Controversial New Video of Obama's Pastor

November 9, 2009

Editor's Note:  Click on this link to see how it appears on the AIM website.

A new video of Jeremiah Wright has surfaced, showing Barack Obama's pastor for 20 years praising Marxism and discussing his ties to communists in El Salvador and Nicaragua and the Libyan government. Equally important, Wright is being introduced in the video by Robert W. McChesney, co-founder of Free Press, an organization which has come under scrutiny for its links to the Obama Administration and dedication to the transformation and control of the private media in the U.S.

In an article in the socialist Monthly Review, "Journalism, Democracy, and Class Struggle," McChesney declared, "Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism."

In the video, which captures Wright's appearance at a September 17, 2009, anniversary celebration of Monthly Review, Wright said that while the "corporate media" provide a "binary lens" of the world, in such terms as "communist versus Christian," Monthly Review offers what it calls "no-nonsense Marxism."

He added: "You dispel all the negative images we have been programmed to conjure up with just the mention of that word socialism or Marxism."

He called America "land of the greed and home of the slave."

During the 2008 presidential campaign, as Obama was trying to distance himself from figures such as Wright and Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, Wright gave a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and repeated a discredited Soviet propaganda claim that the U.S. Government had manufactured the AIDS virus to kill black people.

The McChesney introduction of Wright provides more insight into the political network, based largely in Chicago, that launched Obama's political career and still influences him.

A professor at the University of Illinois, where Bill Ayers is also employed, McChesney was an editor of Monthly Review but now serves as a contributor to the publication and a director of the Monthly Review Foundation.

Fox News' Glenn Beck, who has focused critical public attention on McChesney's influence in the "media reform" movement and on the Obama Administration, has noted that McChesney co-authored another piece for Monthly Review, "A New New Deal Under Obama?," in which he said, "In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles."

Ironically, McChesney's Free Press organization has received at least $1 million from the Open Society Institute of billionaire George Soros, a mega-capitalist who seems to have dedicated his life to overturning the system that made him wealthy.

Accuracy in Media's coverage of various Free Press conferences led us to publish the book The Death of Talk Radio?, recognizing the dangers to a truly free press that were being assembled by forces on the political left. But rather than pursue the destruction of conservative media through such measures as the Fairness Doctrine, it appears that "diversity" in media, "localism," and "Internet neutrality" are becoming the main methods for media manipulation and control.

Dropping any pretense of objectivity and non-partisanship, the 2008 "National Conference for Media Reform" turned into a Barack Obama-for-President rally, as left-wing media figure Arianna Huffington denounced John McCain as a "Trojan horse for the right" who had "sold his soul" to become president. Several speakers, including Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps, used the Obama campaign slogan, "Yes, we can," as they urged the thousands of "progressives" in the audience to bring "change" to Washington, D.C.

The change can now be seen in the main agency, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), with jurisdiction over the media as well as the Internet. A major figure in Free Press conferences, Mark Lloyd, is now the Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer at the FCC. But he has gotten critical attention from Glenn Beck and others for praising the Marxist revolution in Venezuela, where the regime has attempted to control or even eliminate private media sources. Lloyd also has defended Paul Robeson, the famous singer and actor who tried to conceal his involvement in Communist Party activities from congressional investigators.

A former Free Press official, Jen Howard, is now the press secretary for the Federal Communications Commission.

As for Wright, he received some unwanted attention for saying earlier this year that he blamed "them Jews" for keeping him away from President Obama.

At the Monthly Review celebration, however, he went into more detail about his own personal and political philosophy. He said that "My work with liberation theology, with Latin American theologians, with the Black Theology Project and with the Cuban Council of Churches taught me 30 years ago the importance of Marx and the Marxist analysis of the social realities of the vulnerable and the oppressed who were trying desperately to break free of the political economics undergirded by this country that were choking them and cutting off any hope of a possible future where all of the people would benefit."

He said that his "exposure to the FMLN in El Salvador, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and my presence at the 15th Jamahiriya in Libya taught me what I have read in the pages of the Monthly Review which is, as Joshua Stanton says, though we need not always agree with one another we must do the work necessary to at least understand one another."

The FMLN was the armed wing of the communist movement in El Salvador, while the Sandinistas are the communist movement in Nicaragua. The Cuban Council of Churches is controlled by the Castro regime.   

Interestingly, Wright used his appearance at the Monthly Review event to quote Frantz Fanon, the revolutionary also cited in Obama's book, Dreams from My Father.

However, his only reference to Obama in the speech came when he complained about Obama going to "beg the big fat cats" on Wall Street to stop irresponsible financial practices.

In a recap of the celebration, the Monthly Review editors declared, "We would like to thank all those who participated in this extraordinary event. Dr. Wright captured the tone of the evening, declaring that: 'Militarism, capitalism and racism, domestic oppression, foreign military aggression, victims of neo-colonialism, victims of community and national racism, and the Cold War days in its infancy to the needless war in Vietnam in its [MR's] second decade, through wars of greed in Afghanistan and Iraq in [its] sixth decade' were all incisively covered by the magazine. He spoke of Monthly Review's indefatigable insistence on the need to put 'people before profits,' and its unflinching criticisms of inequality, injustice, and the realities of capitalism."

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