Building up to the crucial pair of U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia, which will decide party control and the direction of the future Biden Administration, The New York Times has worked fervently to protect Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock and attack his Republican opponent, sitting Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
Reporter Rick Rojas took his shot defending Warnock’s far-left flank in Sunday’s edition with “Georgia Pastors Accuse Loeffler’s Campaign Attacks of Crossing the Line” and set the tone from the lede: “A coalition of African-American pastors in Georgia assailed Senator Kelly Loeffler on Saturday, arguing that her characterizations of her opponent, the Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, had crossed a line and amounted to an attack on the Black church.”
Predictably, Rojas put on his hermeneutics hat to shield Warnock from Republican attacks:
Ms. Loeffler’s campaign has highlighted Mr. Warnock’s criticism of police officers and a sermon posted to YouTube in 2011 in which he said that “nobody can serve God and the military,” a theme that has roots in biblical passages. In a recent televised debate, she called Mr. Warnock a “radical liberal” 13 times.
“We call on you to cease and desist your false characterizations of Reverend Warnock as ‘radical’ or ‘socialist,’ when there is nothing in his background, writings or sermons that suggests those characterizations to be true, especially when taken in full context,” dozens of pastors from across Georgia wrote in an open letter to the senator. “We see your attacks against Warnock as a broader attack against the Black Church and faith traditions for which we stand.”
Besides suddenly defending the Bible, The Times is determined to influence the election by racializing any Republican attacks that risk gaining traction against the radical-left Warnock, an ally of the notorious Rev. Jeremiah (“God damn America!") Wright:
Ms. Loeffler, an Atlanta businesswoman who was appointed to fill a Senate vacancy last year, has rejected assertions that she was turning to racist appeals. She has argued that she was pushing back against Mr. Warnock’s beliefs, not his identity. During the debate she said, “There is not a racist bone in my body.”
But it is not an argument that the pastors have been willing to accept. “It is irresponsible, and we’re here to stand against it,” the Rev. Keith Hammond, a pastor from Atlanta, said during a news conference on Saturday.
Another Times journalist, Stephanie Saul, also aggressively argued in Warnock’s defense in “The latest attacks on Raphael Warnock take a key phrase out of context," which was posted on Friday.
Saul hinted Loeffler's criticisms of Warnock were rooted in -- you guessed it -- RACISM (click “expand”):
Senator Kelly Loeffler’s fervid campaign against her Democratic challenger in Georgia, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, has employed a new deceptive tactic, casting Mr. Warnock, a Baptist preacher, as un-American by falsely attributing a controversial comment to him that was made by the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.
Her attack has been bolstered by a multimillion-dollar ad buy promoting a fallacious video of Mr. Warnock that uses the same out-of-context footage.
In a news release distributed on Friday, Ms. Loeffler’s campaign linked to a 2014 flyer showing that Mr. Warnock’s church, Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta, had hosted Mr. Wright, a controversial Chicago pastor known for his fiery rhetoric.
“Warnock has a long history of praising Wright,” Ms. Loeffler’s release said, “calling him a prophet and celebrating his infamous ‘God damn America’ speech days after it was delivered. And Warnock himself has repeatedly said ‘God damn America’ in his sermons.”
Yet Mr. Warnock has uttered that phrase only in instances when he was referring to Mr. Wright’s speech, not to endorse that sentiment himself.
That’s not even the worst of what Wright said. In describing the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that killed thousands of his fellow citizens, Wright relished this phrase “America’s chickens are coming home to roost." And doesn’t the very fact that Warnock hosted Wright suggest that Warnock endorses Wright’s anti-American sentiment?
Saul soft-pedaled Wright’s anti-Americanism.
Mr. Wright, who was once Barack Obama’s pastor, became a lightning rod in the 2008 presidential campaign as video clips of his incendiary language surfaced, and Mr. Obama broke ties with him that year before securing the Democratic nomination. In Mr. Wright’s sermon that included the words “God damn America,” he was criticizing the United States for its history of mistreatment of minority groups, including its enslavement of Africans.
Because The Times isn't committed to honest journalism, Saul both gave Warnock the benefit of the doubt and let him explain himself: “In reality, Mr. Warnock has said that he supported Mr. Wright in the same way he celebrated the “truth-telling tradition of the Black church,” which he said makes people uncomfortable.”