Bozell Column: Moyers Loves Reverend Wright

The Bill Moyers PBS interview of Barack Obama’s long-time minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, underlined once again that our tax dollars don’t fund programs championing racial harmony. They fund programs that celebrate black radicals, militants, and kooks. Moyers came to Rev. Wright’s side not to condemn him or even challenge him, but to praise him and defend him. As he implored Wright to explain his "God damn America" sermon, Wright at least said he was free in America to denounce America. To which Moyers replied: "Well, you can be almost crucified for saying what you've said here in this country."

Bill Moyers wants us to see Jeremiah Wright as the Jesus Christ of our time?

Moyers cast him as a demonized victim: "Did you ever imagine that you would come to personify the black anger that so many whites fear?" All this was pandering of the worst sort, since the Wrong Reverend Wright and his mouthpieces have been talking up the idea of the media crucifying him, even as the Obama-loving media have labored to downplay his speeches and keep him out of the headlines. Wright lapped up every ounce of sympathy Moyers brought, and fully agreed that he and Martin Luther King have been "crucified by corporate-owned media," since they are willing to decry racism, militarism, capitalism, and America.

He accepted the Moyers premise: "That's true. But you can be crucified, you can be crucified publicly, you can be crucified by corporate-owned media. But I mean, what I just meant was, you can be killed in other countries by the government for saying that. Dr. King, of course, was vilified. And most of us forget that after he was assassinated, but the year before he was assassinated, April 4th, 1967 at the Riverside Church, he talked about racism, militarism and capitalism. He became vilified. He got ostracized not only by the majority of Americans in the press; he got vilified by his own community."

Pardon me if I can’t exactly remember Walter Cronkite vilifying Martin Luther King for opposing the Vietnam War.

Wright’s answer underlines something that our race-obsessed press is missing. This controversy is not simply about race. This minister is a radical leftist. Along with leftists like Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson, Wright loves how Rev. King denounced the American war machine in that 1967 speech, as this "demonic destructive suction tube," and smeared black and white American soldiers, who allegedly would unite in destroying the poor Vietnamese: "we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would hardly live on the same block in Chicago."

The America-hatred flowed in that speech, just as it does from Reverend Wright: the Vietnamese "move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs."

Radical leftists ignored how the concentration camps came to Vietnam after the Americans withdrew.

Moyers and Reverend Wright are two peas in a pod in thinking the "corporate-owned media" were part of the war machine, then and again now. Moyers asked Wright why Americans were so intolerant of criticism of their country: "What is your notion of why so many Americans seem not to want to hear the full Monty? They don't want to seem to acknowledge that a nation capable of greatness is also capable of cruelty?"

That’s turning patriotic Americans into straw men who can’t acknowledge our soldiers are "capable" of cruelty. Clearly, some soldiers go astray, and then they are prosecuted. But Moyers & Wright & Co. suggest by their rhetoric that cruelty is our military modus operandi, approved at the highest levels of bureaucracy, and that cruelty is typical, and universal, even if bravery and charity are much more common. That’s why they hate America.

Bill Moyers should be seen by more people as more like Jeremiah Wright – a bitter old man who spins vile conspiracy theories about America as a ruthless warrior-state. It should come as no surprise that he and Wright would see bilious eye to bilious eye on how this country has been ruined by conservatives, those cruel racists, those capitalists, and those militarists. God damn America!

The week before his Wright interview, Moyers denounced ABC’s Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos for raising questions Obama didn’t want raised. He called it "journalistic narcissism." But this interview was typical Moyers narcissism. He thinks every other liberal journalist isn’t giving Wright enough time and space to speak the truth. He wants to be the referee of the national conversation, and he wants it to be an incredibly one-sided diatribe, a radical Wright sermon on how America needs to be purged of its poisonous conservatism.

Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell is the Founder and President of the Media Research Center