How offensive was Donna Brazile's line about Jesus being a community organizer and Pontius Pilate a governor, uttered to make an invidious comparison between Barack Obama and Sarah Palin? Enough that even ardent Obama-phile Chris Matthews rapped Dem congressman Steve Cohen's knuckles for repeating it on the House floor.
But, incredibly, on today's Meet the Press Tom Brokaw used Brazile's line to confront Rudy Giuliani over comments in his GOP convention speech about Obama's community organizing. Brokaw went so far as to display a button [screencap after jump] bearing the phrase. The MTP host might just as well have been wearing it.
TOM BROKAW: Senator Obama, who had an Ivy league education and could’ve gone to Wall Street, went back to Chicago, on the South Side. As you know, his supporters have defended him for working with poor families, many of whom lost their jobs when the Gary steel mills closed. In that mocking fashion, it seemed to a lot of people that you were belittling the role of a community organizer, and it led to this button -- it was addressed to Senator Palin, because she also talked about it -- “Jesus Christ was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate was a governor.” In retrospect, do you think you had too much sport with his role as community organizer, Mr. Mayor?
Far from quoting the line to criticize its use, Brokaw wielded it as a cudgel against Giuliani. Ironically, it was Brokaw himself who recently called-out Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann for their excessive partisanship. Journalistic probity, like charity, begins at home.