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Towleroad Guide to the Tube #259

JEREMIAH WRIGHT: Barack Obama's latest divisive pastor.

SHOW OFF: A woman with 21 different accents.

HARLAND WILLIAMS: Tells anti-gay joke on last night's Conan. Comes sandwiched within the Ellen clip.

WHAT WE WANT: Eliot Spitzer's prostitute is also a wannabe pop star.

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  1. Darn you, Andy!! You've foiled the smugness from my earlier post! Ugh, the shame! lol

    Thanks Andy

    Posted by: silverskreen | Mar 14, 2008 4:16:39 PM

  2. Now THAT is one racist son of a bitch! My daddy would have called him a 'shit stirrer." I do believe daddy would be right.

    Posted by: Mark | Mar 14, 2008 4:18:26 PM

  3. Well if that's his spiritual mentor, count me out.

    In case he wasn't aware, Hillary is not a rich white MAN. And while Barack was raised in a single parent home, his single parent was...wait for it...WHITE.

    Posted by: BANNE | Mar 14, 2008 4:25:47 PM

  4. Wow. I am speechless. This Rev Wright is going to be a huge problem for Obama. He might be toast over this. You have to wonder about a man's judgment when he turns to someone like Rev Wright to be his "spiritual mentor" for 20 years.

    Posted by: Rick Roberts | Mar 14, 2008 4:26:34 PM

  5. I agree with Rick and you know very well that he probably gives similar sermons every single week in that church. I doubt this is a "one off." And what I find so fascinating is that Barack Obama's life certainly does not seem to fit the mold of the black men of which this reverend is speaking. His childhood and life doesn't really fit the mold of anyone because it is so unique. So while I am sure he may have faced adversity being raised in a biracial/multi-religious household, I doubt his experience shares much with most traditional African Americans in the United States.

    Posted by: Banne | Mar 14, 2008 4:31:08 PM

  6. Here's the ABC report:

    Posted by: Rick Roberts | Mar 14, 2008 4:35:05 PM

  7. How does Harland Williams think that telling a joke about killing gays and lesbians is funny? I understand he's playing off the British slang for cigarettes, but it comes off as totally insulting. Ellen Degeneres is so right when she says we need to pay attention to these "jokes" and see them for what they really are.

    Posted by: Chris | Mar 14, 2008 4:51:33 PM

  8. Obama's response:

    The pastor of my church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who recently preached his last sermon and is in the process of retiring, has touched off a firestorm over the last few days. He's drawn attention as the result of some inflammatory and appalling remarks he made about our country, our politics, and my political opponents.

    Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.

    Because these particular statements by Rev. Wright are so contrary to my own life and beliefs, a number of people have legitimately raised questions about the nature of my relationship with Rev. Wright and my membership in the church. Let me therefore provide some context.

    As I have written about in my books, I first joined Trinity United Church of Christ nearly twenty years ago. I knew Rev. Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago. He also led a diverse congregation that was and still is a pillar of the South Side and the entire city of Chicago. It's a congregation that does not merely preach social justice but acts it out each day, through ministries ranging from housing the homeless to reaching out to those with HIV/AIDS.

    Most importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he's been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.

    The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church.

    Let me repeat what I've said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.

    With Rev. Wright's retirement and the ascension of my new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, III, Michelle and I look forward to continuing a relationship with a church that has done so much good. And while Rev. Wright's statements have pained and angered me, I believe that Americans will judge me not on the basis of what someone else said, but on the basis of who I am and what I believe in; on my values, judgment and experience to be President of the United States.

    Posted by: Nevin | Mar 14, 2008 5:09:55 PM

  9. McCain on Hannity last night, in regards to Jeremiah Wright:

    HANNITY: Sen. Clinton claims that Barack Obama has not had the scrutiny that other candidates have had in this campaign.

    There is a big emerging controversy about his pastor of 20 years, a man who went on a trip with Louis Farrakhan to Tripoli, a guy that has — his church has given a lifetime achievement award to Louis Farrakhan. We now have some of his sermons. He used "g-d America," "the U.S. of KKK of A." "The chickens have come home to roost," he said the Sunday after the attack on this country on 9/11.

    He has called him — Barack has said of his pastor, his trusted adviser, he's proud of his pastor. He married him and his wife. He's baptized his kids.

    Does that sound like a problem for you?

    MCCAIN: I think that when people support you, it doesn't mean that you support everything they say. Obviously, those words and those statements are statements that none of us would associate ourselves with, and I don't believe that Sen. Obama would support any of those, as well.

    HANNITY: He's been — but he's been going to the church for 20 years. His pastor — the church gave a lifetime achievement award to one of the biggest racists and anti-Semites in the country, Louis Farrakhan. Would you go to a church that — where your pastor supported Louis Farrakhan?

    MCCAIN: Obviously, that would not be my choice. But I do know Sen. Obama. He does not share those views.

    And we get sometimes — I don't — a lot of those statements I've just heard for the first time that you mentioned. But I know that, for example, I've had endorsements of some people that I didn't share their views...

    HANNITY: Pastor Hagee recently, yes.

    MCCAIN: ... but they endorsed mine. And so I think we've got to be very careful about that part.

    Posted by: Nevin | Mar 14, 2008 5:16:23 PM

  10. Rev. Wright's sermon was certainly inflammatory, and uncomfortable to hear and even though I may disagree with how he said it I can't say that I disagree with what he said.

    People who have experienced hate, discrimination and oppression often speak with anger and indignation about their experience, especially when they perceive that the hate, discrimination and oppression, though more subtle, continues to afflict them and people like them.

    I'm certainly not ready to agree with all of the sermons by Rev. Wright and I don't endorse his methods but nor am I willing to allow priviledged white people to misinterpret his words and play victim.

    Perhaps my Mississippi heritage, and the things I saw and heard growing up, help me to understand the anger, frustration and indignation that this man feels and expresses.

    And let's be frank, there is a lot of racism here. Where is this media indignation or attention when it comes to McCain EMBRACING the rabid racist and homophobe Ron Parsley? Where was the MSM outrage over Hagee's homophobic positions? The ONLY reason that the MSM covered Hagee at all was because he offended Catholics and got the raging nutcase Bill Donahue's panties in a twist.

    I have no doubt that Obama's controversial pastor will hurt him politically. That's fair game. What isn't fair is to take the pastor out of context or to act as if Obama shares all of the views of his pastor.

    Posted by: Zeke | Mar 14, 2008 5:19:57 PM

  11. That's so funny. McCain is given an opportunity to slip a shiv into Obama's back and he responds with "I do know Senator Obama. He does not share those views."

    Wasn't it just last week that Clinton was asked about the Obama Muslim smear and she responded that he wasn't a Muslim "as far as [she] know[s]"?

    Typical. Of both of them.

    Posted by: 24play | Mar 14, 2008 5:24:40 PM

  12. Thank you, Nevin. Let's mark this as the point on this thread where rationality will end and the Obama haters will commence with repetitive diatribes, finger-pointing, accusations of hypocrisy and pseudo-sainthood, and comparisons to Ferraro in an attempt to "nyah-nyah" everyone into submission. In 5, 4, 3, 2,...

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Mar 14, 2008 5:32:26 PM

  13. Obama is such a liar. It is obvious from that ABC News report, Wright has made these comments many, many times, most likely while Obama was in attendance.

    Rev. Wright also said of Obama that he was a black boy raised by a poor single mother. He actually had a stepfather and his WHITE mother was NOT poor. And when not with his mother, he was raised by his WHITE grandparents who were also affluent.

    Posted by: Stenar | Mar 14, 2008 5:34:13 PM

  14. Right on time.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Mar 14, 2008 5:38:50 PM

  15. let me start:

    to ZEKE and SOULBROTHA, nyah, nyah, nyah!

    now we know what we are dealing with.

    Posted by: nic | Mar 14, 2008 5:39:09 PM

  16. You see, the Brits call cigarettes fags, get it? And Americans call queers fags, too, get it? So, when a Brit asks for a cig, it's like he's asking for a queer! Har de har har. My side's splitting, stop, don't make me laugh any more with that totally original fag/cig bit. That's so fresh, I've never heard anything like it before. I believe Harland's the first to discover it. No wait, some 12 year old thought it up in 19fucking72, looser.

    Posted by: sam | Mar 14, 2008 5:40:26 PM

  17. Who the hell is Harland Williams?

    Posted by: peterparker | Mar 14, 2008 5:56:29 PM

  18. can we speak truth to nonsense? yes we can! si se puede! ha.

    Posted by: nic | Mar 14, 2008 6:01:58 PM

  19. But Dear Zeke you were “willing to allow privileged white [and black] people to misinterpret [Ferraro’s] words and [the latter group to] play victim.” Why is this different?

    Where was the “vehemently” when Obama said he disagreed with Donnie McClurkin’s verbal gay bashing such as saying that gays “are trying to kill our children.” Obama never called that “appalling” and I’m certain that those from HRC on the conference call with him at the time made him aware of that statement and others.

    Neither did he ever “strongly condemn” nor “vehemently condemn” McClurkin's words as he just did Rev. Wright’s words nor even agree to express simple disagreement with McClurkin during the concert itself. Where was his “pain and anger” over Donnie McClurkin’s demonization of you and me and those we love and share an identity with? How many children have you killed lately?

    It’s very well and good that he expressed [a day AFTER Sen. Clinton] his sadness over the murder of Lawrence King but when given the opportunity to denounce and distance himself from one of the actual architects of such murderous hatred, to “witness,” as we used to say in the Holy Roller church in which I was reared, for love and righteousness he remained silent, and the show that Obama paid for went on, and 3000 black voters left that concert believing that McClurkin’s bigotry had Barack’s blessing!

    Karma may have become a bitch too late in this election, too many months after Obama disinvited Pastor Wright from his huge candidacy announcement rally for fear that the minister’s views like this would hurt his campaign; too many months after he refused to disinvite McClurkin for parallel, even worse views about gays, but let it bleed, let it bleed....

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Mar 14, 2008 6:06:32 PM

  20. 'I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit.'
    Let's just say them when no one who will call us on them is around.

    ZEKE & SOULBROTHA I usually find your stance, whether I agree or not, well thought out and respectful. I just beg to differ on this one.

    Except your last part ZEKE, this will very much hurt him politically. It was all people were talking about at work today, many saying it is a turning point that started with the SNL skit, the press needing a story will eat him alive over this.

    I was looking forward to voting for him until the SC mess, then I said he's still better than McShame. Now if he gets the nomination I will once again have to hold my nose to vote for another phony politician. So much for change and hope.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Mar 14, 2008 6:11:36 PM

  21. I really wanted to vote for Obama.. I was really hoping that he was different.. I cannot in good conscience vote for him now. I cannot stand hate speech whether it is against blacks, whites, Indians, gay, straight or whatever. If that reverend was white he would be censored and declared a racist. The reverend and his church endorses Farrakhan. I am of the old adage,birds of a feather flock together. This reverend has just cost Obama the election. It looks like McCain will easily win now..I am moving to Australia...

    Posted by: Steve | Mar 14, 2008 6:41:09 PM

  22. Well, except for calling Hillary a "white man" I don't disagree with his statements on Hillary. White folks in the US do have it better in the country. No real revelation there.

    Posted by: Lito S, | Mar 14, 2008 6:42:48 PM

  23. "But Dear Zeke you were “willing to allow privileged white [and black] people to misinterpret [Ferraro’s] words and [the latter group to] play victim.” Why is this different"

    You say her words were misinterpreted. That's your opinion, and it's not like you aren't biased as they come. Anything Obama does you immediately criticize, and anything Hillary does is simply dismissed as no big deal.

    Posted by: hal | Mar 14, 2008 7:37:46 PM

  24. Sorry you see it that way, Hal. Sen. Clinton is faaarrrr from perfect. If someone mentioned something that I thought was wrong, I'd criticize her, too, though most of the time one has to try to shoot down the bullshit built around trying to hang her now for mistakes she or, worse, her husband, made up to 15 years ago, or, newer nonsense. Have you seen the psychotic Obamoonie NY Times Op Ed equating her "3 AM" ad to "Birth of a Nation"? Or conversely shooting down totally delusional claims about Obama, e.g., "he told people at Ebeneezer Baptist Church to fight for gay rights." Uh, no.

    How's this: if nothing changes within two weeks to make it objectively seem like Sen. Clinton can't catch up with 'em numerically I'd support her dropping out. And I have CONSISTENTLY said people should vote for him if he gets the nomination.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Mar 14, 2008 7:57:10 PM

  25. Well this should put to rest the Muslim smears.

    Posted by: Chester | Mar 14, 2008 8:11:37 PM

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