An acquaintance of mine told me a few weeks ago that she was going to ignore all media stories about “remarks” this election season. “Remarks” are what get people into the most hot water and they’re a distraction from the real stories: the candidates’ policies. So when a story about So-and-So’s remarks about candidate Such-and-Such appear in her RSS reader, she just ignores them. She must be doing a lot of ignoring today after Rev. Jesse Jackson’s remarks about Barack Obama went public.
Jackson whispered the comment (which the Post puts in a big page-10 pull-quote), “See, Barack [has] been talking down to black people…I wanna cut his nuts out.” Jackson was criticizing Obama’s practice of “giving moral lectures to African-Americans,” reports the Post. The gaffe occurred on Sunday before Jackson was set to appear on Fox News Channel to talk about healthcare. The remarks aired last night on The O’Reilly Factor, and Jackson publicly apologized before the tape aired. (Quick aside—you’d think a News Corporation-owned paper would get the title of another one of its properties correct in a story. The Post refers to the show as “Bill O’Reilly’s ‘The Factor.'” Yeah, O’Reilly refers to it as “The Factor” throughout the broadcast, but that’s not the actual title.” Don’t believe me?)
The papers could have way more of a field day with this then they did. The Post does go for the “NUTS!” headline on page one, and “Jesse’s a ‘nut’ job” on page 10, but the Daily News just refers to the incident as “JESSE’S RANT” on the front page and uses the puntastic “Ranting Jackson bawls out Obama” on page 5. The News‘ “Talk about a low blow” lead is pretty chuckle-worthy as well. Instead of placing the remark in a giant pull-quote as the Post did, the News goes with a screenshot from the Fox News broadcast which, strangely enough, has the subtitle that reads, “I wanna cut his n_ts off,” which does not match the printed quote by one word.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson received criticism from Rev. Al Sharpton and Jackson’s own son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) for the remarks. Sharpton praised Obama for “running for President for all Americans, not just African-Americans, which is why most Americans have embraced his campaign.”
Of course, when this story first broke, the first thing that came to mind to me was this episode of Saturday Night Live‘s TV Funhouse, in which Obama dispatches Jackson and Sharpton to “help” his campaign far, far away: