Who would Jesus endorse? Let's ask Tweety and the gang.

T.A. Barnhart

I am not going to waste time with Rev Wright; that video has been shown something like 400,000 times since it was first spawned on YouTube — and I'm just talking about Fox and CNN. You could probably close your eyes and draw the crazy preacherman in his scary witch doctor robes. The cable news networks have made his image ubiquitous while ignoring stories of real merit. You know, like how spending a zillion dollars on the Iraq War is destroying the economy. Instead, I'm going to remind you of some videos that, while also familiar, demand to be seen a whole lot more.

The most contemptible, without doubt, is of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson explaining why God allowed the September 11th attacks to happen:

Compared to this hate speech, Rev Wright's finger-pointing (blaming American foreign policy) actually makes sense (actually, it makes sense period: it just looks so scary bad on YT in those wild robes). Yet as most BlueOregon readers are aware, not only did John McCain repudiate his repudiation of Falwell and Robertson, he went crawling on his hands and knees to Liberty University begging for their political support:

Can you say "equivocate"? Can you say, "I've been a bad bad boy"?

In case you have forgotten what McNasty said about these guys in 2000, here's a blast from the past:

To use the current vernacular, Sen Double-talk threw Jerry & Pat under the bus. Of course, given that they were part of the Rovian scheme (a term we had yet to grow familiar with at that time) to destroy his campaign, even Dems cheered McCain at the time. And thus was born the myth of a maverick free-thinker no longer known as a member of the Keating 5. In 2008, however, he needs the support of evangelicals, so he's taking a big fat mulligan.

The obvious question here, of course, is why aren't the media flogging McCain's flip-flops and the Falwell-Robertson clips to death? The cynical answer (or you might like to think of it as the honest answer) is on the one hand, you've got two fat white guys blaming Americans for 9/11, but the bad guys what are getting blamed are the bad Americans and they deserve to be blamed for lots of bad things, including terrorist attacks: liberals, fags, baby-killers and the like. No one likes them, of course, so no point in CNN, MSNBC and Fox going into hyper-outrage mode over their words. But Rev Wright, an ex-Marine who received a Presidential commendation for assisting in surgeries on LBJ, blamed The Government! And we know just how much Americans love, honor and respect The Government.

Rolling over like a whipped dog for Falwell, Robertson and the conventional evangelical electorate is, sad to say, simply how you have to play your politics in the Republican Party these days. What is more disturbing is working hard for months to get the endorsement of this guy:

(Read Frank Rich to get the full story on McCain, Hagee and the role of race in all of this.)

I haven't asked my dad, who converted to Catholism over twenty years ago (about the same time Barack Obama was becoming a liberal Protestant under the sway of the Most Scary Preacher in America) what he thinks of McCain's alliance with Hagee. I know what he thinks of Hillary and Obama, but that's in large part because his politics, for some odd reason, track very closely to official Church positions. But John McCain has no trouble with Hagee's endorsement:

Holy mother of pearl! McCain bounces back and forth from "condemn" to "welcome" so fast and often, it's like a really exciting game of Pong. But it's brilliant work, of course, because it provides the perfect blend of clips: condemning the hate talk (for mainstream America and any Catholics thinking of voting Republican) and support for Rev Hagee (for the evangelicals without whom he cannot possibly win in November). Of course it's the rankest bullshit, but it's damn good rank bullshit, and not a stinky bit of it sticks to McNasty. Mostly because the cable and mainstream news people are happy to lick him clean in adoration.

Keith Olbermann, the only person on cable news willing to attempt an even-handed approach, looks at the Hagee endorsement in depth, but gets one thing kind of wrong. Can you spot it?

Yes, that's right: The assertion by David Shuster that the Hagee endorsement and the questions it raises are not going to go away. Sorry, Keith, but just try finding anyone who is talking about that and is not a certifiable left-wing loonie (like Frank Rich of the certifiably left-wing loonie NY Times). Who the hell has time to talk about white guys preaching hate when we have scary pictures of Wright, half-nekkid teenage tv stars and ... um, someone in the comments will have to tell me what this week's sex/celebrity news/scandals are.

I think, after reviewing way too much video (I had to take a break to rinse my eyes and ears with hydrogen peroxide), the problem is two-fold. One, the stuff from the doomsday religious fanatics is just boring. Falwell sits and bla-bla-bla's at the camera, and then it's Robertson's turn to bla-bla-bla. Rev Hagee has a cute Diorama of God's Wrath and Doom, but we live in a CGI world, guys: we need to see the Beast actually slaughtering the Great Whore, spilling oceans of blood before Capt Jesus makes him explode the way Steven Seagal would.

The second problem is that, for the networks, religion means jack. The guys running the networks don't really even give a damn about skin color. What this is about, pure and simple, is their True God: profit. After all, recall how much we saw of this bit of idiocy:

(For a nice bit of nostalgic gut-wrenching, read Media Matters' analysis of reporting on The Haircut. Note the amount of time spent in one day (July 5, 2007) talking about that compared to Pete Domenici trying to talk about bringing troops home from Iraq.)

Why attack John Edwards in this manner when his campaign never managed to crack 12-13% support among Democrats? Because even if Edwards was not going to win the nomination, he had (and has) sufficient support among core Democratic constituencies, such as labor, to have influence on what issues would receive emphasis in the campaign. And by the Gods of Commerce, there is no way the Lords of Media would allow this campaign to deal with anything substantive, because substance in American politics is always going to have to end at one place: the corporations. The corporations know this and so if they have a chance to both destroy a candidate and keep corporate greed out of the news, then that's what's going to happen. And Tim Russert, Wolf Blitzer, Tweety Matthews and the vermin at Faux News are more than happy to play along.

But that's another story, and if the media can dump assertions on the public without backing them up (Did you hear? Obama helped William Ayers plant a bomb at the Pentagon!), so can I. The above videos are a start at balancing the story on religion and endorsements, so maybe we can start being relentless in promoting them. And while you're at it, this one is a great way to make a nice point without being bombastic:

"Like hope, but different." Excellent.

  • Alberto Borges (unverified)

    Jesus will endorse Hillary Clinton and because of that Hillary will be our next president. Jesus knows our hearts and can read out thoughs.

    Alberto Borges

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    It has been the ploy of political leaders throughout time to claim the favor of heaven. The emperors of China claimed legitimacy by asserting they possessed Heaven's favor. The medieval kings of Europe claimed to rule by "Divine Right." And the Roman Caesars not only claimed the annointing of the gods but in some cases said that they were a god. So why should U.S. politics be any less foolish? After all we are God's new chosen and used the doctrine of Manifest Destiny to conquer and expand.

  • james r bradach (unverified)

    I am pretty sure Jesus and his father grew tired of us long ago!

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)


    You just don't get it! There is a huge difference between these situations. Falwell and Robertson are sanctimonious white men, while Wright is an angry black man. It would be silly to consider their views in the same light. White preachers have every right to be sanctimonious. They are like addled old grandfathers who we love. Angry black men are dangerous. They even may put the honor of our wives and daughters at risk.

    There must be a reason that 44% of people incarcerated in the US are black.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    Alberto Borges sez: Jesus will endorse Hillary Clinton and because of that Hillary will be our next president. Jesus knows our hearts and can read out thoughs.

    Despite my problems interpreting "read out thoughs", I am positive that Mr. Borges is correct, because I just read the same thing about Jesus' endorsement in the National Enquirer. Or may it was in The Onion. Well, one of those.

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)

    Saying the U.S. is to blame for 9/11 is utterly odious, whether said by the Reverend Wright or said by T.A. Barnhart.

    And T.A. Barnhart could have made a "nice point without being bombastic" if he hadn't casually included his odious comment that he agrees with the Rev. Wright (and, apparently, Falwell and Robertson too) that the U.S. is responsible for 9/11.

  • (Show?)

    How about this then UPO?

    The policies of various administrations have led millions of people around the world to conclude that we are an insular nation that routinely ignores legitimate grievances of oppressed people in many nations, while blindly supporting those foreign policy points that benefit the US ruling class.

    As a result, of this long term policy muddle, resentment has built and people who have been routinely disrespected have become radicalized. A tiny subgroup of those radicals was finally motivated to attack us on our own soil.

    Same thing really. Different wording.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Nah, Pat, that just makes too damn much sense. If it were that simple Scarborough, Hannity, and O'Reilly would have figured it out already. It's got to be something strange and nonsensical like "they hate our freedom" or "Islam is a religion of death" or something like that. Besides, if what you write were true, some people might suggest that a fairer, more human foreign policy would make us safer, and that would definitely show weakness on the part of America. As you know, if we show weakness they will destroy our nation with 60 days. That's in the Bible or the Declaration of Independence or somewhere, I think.

  • Chad (unverified)

    Jesus has already chosen his candidate. And His Choice Is Thats right folks these are actual campaign flyers. Handed out in South Carolina and Texas.

  • (Show?)

    Tom, the trouble with commenting on a blog you've only skimmed is that it's embarrassing when i point out that i wrote what you said i don't get: the white guys get off scot-free and the black guy gets nailed. and racisim is behind it all. sheesh.

    Urban: 9/11 came from our occupation of Saudi Arabia, first and foremost. aka, American foreign policy. yes, the perpetrators were evil bastards (bullies & cowards, the lot of them), but they didn't do it for religious or we-hate-America's freedom. they did it because of our foreign policy. which is what Rev Wright said back in 2001. (the other stuff he said, um, not so much on the justifiable.)

  • (Show?)

    eeek, not "occupation" of SA. the presence of our troops, American military being stationed there. same problem as in Lebananon in the 80s, which Reagan himself acknowledged as the source of the bombing of our troops -- he packed them up and got the hell out of Dodge immediately.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)


    Actually, I did read it and agreed with you. Everything I wrote above was in sarcastic smart-ass mode, supporting your position. If you did not realize that, then my irony was wooden. Sorry.

    The second comment was in reaction to Urban Planning Lord.

  • (Show?)

    on another day, Tom, i'd probably have caught the sarc. way too little sleep last night, sick for a week with a wierd throat thing ... bleah. i guess be both clonked there.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    I hope you're feeling better soon, T.A.

  • Danny Haszard (unverified)

    Jehovah's Witnesses don't vote and they can be the worst of the bunch.The sleazy watchtower $ociety only cares about it's image,devotion of it's followers,and plundering the time money and assets of followers.

    Just like a cult in every way.....

    More have died from their Watchtower spiritual and medical quackery than Jim Jones and David Koresh cults combined! Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs:

    A) They are at your door to recruit you for enslavement to their watchtower corporation,they will say that "we are just here to share a message from the Bible" this is deception right off.

    B) Their 'message' is a false Gospel that Jesus had his second coming in 1914.The problem with this is it's not just a cute fairy tale,Jesus warned of the false prophets who would claim "..look he is here in the wilderness,or see here he is at the temple..."

    C) Their anti-blood transfusion ban has killed hundreds if not thousands

    D) once they recruit you they will "love bomb" you in cult fashion to also recruit your family & friends or cut them off. There are many more dangers,Jehovah's Witnesses got a bad rap for good and valid reasons.

    99% of the world has rejected the teachings of the Watchtower Jehovah’s Witnesses, the darker truth is they are a destructive and oppressive organization. Mind control is a terrible thing. -- Danny Haszard Jehovah's Witness X 33 years

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