Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama’s Cohones
Charles Hurt of the NY Post has the most concise report:
In a vulgar tirade caught on tape by Fox News, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said he wanted to “cut his [Barack Obama’s] nuts out” and he accused the fellow Chicagoan of “talking down to black folks” by giving moral lectures to African-Americans, source said Jackson’s shocking quotes were picked up by a hot mic before an interview on health care in Fox’s Chicago studio last Sunday. Fox planned to air the recording on Bill O’Reilly’s “The Factor” show.
Jackson has apologized for the remarks and the resulting hubbub, CNN reports.
Speaking to CNN Wednesday, Jackson said he feels “very distressed” over the comments.
“This is a sound bite in a broader conversation about urban policy and racial disparities. I feel very distressed because I’m supportive of this campaign and with the senator, what he has done and is doing,” he said. “I said he comes down as speaking down to black people. The moral message must be a much broader message. What we need really is racial justice and urban policy and jobs and health care. That’s a range of issues on the menu.
“Then I said something I regret was crude. It was very private. And very much a sound bite,” he also said.
In a statement issued earlier Wednesday to CNN, Jackson said, “For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize. My support for Senator Obama’s campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal. I cherish this redemptive and historical moment.”
My reaction was along the lines of Andrew Sullivan‘s: This is “the kind of electoral gift any politician dreams of. Obama gets his Sistah Souljah moment handed to him on a plate … by Bill O’Reilly.” Indeed, getting castigated by Jesse Jackson furthers the whole mainstream, articulate, bright and clean vibe.
I do wonder, however, what so peeved Jackson. In what way was Obama “talking down to blacks”? Simply because he channeled Bill Cosby in a speech and forgot to add the usual caveats about how everything is ultimately society’s fault?
I’m also a bit curious about Fox News’ editorial judgment. The event happened Sunday but they held off the tape until Wednesday? I could understand saving it for their Monday prime time lineup. But three days?
Meanwhile, Kate McMillan and her commenters amuse themselves with various plays on the “nuts” theme.