GLENN: Now, why is it that the media doesn’t report things? We have long suspected that the media in fact, I have you know what? Let me take it here. I have told you in the past that I didn’t believe in a media conspiracy, that I didn’t believe that people were calling each other. How many times have you heard me say this? That I didn’t believe that the media was, you know, (phone ringing). "Hello. Dan Rather." Oh, sorry, Dan, I got the wrong number. I was calling somebody I thought was important. But the media is not calling each other and… (phone ringing). "Hello. Dan Rather." Oh, jeez, sorry, Dan. I don’t know why I keep calling you back. I just thought I was calling somebody that had actually a voice that people would listen to.
That the media is not calling each other up to plot and plan exactly what their next move is (phone ringing). "Hello. Katie Couric." Oh, jeez, I’m sorry. I was trying to reach Dan Rather. He had more juice than you.
But I was wrong. I was wrong. And I told you that I would always correct my mistakes. It was the moment of the greatest peril for then Senator Barack Obama’s political career. In the heat of the presidential campaign, videos surfaced of Obama’s pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright angrily denouncing whites, the U.S. Government and America itself. Obama had once bragged closest to right, now the black preacher’s rhetoric was threatening to torpedo Obama’s campaign. The crisis reached a howling pitch mid April 2008. ABC News debate moderated by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. Gibson asked a question of Obama why it had taken him so long, nearly a year since Wright’s remarks became public to disassociate himself from them. Stephanopoulos asked, do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do? Watching this at home were members of journalists. It is a list serve. What is a list serve?
STU: It’s kind of like a shared e mail sort of thing. It’s not open to the public. It’s a closed loop like, you know, sort of discussion that you can with people, sort of the safety tree.
GLENN: Right. It’s like a chat room.
STU: Yeah, kind of.
GLENN: But it’s closed.
STU: Yeah, it’s like an e mail list server.
GLENN: Comprised of several hundred liberal journalists as well as like minded professors and activists. Tough questioning from ABC anchors left many of them outraged. George Stephanopoulos, quoting, fumed Richard Kim of the nation as being a disgusting little rat snake. Others went further. According to records obtained by the Daily Caller at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign, a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favorite candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico not a surprise there the Huffington Post, Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media and in some cases plotted to fix this damage. In one instance Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote. Quote: Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares, and call them racists, end quote. Michael Tomasky, a writer from The Guardian also tried to rally his fellow members of journalists, quote: Listen, folks. In my opinion all we have to do, we have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy in whatever venues we have. This isn’t about defending Obama. This is about how the mainstream media kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the people, end quote. I’m trying to understand that. This is about how the mainstream media kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the American so in other words, he’s claiming that by asking Jeremiah Wright a question, that is the mainstream media, killing any discourse?
STU: Yeah, focusing on things that don’t matter to the American people.
PAT: And he’s apparently the arbiter of what discourse should and should not happen in this country? That’s interesting.
[NOTE: Transcript may have been edited to enhance readability – audio archive includes full segment as it was originally aired]