On Friday March a14th as part of the growing national trend towards religious intolerance, CNN’s prime time pinup Anderson Cooper joined the throng of Pharisees scouring the Democrats over the weekend by staging his own version of the fabled Inquisitional accounting of the number of angels on the head of a pin, when he scored an up close and personal, as in “in-your-face” interview with Barack Obama and did his best to crucify him.
Cooper chose to disregard America’s purported belief in the freedom of religion to instead contribute to the wave of mock outrage at Obama for political opinions espoused his minister, Chicago’s famous/infamous Jeremiah Wright. Instead of upholding his role as a champion of America’s cherish free speech and freedom to embrace a variety of spiritual expression, Cooper portrayed himself as the rightfully indignant arbiter of basic American public decency, complete with savage scowl and knit eyebrows. The tact he took was to lay out a very narrow, and ultimately erroneous, parameter for which political and religious beliefs are supposed to be considered acceptable in the American mainstream.
Following the tense terse interview wherein Obama quite rightly lamented being ambushed, Anderson continued to call for the excommunication of Obama and was joined by, among others, guest Torquemada Tony Perkins who disdainfully quipped he’d allow that “Wright had the right to be wrong,” as Anderson nodded in approval. Meanwhile, ever the candidate, Obama dutifully and desperately denied the essence of every clip from Wright’s sermons. To his credit Obama never joined in the effort to discredit Wright, the man, though he scrambled as fast as he could to distance himself from the Wright message.
And what outrageous heresies was Wright fomenting? Judging from the frequency with which CNN played it, the most outrageous clip, Wright’s worst wrong, was to assert that America is run by rich white men. Unless Anderson himself was personally offended because he himself is a rich white man, who due to his role in the media does in deed take part in running the country, it is hard to understand Anderson’s offense, since it is difficult to suggest that on the face of it, there is anything inaccurate in this Wright observation.
Statistics have perpetually shown that a distinctly small minority of Americans have always had the majority of personal wealth in the country and have used that position of privilege for economic and political power to direct the engine of the nation to their personal advantage. It is in fact a longer held tradition than baseball, hot dogs and even apple pie. Currently we are either enjoying, or suffering through, a period of some of the most extreme concentrations of wealth in our history with less than 5% of the population having accumulated more than 90% of the personal wealth. And, coincidentally, the clear preponderance of those in that precious richest 5% are in deed white males. Men like Bush, Cheney, Sumner Redstone, Rupert Murdoch, and Anderson Cooper himself.
A second Wright observation that frosted Cooper’s mug was that the US is a leading exporter of terrorism around the world. Again, this is an irrefutably Wright assertion and one Cooper would have to be cuckoo to contend. Consistently number one in global military spending we have so many military bases around the world that even the DOD can’t keep an accurate count (somewhere between 700 and 1000 as of Nov. of 2007). These bases bring weapons and the threat of violence to more than 130 countries around the world.
With more than a million Iraqi scalps under our belt since Bush Sr. first invaded the country in 1991 and another four million homeless in that country, plus the dead and devastated in Afghanistan, and the oppressions and threat we subsidize by providing economic and military aid to repressive regimes around the world it would be hard to not acknowledge that, no matter how we the people wish to view ourselves, we as a government have been one of the world’s leading creators of fear and unrest. Just because these shameful truths are unpleasant, that doesn’t make them less true.
Throw in the way that our quest for oil has both fueled terrorist supporting governments like Saudi Arabia and destabilized our own economy, or the way our quest for cheap products and produce have enmeshed so many of our “favored” trading partners into wage slave economies and the terror that creates; not to mention the environmental destruction both at home and abroad, and the terror that creates, and it is hard to gauge which is more laughable, the way Obama cravenly tried to crawl around the issues to avoid challenging even the most easily discredited untruth in case he should offend somebody, or Anderson’s obvious ignorance of the realities of this nation whom he purports to inform. Amazing Anderson, amazing. If only you could arrange to watch some news.