Obama, is this not the question that should be asked, I have asked this of everyone on CNN but to no avail, no one want to ask this question. Can't some one there be a little fair. This is crucial. Do you really want race wars?

    April 28, 2008 at 12:09 pm |
  7. Dug

    I'm a white working class male and Rev. Wright's comments and speeches are not going affect my support of Barack Obama. In fact, I think that what the Reverend is saying is true; and I'm glad that someone finally has the courage to stand up and speak the truth. Thank you Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

    April 28, 2008 at 11:48 am |
  8. Net Prophet

    I don't have the time to go into many of the videos you supply. But I DID THIS TIME! Great video (AND LIVE TELECAST) of Rev. (W)right! .....He's articulate...right on the money...quick with answers and CNN – I THANK YOU for your decision to telecast the NAACP speech and the National Press Conf this morning. Keep it up – we have much to learn from Rev (W)right !

    April 28, 2008 at 11:32 am |
  9. ken levy

    Here in Oregon folks are starting to worry that Obama may have more to hide in that deep closet he has.Besides the Rev Wright issue,the William Ayers issue with the weatherman,his ties to the mob in Chicago,what else is lying in the weeds? I don't want to wake up on January 20,2009 and find out that man sitting in the White House is in bed with our enemies? Do you??

    Ken Levy

    April 28, 2008 at 11:24 am |
  10. SB in Iowa

    I cannot believe that people are hailing Rev. Wright as a great man or a great religious leader. He is propagating many racial stereotypes that are extremely offensive. But it is ok because he is a member of a minority and the group that he is mocking is white?

    April 28, 2008 at 11:19 am |
  11. T. Parker

    The media is becoming "the worst person in the world" to quote Mr. Keith Olbermann. I am so tired of this whole issue and fascination of Rev. Wright, as if this man is a monster from outer space. I am applalled at the divisive commentary of the media more than I am Rev. Wright. This is like unto a public lynching. We need to stop the madness. He is entitled to freedom of speech just as anyone else is. I don't think Rev. is the scary bogie man that Rush Limbaugh is. Rev. Wright as least has the intelligence and Biblical platform to stand on which is more then I can say for most of media and those reporting on him He pales in comparison to what we continue to observe in the endless war and enormous gas and food prices. Media, please stick to the issues that concern the average person. Everything in my life is not political. The only thing I want from Barrack Obama is a plan for turning this country around from the ruins of a failed administration. His religious affiliations are of no concern to me anymore then Bill Clinton's sexual escapes with Monica L. were. I will not decide of be against anyone based what someone else says, to include the opinions of the media which clearly have sided with the Clinton campaign. Different does not mean deficient.

    April 28, 2008 at 11:19 am |
  12. xtina, chicago IL

    Rev. Wright may not think he's "divisive", but I don't find his sermons "uniting" or inspiring in the least. For example, he often puts things in his sermons about politics. That's not spiritual or inspiring. He once talked about Bill Clinton's private life in a sermon. How is talking about Bill Clinton connected to Jesus? Why would Barack Obama want to go to church where the sermon is about Bill Clinton anyway?

    April 28, 2008 at 11:18 am |
  13. Kristen LaCava

    I just watched the entire Meet the Press with Jeremiah Wright today. In my opinion he answered his questions precisely and fervently during Q and A. It seems like everyone else wants this to be bad press though. I understand the pastor's points of view because I share a similar belief system. Maybe the reason why everyone is opposed to the things he has to say, because they aren't true Christians or they fail to understand the Christian faith. Yes pastor Wright is flamboyant and over the top, but if you've known any African-Americans/black folks you would know that these characteristics are part of who they are as a people...part of their sub-culture if you will. THE PRESS, demands that this be bad press for Senator O'Bama. Why is that? Are they saying that if you live your life in light of your religious ideals that you are wrong?
    My God demands that you live life after salvation in a particular way, and all of this relativism is not the way of God but the way of the World. Only believers and those educated and experienced in a relationship with God with the Christian faith can truly hear what Rev. Wright is trying to say. He's trying to tell the world that, no matter what they think or feel, he has a certain obligation to his God and therefore his church and the other members of the Christian faith. If we are saying that his words are unfounded, then what we are saying as a society is that the Christian faith and belief system is no longer valid in America! We are denouncing the faith that our country was founded on! Sure the founders wanted freedom for others with different belief systems, but their own belief systems were various forms of Christianity. GOD'S WORD IS NOT FALLIBLE; IT IS ONLY THE INTERPRETATION AND EXECUTION OF OUR RELIGIOUS ACTIONS THAT ARE SOMETIMES QUESTIONABLE. My opinion is that Rev. Wright obviously believes that God has commissioned him to be a vessel for God's voice in the African American CHRISTIAN church in AMERICA, and that he's accountable to GOD himself to be forthright and direct about his God/belief-inspired convictions on the state of our society and country as a whole. Kudos to you Rev. Wright! You may not be right about everything, but at least you're not afraid to stand up for what you believe or for Whom you believe in!!!

    April 28, 2008 at 11:15 am |
  14. G. Berry

    Finished watching the Reverend' Wright's speech and I am furious that at this date he is still bringing up what he considers "race differences" I walked in many protests during the 60's for equal rights and can't believe that 40 years later it was not enough. Would have voted for Obama, but any connection that he has had with this man has swung my vote to Hillary. Enough is enough; the NAACP should be disbanded and let the black people get on with their lives on their own merits.

    April 28, 2008 at 10:33 am |
  15. Lynne, Bloomington, IN

    I, for once, watched the Entire Speech. I used to cringe about Rev. Wright, but honestly after watching the speech I'm embarrassed to have judged him so harshly on the snippets provided on youtube.

    His speech last night was positive, funny, insightful, intelligent and colorful. I totally didn't know he was a veteran of the Marines and the Navy. I didn't know he has 2 masters degrees and a phd. I also didn't know much about the church and that way of preaching. Now that I've seen an entire speech, I don't cringe about Rev. Wright anymore – i "got it". "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism" – Thomas Jefferson. Rev. Wright reminded us all of the higher standard we should all aim for in race relations, cultural differences and also that the government should be on a road to higher standard too.

    I hope everyone watches the whole speech from last night. Wright is not a monster and I'm embarrassed to have made a judgement based on the opinions of commentaters and a few clips.

    I will be voting for Obama here in Indiana – proud to do it. =-)

    April 28, 2008 at 10:29 am |
  16. Linda in Va

    I watched Wright this morning and found him very refreshing and changed my own tune of him. Heaven help us all when it comes to sound bites.

    Hillary 2008

    April 28, 2008 at 10:28 am |
  17. Bonnie in Minneapolis

    Rev. Wright speaking out now is, on the one hand, not helpful to Obama, but, on the other hand, it should make it abundantly clear that the two of them are not in lock-step in their beliefs, thinking or purpose. It's time to move this "non-story" off the public square, and turn to issues that matter: healthcare, the economy, oil prices, the war in Iraq. Obama is not accountable for the words or actions of someone else, and any fair-minded person knows that. The idea of individual accountability–not guilt by association–is a fundamental principle in any democratic society, as are free speech and disagreement with the policies of our own government. Rev. Wright exercised his right to speak his views.

    By the way, how are Rev. Wright's views any more vile than Bill O'Reilly saying that terrorists were free to attack San Francisco, but not the rest of the U.S. (this was said on air, by the way, and there is audio of it), or Rush Limbaugh saying on air that he hopes there are riots in Denver? Those comments seem strikingly anti-American to me, but you don't seem to see the same news coverage. Why is that?

    April 28, 2008 at 10:27 am |
  18. Jessica

    I tried to watch coverage of Rev. Wright's speech, but I just couldn't stand it for long. I found his manners and the content just crazy.

    April 28, 2008 at 10:23 am |
  19. Vytal

    Why aren't white people (those who are angry), CNN, and FOX NEWS going after GEORGE W. BUSH with the same fervor they go after Rev. Wright. Rev. Wright made comments that were taken out of context. George W. flat-out lied, admitted it, and have had over 4,000 Americans killed in a false war!!! It's like grade school where the bully picks on you, and you're to scared to stand up to him, so you go and pick on someone smaller than you. We have a record deficit, families are strugging to keep their homes, gas prices are at an all-time high, and food prices are skyrocketing. We almost have to prostitute ourselves just to survive under this administration, but the focus remains on Rev. Wright. I have my own thoughts on why, but I wanted to hear from my fellow Americans. Please enlighten me...

    April 28, 2008 at 10:14 am |
  20. johnny

    This man is the biggest racist I have heard in years. Swap the terms "white" and "black" in his speech and you have the same sentiments expressed by a Grand Wizard of the KKK. When did it become ok to be racist as long as the group that you hate is white? This is insane, his rhetoric is not only accepted but condoned and applauded by a gross part of the African American community. Sickening.

    April 28, 2008 at 10:09 am |
  21. Arachnae

    You don't think it's a little 'judgy' to be calling Rev Wright 'infamous'?

    April 28, 2008 at 10:03 am |
  22. Taj

    It is the duty of every black leader, pastor & prominent men to defend the rights of black people. It is also the duty of the black people to forget & forgive the past & move on merging with the rest of America. 50-100 years from now there should be an integrated America. We look forward & move in that direction.

    April 28, 2008 at 9:59 am |
  23. allxdreamer

    This is just an effect by Obama and Wright to do some damage control. They want to portray Wright as the softer side. Yet still there are times he gets out of control again. Wright is a black leader; so is Obama. It is great they are black leaders, but we can't take a black leader and put them into the position of being a leader for all ppl. And Yes, Wright's sermons were about division and not unity. The more he tries to cover this up, the worse he looks. Wright needs to remember another important war of history. The Civil war. Where white men died so that they could be free in this Country. It is a disgrace to our country for Wright to put down on white ppl. Wright says he preaches from the bible: Does the bible teach "Hillary ain't never been called a niger? Does the bible teach the U.S. infected ppl with Aids? Does the bible teach the U.S. brought the 911 attacks on themselves? Does the bible teach "God D*M* America? The U.S. was founded after the bible was written. So any remarks Wright says in reference to the U.S. is adding to the bible, which as a Pastor he is suppose to know is wrong.

    April 28, 2008 at 9:57 am |
  24. Alma in Ft Worth, TX

    Bravo CNN...for airing Rev. Wright.. As I listen to him this morning I am empowered as an American, who has served her country, was foreign born and love her country, that it is time for change and we are just different not deficient.
    Though I would have to say the person asking the questions this morning should have read her questions before asking them.

    April 28, 2008 at 9:53 am |
  25. Kent, Illinois

    Obama doesn't need to debate anyone. Hillary needs the debate to try to make Obama look bad or get him to stumble on words or say something everyone can change and attack. Never in history have we had so many debates in a primary season. 21 is a record. We all have made up our minds on who we like. We don't need a debate before every primary..........Hillary, I hear the fat lady singing. Why can't you?

    April 28, 2008 at 9:48 am |
  26. Kent, Illinois

    I liked Rev Wright's speech to the NAACP. He was intelligent. I'd like to hear him sing more.........pretty good voice. At first I was shocked he'd keep coming out and that it may hurt Obama. I think it was a good idea and enjoyed it very much.........and agreed with him very much.

    And yes, the US Marines do remind me of the Romans in their marching into Iraq and "conquering Baghdad." As time goes by we will all see the similarity. That's not unpatriotic........just truth.

    April 28, 2008 at 9:39 am |
  27. Don

    We have all heard enough of Reverand Wrights views and philosophies.
    Let's move on , please.
    There surely must be much more important news to report.

    April 28, 2008 at 9:36 am |
  28. Mark

    Rev. Wright states that his sermons are "descriptive” not "divisive"; sounds like he is a politician too. A good politician, like Obama, can make you think Hope is going to magically cure the economy, and it is working on a lot of voters. But, Rev. Wright is not a good politician. His comments are divisive, even Obama admits it is. But then again is Obama just being a good politician? Who can tell anyone?

    April 28, 2008 at 9:18 am |
  29. Rahni, Connecticut

    Can we just move on regarding Rev. Wright!! He's not Barack Obama. Please! Please! Stop reporting on Rev. Wright!

    Rahni, Connecticut

    April 28, 2008 at 8:43 am |
  30. Anne

    Mr. Jeremiah Wright sounds like some of the prophets of old. It was a very informative speech. I think that those who comment on it really must listen to ALL of it before making any judgements about it. Those of us who have grown up in the evangelistic tradition understand his rhetoric perhaps more than those who are not so familiar with it.

    April 28, 2008 at 8:34 am |
  31. Joyce-Houston

    The media need to lay off Pastor wright,He said he is not running for The presidency .Pastor Wright is famous because of the media keeping him in the spotlight.
    If obama was a white man this would have died down long time ago.
    One thing I realize the truth hurt and many Americans rather hear a lie.
    Bill Clinton pardoned two people from Bill Ayers group Hours before he left the Oval Office and you don't hear nothing about that.
    I am sick of the media always negative and trying to destroy Obama.
    Whenever I voice my opinion my statement is always deleted so people can't read it.
    The media is corrupt and very bias when it come to black people Yes I am black and very proud to be black and I support Obama.
    Many people see how this is going and I hope they vote with their heart and not for the media.God is the controller of man's destiny what ever will be will be.
    You may not post this but I will Continue to talk about the truth.

    April 28, 2008 at 8:28 am |
  32. Michael


    The Rev. Wright does not want to be divisive-but wasn't he just that by causing voters to deflect from Obama in Penn.? Some that might have otherwise voted for Obama? Seems like the Rev. is his own worst enemy. And really-he should know that the more he is out there, the worse he makes it for Obama and himself. Didn't he say he was "running for Jesus"? I don't think Jesus would have made such nasty comments as he has!!

    And when he says that he only observes society, and is therefore descriptive-can't he give Hillary Clinton a little bit of credit that she had something to do with building her own success? That she wasn't just given everything on a silver platter?

    Also, this business with Al Sharpton showing up at every event that might be interpreted as racial-–Shouldn't he have shown up again in North Carolina as those lacrosse players' lives were redeem? Did he think it not necessary to say that he maybe made a mistake? Also, where was all the justice with OJ? I think everybody on this planet knows that man is guilty? Where were people like Al Sharpton when that verdict was handed down? That is also a "description" of actual events!!


    April 28, 2008 at 8:22 am |
  33. Mark, VA

    Rev. Wright stated that he is upset because “his” comments have made him a target of hatred. Well how about that. How do you think I felt when I heard Rev. Wright’s comments? I felt I was a target of hatred. I am a white male, and being a white male I am the “only” unprotected class in America. What does that mean? It means I have to be most careful not to offend someone because I will be labeled as a racist. I am sick of my freedom of speech being dwarfed over another race’s freedoms because I have to be politically correct all the time. Well, thanks to Rev. Wright Americans can now see that racism works both ways. Rev. Wright is still blaming white Americans today for things that happened before I was born. It is people like Rev. Wright that have to get over their anger first before progress can be made on race issues. I have seen progress being made during my lifetime, but all it takes is one person like Rev. Wright to tell people “falsely” that progress is not being made. Why do people like Rev. Wright want to deny that progress has been made? It is because he may one day run out of hateful things to say, and he would be out of the spotlight. Why do you think he came out again this week to speak; he needs to try to regain his importance in order to regain the spotlight. Senator Obama and Clinton are correct that we have a long way to go with racial relations, but people like Rev. Wright, in all his ignorance, need to permit good things to happen and be patient with the process. Change is hard, but what is difficult is worthwhile to attain. Just look at the two Democratic candidates up for the nomination of the President of the United States; if this is not progress then I am wrong. Whether it is the first African American or woman nominee it is still a historic achievement as a result of the progress made.

    April 28, 2008 at 8:22 am |
  34. Mike Ettles

    Watching Soladad O'Brien and Roland Martin discuss the rev Wrights speech was hysterical. I thought they were about to announce they were starting a fan club of their own complete with a "dress code". So much for "unbiased reporting" of the facts. Thanks CNN, you gave me a very big laugh and "eye rolling" session.

    April 28, 2008 at 8:05 am |
  35. Dennis D

    Worse than Rev Wrights disgusting comments is the willingness of the left to actually defend this lowlife. Now thats offensive.

    April 28, 2008 at 7:06 am |
  36. Mason

    Im' so glad he spoke out and finally showed more of himself. It's really white america that has the problem. It does not understand black america and their frustration and anger living in a country that still is not eqaul. I hope to hear more and more from him. I might even join the church.

    April 28, 2008 at 7:05 am |