Did we see this coming? Sure, there were hints on the horizon, but Barack Obama’s speech denouncing the comments of his former confidante and pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright have sparked a feeding frenzy in today’s papers. The Post goes for the punny headline “BARACK STABBER” on the front, while the Daily News prefers a simple “FURY!” Inside on page 4, the News makes the incident sound more like a celebrity divorce, with the hed, “I DON’T WANT YOU IN MY LIFE!”
There’s an air of giddiness to some of the stories, as it seems like columnists and editors were holding back, waiting patiently for Obama to “come to his senses.” The News answers the question, “Did Bam wait too long to cut ties?” with a resolute, “um, maybe,” as experts hand-wring about whether this is too little, too late or if Obama successfully cut the dead weight. Columnist Michael Goodwin asks how Obama could listen to Wright’s rhetoric for the past 20 years and not see through the reverend’s “wackiness”? Goodwin likens Wright to the “crazy uncle Obama kept in the basement.”
The Post, meanwhile, has all cylinders blasting on the Wright controversy in its opinion pages. Michelle Malkin refers to the speech as the “Jive-Talk Express” (Classy!), and Ralph Peters uses this as an opportunity to lament the “global victims’ club.” (Hey, did you know that people like to blame Israel for things?)
This is a big story, and it serves as a kind of litmus test for where one stands with one’s racial politics. But, ultimately, it will come down to Obama supporters saying he did the right, brave thing and Clinton supporters and the Republicans finding a delightful way to exploit this revelation/gaffe/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I want to see if this turns into another celebrity break-up story, complete with more of “Wright’s side” in tomorrow’s papers (which the Post has started with its front-page piece), with him portrayed as the jilted lover.