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Roland S. Martin, CNN Contributor
360° Contributor and Radio Host
"Why don't Rev. Jeremiah Wright just sit down and be quiet? Don't he know he's hurting Sen. Barack Obama?"
If I had a nickle for every time someone has asked, emailed or texted me that in the last three days, I could retire.
And trust me, I get it.
Wright has had a negative impact on Obama's presidential aspirations because of the constant playing of snippets of his sermons. And many believe that his interview with Bill Moyers on PBS; his speech at the Detroit NAACP; and the appearance at the National Press Club on Monday morning is all about him.
Yes, that is all true.
But what would you do? If your 36 years in ministry was degraded, would you go and hide?
If right wing radio and TV hacks like Sean Hannity, Lars Larson and others called you a bigot and anti-Semitic, and others who don't even realize that you served in the Marines and the Navy for six years castigated you daily as being un-American, would you defend yourself?
Of course you would!
But there is a fine line that you must walk. And depending on how you do could determine how you are viewed and whether the presidential aspirations of Obama are severely damaged.
Tonight, Wright is wrong. That’s what Sen. Barack Obama said at a press conference today. The candidate distanced himself from his former pastor and criticized his appearances over the past few days calling them “objectionable and offensive.” You’ll hear Sen. Obama in his own words and we will dig deeper with the best political team on television. David Mattingly also looks at the relationship between Obama and Wright and how difficult it must have been for the Senator say what he did.
Gary Tuchman has the latest on the polygamous sect down in Texas. One of the teenaged girls removed from the ranch gave birth to a baby boy today. We don’t know how old she is exactly but she is considered a minor.
Anderson is anchoring from New Orleans tonight and won’t be able to comment but Erica Hill will be blogging away. Check her out on our web camera. LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA
We’ll start posting comments at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.
Most newlyweds don’t have to worry about the “worse” part of their wedding vows for a long time – hopefully never. But one couple couldn’t even get to the honeymoon before testing that line.
A dentist and his bride were reportedly started fighting after their reception, when he knocked her down with a karate kick. Nice. Two guests of another wedding in the same hotel tried to help the Mrs., which is when police say she attacked them.
You can’t make this stuff up…too bad it has to be a reality. Very classy.
From worse… to so much better.
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"In Session" Anchor
The US Supreme Court yesterday issued a ruling in the most important voting case since Bush v. Gore. The case is Crawford v. Marion County, in which the Court upheld Indiana's law requiring a government-issued photo ID as a condition of voting. Legal scholars will be analyzing the decision for weeks and years to come, but here are a few things we already know.
First, as the Court acknowledged, there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Indiana. Indeed, there is not one recorded case of voter fraud in Indiana based on misidentification. Still, (and even though the Indiana law could disenfranchise real voters) the Justices held that the plaintiffs had not proven that the Indiana law violates the Constitution by imposing the requirement.
So, why should we care about the lofty decisions of nine people in black robes?
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Friend of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright
Author of 'White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son'
Much has been said about the role that racism may play in the outcome of the 2008 Presidential election.
But what has been largely ignored is the way that media pundits, by virtue of the language they use, the questions they ask, and the way they frame issues, often reinforce racial division, and make it harder for us to examine race issues honestly.
So consider the way the media has been pushing the question, "Can Obama win working class voters?" Or, "Why is Obama having trouble connecting with working class voters?" Both questions ignore that Obama doesn't have a working class problem—large percentages of the black folks who are turning out to support him at rates of 90% are indeed working class—but rather, a white working class problem.
By implicitly equating "working class" with white, the media reinforces the notion of "hard-working," average (i.e. normal) folks as white. This then leaves blacks to be viewed either as the decidedly non-working and dreaded "underclass," or the elitist types that Hillary Clinton wants people to envision when they think of Senator Obama. Either of these images can reinforce racism, either by stoking white fear of the former or resentment toward the latter.
Or consider the way the media has responded to the Jeremiah Wright controversy.
An informal hearing was held in Judge Walther’s court room Monday regarding the search warrant and the length of time it is taking to go through the "Bishop’s records" obtained from the YFZ Ranch.
During the search of the ranch Texas Rangers took into evidence 45 computers, 6 or more laptops, and nearly 1,000 boxes of Bishop’s records.
The defense for FLDS is arguing that the majority of the Bishop records are confidential due to "spiritual" nature and membership concerns... And it is a violation of their clients' first amendment rights to have the court viewing these documents.
The FLDS has an attorney reviewing the documents to state what is private. The court has an independent judge reviewing to confirm... Bob Switzer is the attorney viewing the docs.
Prosecutors want to know if there is any evidence for their case in these documents and if there is a genealogy chart amongst them. The judge wants the medical records for the children ASAP.
Here are my rough notes: FULL POST
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Happy Tuesday! (If there is such a thing) Let's dive right in to today's picture shall we? It's time for ‘Beat 360°.’
Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption. Our staff will get in on the action too.
Tune in every night at 10p ET to see if you are our favorite! Can you Beat 360°?
Here is today’s “Beat 360°” pic of the day: Meet Mondex, a 5-year-old Chihuahua, striking a pose as he walks the aisle dressed as a scuba diver during a dog show at a mall in suburban Manila. (Mondex bagged first place during the fashion show category!)
Have fun with it.
Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.
– David Reisner, 360° Digital Producer
UPDATE: Check our Beat 360 winner!
Every time I go to do a story in New Orleans I hold onto a little piece of hope that things are going to be better this time.
That the community is going to be more healed, that the town is going to look more alive, and that the programs put in place to help homeowners are actually doing so.
Well, I should have known better.
Imagine this: Louisiana residents – after all they’ve been through and all they’ve lost – are now being billed by the state for nearly $200 million!
Yes – you read that right, $200 million.
Why? Well – it turns out the contractor hired by the state to dole out federal dollars designed to help homeowners rebuild... uh... well... how do I say this... OVERESTIMATED!!
The contractor, ICF International, may have overpaid as many as 5000 residents. In other words, the state gave these people too much grant money after state inspectors estimated home damages.
In all, homeowners could be asked to pay up $175 million. Some families could be on the hook for $150,000 each!
One week until the voters of North Carolina and Indiana vote...AND what a win in Pennsylvania and a few days of your former pastor spouting his rhetoric will do to an election. The latest CNN polls show Hillary Clinton has closed an 11 pt gap...she NOW only trails Obama nationally by 4 points. AND in the latest Presidential poll match ups - Clinton beats John McCain by 9 pts, while Obama and McCain are in a dead heat...PLUS Hillary Clinton is expected to receive the endorsement of Gov. Mike Easley –the Governor of North Carolina, a state that Obama is expected to win handsomely....THIS is sooo NOT over folks...Candy Crowley is in North Carolina today and will have all the latest for us tonight...
BUT here are a few political headlines to get your morning started:
LA Times: Wright's Re-Emergence Does Obama No Favors...At a moment when Barack Obama is struggling to win over white voters worried about the economy, a series of public appearances by his former pastor is threatening to revive a tempest over race, patriotism and religion that the Democratic presidential front-runner hoped he had quashed.
WSJ: Clinton Could Ease Racial Tensions...Maybe it's time for another speech on race relations in America - this time by Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Indianapolis Star: Female Factor: White Women Could Be Swing Vote May 6...If Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton wins Indiana's May 6 Democratic primary, the votes of white women may be a huge reason why.
NY Times: Political Theories Abound in North Carolina, but Don’t Ask John Edwards for His...What will the Edwardses do? As the Democratic presidential candidates and their surrogates traipse through North Carolina in the final days before the state’s primary, some people here are wondering, why so quiet in Chapel Hill?
On the Reverend Wright front? We will continue tonight looking at the issues surrounding the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's latest speeches...Soledad O'Brien tells us about how blacks and whites learn. A Harvard professor, Roland Fryer did a study on 10,000 9 month old babies-turns out HE SAW NO innate differences between black and white kids. BUT by age 3 differences began to appear...His message? Infants, whether black or white, are clearly not innately different..The takeaway is ALL kids learn differently, and may NOT be RACE BASED....
Anderson will anchor from New Orleans today...SO Randi Kaye looks at what Louisiana giveth… Louisiana now taketh away! As many as 5000 homeowners in and around New Orleans could be billed for overpayment mistakes made by the state contractor doling out cash for the Road Home Program. It was designed to help residents rebuild, but now the contractor has realized it overpaid homeowners by as much as 175 million dollars and it wants residents to pay up! Some residents could be asked to fork over $150,000. Does the contractor, ICF International, have the legal right to ask for money back? Apparently the federal government and the state says it does. But how will homeowners, most of whom have spent above and beyond their state grant money, come up with the cash? Correspondent Randi Kaye is KEEPING THEM HONEST, and holding ICF accountable for its mistakes.
AND Sean Callebs tells us the story of Patrick Kennedy - On March 2, 1998 an 8-year-old girl was raped in a Harvey, LA, a New Orleans suburb. Patrick Kennedy, her step father was the rapist. A family abuse specialist testified it was the worst sexual attack he’d ever seen. On August 14, 2003 a Jefferson Parish jury found Kennedy guilty, in spite of no physical or DNA evidence linking him to the crime. He was sentenced to the DEATH PENALTY, the first time in decades a person was sentenced to death for a rape. Two weeks ago, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the case. He is awaiting their decision....
We will also bring you the latest on the THREE tornadoes that caused massive damage in Virginia and injured more than 200 people on Monday....
That is ALL for now....