WaPo Finds It Scandalous Beck Would Challenge Obama's Religious Beliefs

The Washington Post found it newsworthy that "Beck challenges Obama's religious beliefs after rally in D.C.," but emphasized how Glenn Beck's views could cause a backlash, and papered over Rev. Jeremiah Wright's wild-eyed radical sermons as merely focusing on "the importance of empowering the oppressed." In the story on page A-4, Post reporter Felicia Sonmez made no mention of the president's avoidance of church services while she repeated the White House assertion that he's a "committed Christian." Here's the summation: 

During an interview on "Fox News Sunday," which was filmed after Saturday's rally, Beck claimed that Obama "is a guy who understands the world through liberation theology, which is oppressor-and-victim."

"People aren't recognizing his version of Christianity," Beck added.

Beck's attacks represent a continuing attempt to characterize Obama as a radical, an approach that has prompted anxiety among some Republicans, who worry that Beck's rhetoric could backfire. The White House has all but ignored his accusations, but some Democrats have pointed to the Fox News host to portray Republicans as extreme and out of touch.

Notice that the Post doesn't suggest that Rev. Wright's rhetoric can, and has been used to portray Obama and his Democrat supporters as extreme and out of touch. Here's how Sonmez summarized the rants of Wright:

The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., the onetime pastor of Obama's former church in Chicago, is an adherent of black liberation theology, which centers on the struggles of African Americans and the importance of empowering the oppressed. Obama severed ties with Wright during the presidential campaign after some of the minister's inflammatory language drew controversy.

Beck, on his Fox News show last Tuesday, said that liberation theology is at the core of Obama's "belief structure."

"You see, it's all about victims and victimhood; oppressors and the oppressed; reparations, not repentance; collectivism, not individual salvation. I don't know what that is, other than it's not Muslim, it's not Christian. It's a perversion of the gospel of Jesus Christ as most Christians know it," Beck said.

Sonmez didn't note that Wright's "liberation" theology has roots in Marxism. She also ignored that Wright suggested just days after 9/11 that America deserved the terrorist attack for its imperialism or his kooky view that the federal government created AIDS as a tool of black genocide. But editing those specifics out is a common media practice.

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