Wash. Times reprinted portions of Investor's Business Daily attack on Obama's faith

››› ››› BRIAN FREDERICK

The Washington Times reprinted portions of an Investor's Business Daily editorial smearing Sen. Barack Obama's faith, including the editorial's charge that "[a]t the core of the Democratic front-runner's faith ... is African nativism," and the false assertion that the "Black Value System" espoused by Obama's church "encourages blacks to group together and separate from the larger American society by pooling their money, patronizing black-only businesses and backing black leaders." In fact, according to a document on the church's website, the Black Value System urges members to "Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions."

In its January 17 edition, The Washington Times reprinted portions of a January 16 Investor's Business Daily editorial smearing Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's [IL] faith, including the editorial's charge that "[a]t the core of the Democratic front-runner's faith ... is African nativism." The Washington Times also reprinted the editorial's false assertion that the "Black Value System" espoused by Obama's church in Chicago, Trinity United Church of Christ, "encourages blacks to group together and separate from the larger American society by pooling their money, patronizing black-only businesses and backing black leaders." In fact, as Media Matters for America documented, according to a document posted on Trinity's website, the Black Value System urges members to "Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions," but does not, as the Investor's Business Daily editorial claimed, "encourage[] blacks to group together and separate from the larger American society" in doing so.

As Media Matters noted, other portions of the Investor's Business Daily editorial not reprinted by The Washington Times questioned whether Obama would "put African tribal or family interests ahead of U.S. interests" and echoed widely debunked allegations that Obama is, or ever has been, a Muslim.

While discussing the editorial on the January 16 edition of MSNBC's Countdown, host Keith Olbermann criticized "the editorial writers at Investor's Business Daily" for "publishing a blatantly untrue, wildly racist editorial today about Barack Obama."

This is not the first time The Washington Times has reprinted false information about Obama. In a January 17, 2007, column for The Hill headlined "Obama's First Blunder," syndicated columnist Dick Morris falsely attacked Obama for voting against "a Senate reform banning the increasingly widespread practice of legislators hiring their family members on their campaign or PAC [political action committee] payrolls." As Media Matters noted, Obama actually voted against a motion to table, or kill, the amendment. In a January 17 entry on The Hill's Pundits Blog, Morris acknowledged that he had been wrong, retracted his allegations against Obama, and apologized to the senator for his "mistaken reading of the record." Nevertheless, The Washington Times reprinted Morris' assertion the day after Morris retracted the claim, as Media Matters documented at the time.

From the January 17 "Inside Politics" feature of The Washington Times:

Obama's faith

"Since we first drew attention to Barack Obama's Afrocentric church a full 12 months ago, other media have weighed in. And additional disturbing information has come to light," Investor's Business Daily said Tuesday in an editorial.

"At the core of the Democratic front-runner's faith ... is African nativism, which raises political issues of its own," the newspaper said.

"In 1991, when Obama joined the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, he pledged allegiance to something called the Black Value System, which is a code of non-Biblical ethics written by blacks, for blacks.

"It encourages blacks to group together and separate from the larger American society by pooling their money, patronizing black-only businesses and backing black leaders. Such racial separatism is strangely at odds with the media's portrayal of Obama as a uniter who reaches across races.

"The code also warns blacks to avoid the white 'entrapment of black middle-classness,' suggesting that settling for that kind of 'competitive' success will rob blacks of their African identity and keep them 'captive' to white culture.

"In short, Obama's 'unashamedly black' church preaches the politics of black nationalism. And its dashiki-wearing preacher -- who married Obama and his wife and now acts as his personal spiritual adviser -- is militantly Afrocentric."

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity, Religion
Network/Outlet
The Washington Times
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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