As the 2008 November election loomed, it appears that then-Senator Barack Obama was traumatized -- by Sean Hannity.
Author Edward Klein, whose new Obama book The Amateur is just out, has a startling piece in Sunday's New York Post.
As revealing for what it says as for who it doesn't mention.
Klein had interviewed the president's controversial ex-pastor the Reverend Jeremiah Wright for the book. Wright claims he was offered $150,000 by an Obama supporter to silence himself during the presidential campaign. And that there was a secret meeting between Obama and Wright that took place in the parsonage of the Trinity United Church of Christ, a meeting in which Obama asked Wright to stop preaching sermons until after the November, 2008 elections.
Wrote Klein in The Post, beginning with a direct quote from Wright:
"Man, the media ate me alive," Wright told me when we met in his office at Chicago's Kwame Nkrumah Academy. "After the media went ballistic on me, I received an e-mail offering me money not to preach at all until the November presidential election."
"Who sent the e-mail?" I asked Wright.
"It was from one of Barack's closest friends."
"He offered you money?"
"Not directly," Wright said. "He sent the offer to one of the members of the church, who sent it to me."
"How much money did he offer you?"
"One hundred and fifty thousand dollars," Wright said.
"Did Obama himself ever make an effort to see you?"
"Yes," Wright said. "Barack said he wanted to meet me in secret, in a secure place. And I said, 'You're used to coming to my home, you've been here countless times, so what's wrong with coming to my home?' So we met in the living room of the parsonage of Trinity United Church of Christ, at South Pleasant Avenue right off 95th Street, just Barack and me. I don't know if he had a wire on him. His security was outside somewhere.
"And one of the first things Barack said was, 'I really wish you wouldn't do any more public speaking until after the November election.' He knew I had some speaking engagements lined up, and he said, 'I wish you wouldn't speak. It's gonna hurt the campaign if you do that.'
"And what did you say?" I asked. "I said, 'I don't see it that way. And anyway, how am I supposed to support my family?' And he said, 'Well, I wish you wouldn't speak in public. The press is gonna eat you alive.
"Barack said, 'I'm sorry you don't see it the way I do. Do you know what your problem is?' And I said, 'No, what's my problem?' And he said, 'You have to tell the truth.' I said, 'That's a good problem to have. That's a good problem for all preachers to have. That's why I could never be a politician.'
"And he said, 'It's going to get worse if you go out there and speak. It's really going to get worse.'
"And he was so right"
An offer of hush money that appears to be connected in some fashion with an Obama donor? Is this not exactly what former North Carolina Senator John Edwards is on trial for as we speak? The use of campaign donor money as hush money for his mistress? What's the difference, in terms of campaign finance laws, between using campaign donor money to silence a mistress and a minister?
Second point. While neither Wright nor Klein mention it here...who specifically was "the media" that both Wright and Obama were so concerned about?
When Obama said "The press is gonna eat you alive" -- who exactly in the press was he talking about?
That's right. It was none other than our friend Sean Hannity. The same Sean Hannity who first brought Reverend Wright to national attention through writer Erik Rush -- and then brought Wright on Hannity and Colmes. Hannity was relentless in bringing Wright's controversial sermons (like this one, Wright's infamous "Goddamn America!" sermon) to national attention -- while the mainstream media was quiet as a church mouse.
Eventually ABC's Brian Ross woke up to the controversy, but it was Hannity who took the heat -- tons of it -- for repeatedly exploring the potential links between Wright's far-left Black Liberation Theology, socialism and a would-be Obama administration.
Now, according to Klein, we know that Obama himself was so concerned about what was in fact Hannity's continuous reporting on Wright that the then-Senator personally had a secret sit-down with Wright to ask his pastor to, well, shut-up.
Campaign donor hush money offer to Jeremiah Wright? Who else from Obama's past did the campaign or its donor friends try and hush with big bucks? And who took it?
And what is the difference between mistress hush money and minister hush money?
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