WashPost's Miller: Media Should Ignore 'Astroturf' Black Pastors Opposing Obama on Gay Marriage

On the Saturday Washington Post “On Faith” page, columnist and Newsweek religion editor Lisa Miller insisted it was not a news story that black ministers came to the National Press Club and insisted Obama’s support for gay marriage “might cost him the election.”

It’s not a story, Miller insisted, because Rev William Owens is “enough to make a cynic blush...He’s a figurehead in what political operatives call an ‘Astroturf’ campaign...and his threat is not a threat.” Miller complained about the news sites that somehow found this “nearly empty” press conference newsworthy:

CNN, Fox News, NBC, the New York Post, the Daily Caller and the Christian Post, among others, followed the story. Headlines underscored the potential threat: “Obama’s support for gay marriage ‘might cost him the election,’” wrote NBC.com.

Andrew Mach at NBC.com reported the same thing Miller found so off-putting and artificial: Rev. Owens is associated with the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes gay marriage lobbyists across the country. Miller felt pressed to admit there was a “glimmer of honesty” in this publicity against Obama: "In every craven political maneuver, there is a glimmer of honesty, however, and this case is no exception. The African American community has been slower than the American majority to accept same-sex marriage."

But Miller said Owens was also “Astroturf” because most black Americans will stick with Obama seemingly no matter how much of Christianity he opposes in the public square. She quoted David Bositis of the liberal Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies: “I would place the odds of African Americans defecting the president as about the same as the odds of an asteroid hitting the Earth and wiping out all human life.”

For Miller, there is no question of whether black Christians are choosing Obama over Christianity. Her pain at blacks being “slower than the majority” in accepting gay marriage carries the expectation that blacks will get with “the program” of leaving that outdated Bible behind.

As for “Astroturf” and Christians, what about Catholic groups funded by liberals and Democrats and their "craven" political maneuvers? The ones with named like "Catholics United' and "Catholics In Alliance with the Common Good" that blatantly oppose the American bishops as they oppose Obama's subsidized-contraceptives mandate?

Scott Walter of the Capital Research Center has lined up just how Democratic these “astroturf” operatives and lobbyists are at  Philanthropy Daily.  "To hear their angry denunciations of bishops with a 'right-wing political agenda' who invent the 'fiction' that religious liberty is endangered, you’d think these folks had never sullied their hands in politics or lifted a finger to assist any politician’s agenda." Walter lays out their Democrat credentials.

We won’t expect Miller to complain about how they make a “cynic blush.”

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis