Kathleen Parker today at times seems almost ready to acknowledge that raising issues related to the infamous Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a perfectly legitimate exerise, but then, as is her wont, she veers off into near nothingness with an equivocal “above it all” dodge about how this is all just silly-season politics.
Here’s what she and almost everybody else is missing: The story now is not about Obama’s 20-year relationship with Wright — which is indeed now “old news,” even though it never got adequately aired or criticized four years ago — but instead about new and credible allegations that an emissary for Obama offered to buy Wright’s silence. The story told by Wright himself seems to suggest that violations of several laws might at least have been approached (although the technicalities of the various laws at play can be tricky), and certainly that something highly unseemly and unethical occurred (from Obama’s end, or at least from his alleged intermediary). This is decidely not old news. This is even more decidely not “racist.” This is a legitimate issue, one that, if the shoe were on the conservative foot, the establishment media would be leading all their front pages and their newscasts with for many days on end.
If Rev. Wright makes these claims, why isn’t 60 Minutes interviewing him? Why isn’t the Washington Post editorial board weighing in, in stentorian tones (if the written word can be stentorian), about the need to adequately examine disturbing allegations that might at least cast light on a president’s character even if not on his legality? (Any day now, however, I do expect a WaPost piece about how Romney back in the Sixth Grade paid a classmate $20 to cover his tracks while he played hookie in order to pig out at the ice cream parlor.)
After all, it wasn’t Republicans who said the Rev. Wright was important and admirable; it was Barack Obama himself, repeatedly… until Wright embarrassed him. Well, if the morally exemplary Rev. Wright, who may be outspoken but hasn’t yet been called a liar, says he was offered hush money, then the media should be banging down his door wanting more details. Wright may be a racist demagogue, but those asking for more attention to this matter should be able to do so without a single racial implication being raised.