Thursday evening, the New York Times' Kate Phillips published at that paper's Caucus Blog a 1998 picture of President Bill Clinton shaking Rev. Jeremiah Wright's hand (right, courtesy of NYT).
In her posting, Phillips said the photograph was provided to her by the Obama campaign.
Given all the controversy surrounding this hateful pastor, and how it has negatively impacted the junior senator from Illinois' standings in the polls, a number of questions are raised:
- Is this a sign of desperation from the Obama campaign?
- How will media cover this?
- Knowing that this picture came from the Obama campaign, should the Times have published it? Isn't the Times acting as a leak conduit?
- Is this actually news? After all, this wasn't Clinton's pastor of 20 years. Is this a red herring, and the Times is being duped?
Something else to consider is that this picture was taken at an annual prayer breakfast with a large group of clerics at the White House. Should Clinton or his advisers vetted all of the religious figures present for hateful sermons, or does that seem rather absurd?
If the answer is "no," then how would Clinton have known what this pastor stood for, and, as such, why is this picture at all relevant?
Once again, with all the focus on this pastor, it's going to be fascinating to see how media handle this story.