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Why the press likes Obama again

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 by Dave Winer.

First, I've given Obama another $100 today for a total of $900. It's the 30th, the end of a month. Of the three remaining candidates, he's still by far the best choice. And he still is the best person I've ever had the chance to support, imho. Permalink to this paragraph

Yesterday he threw Rev Wright under the bus, a term I never liked, and still really don't, but it was the right thing to do, at exactly the right moment, maybe not for cyncial reasons (the ones the press applies) but for moral reasons. If you've been going to a church as long as he's been going to Wright's church, it should take a lot to get you to say what Obama said yesterday.  Permalink to this paragraph

I have friends who have stood by me in tough times, but have done things that disappointed me, and I've taken time-outs from the friendships because of this, but it's pretty rare that the bridges are so thoroughly burned that we never relate as friends again. But it has happened.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named chicken.jpgIf we want to trust Obama, he shouldn't abandon his pastor just because it would be the expedient thing to do, esp when it was so clear that the press was misrepresenting his sermons. I watched them, in full, and understood what the Reverend was saying, and I also understood that the context wasn't familiar to me. They were recorded before a member of his congregation was a leading candidate for President, some of them before he was even an Illinois state senator. If you said that this isn't that unusual for a black church, what choice would I have but to take your word. Permalink to this paragraph

Same for a speech at the NAACP. How do I know what's usual there. If you tell me this is how it goes, I have no basis for saying or believing otherwise. Permalink to this paragraph

But the National Press Club? That I understand, and now I see Rev Wright in a whole new light. I still can't say one way or the other if he acted appropriately in his sermons, but that was not how you address the media. They're too dangerous. That's the way you talk on your front porch on a hot weekday evening, hanging out with your friends, arguing politics and gossiping about a neighbor. Not in front of cameras that are broadcasting your words around the world, when you're talking about someone you supposedly care about, someone who not only is your friend, but is likely the next President of the United States, your country, which you have served, that you say you love. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named rooster.jpgLook, the explanation is really simple. When you rise, even a little, some friends don't get it. Ask anyone who's won a lottery, or Deal or No Deal, or whose company IPO'd successfully. Ask them about the chickens that come home to roost. That's what happened with Rev Wright. I'm sure of it. I recognize it, having been around the phenomenon, on a much smaller scale, many many times. Permalink to this paragraph

Anyway, the reason the press is so happy is that they got caught being assholes. It was just a few days ago I was giving them a hard time for the missing mea culpas. Now they don't have to retract or apologize for screwing it up, Obama just gave them cover. And so they're moving on. The Republicans, if they want to bring up this issue, may well find that the press sides with Obama. "We always said Wright was a bad apple," they will say, and maybe even Obama agreed, but he was being loyal to a friend, and who can fault him for that. It's a good quality, but enough is enough. Permalink to this paragraph

And I don't think the door is closed forever for Rev Wright. You can be pissed at a friend, for cause or not, and come back from it, esp if someone connects with Wright about the seriousness of what he did, and how much damage he might have done if people took him seriously (they didn't) and somehow his condemnation of Obama stuck (it didn't).  Permalink to this paragraph

I believe Obama, and I believe in Obama because I believe in my country. I care about how the Constitution has been trampled in the last 7.5 years, it's going to take a lawyer like Obama who doesn't take shortcuts to first restore our confidence in the architecture of the US, and give us a fresh start in the world, which would see an Obama presidency as a cause for hope for them. Rev Wright didn't get how many of us now look to Obama to lead us, he may not be ready for it, but that's not our problem or Obama's, it's his. Permalink to this paragraph

Update: Cross-posted at Huffington. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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