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Obama Decries Farrakhan Statements

By Shailagh Murray
Sen. Barack Obama's campaign moved quickly today to quell another race-related flap, this one involving Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan.

Columnist Richard Cohen stirred the pot this morning in an op-ed column in The Washington Post, writing:

Barack Obama is a member of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama's spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright's daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said "truly epitomized greatness." That man is Louis Farrakhan.
Cohen chronicled Farrakhan's long record of inflammatory statements, from denigrating the Holocaust, to accusing Jewish people of victimizing African Americans. He did stipulate, "It's important to state right off that nothing in Obama's record suggests he harbors anti-Semitic views or agrees with Wright when it comes to Farrakhan." But, he suggested, "Farrakhan, in a strictly political sense, may be a tough issue for him."

The column spread like wildfire around the blogosphere -- especially on the right -- and, this afternoon, the Obama campaign responded with an unequivocal statement on it from the candidate himself.

"I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan," Obama said in the statement. "I assume that Trumpet Magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree."

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 15, 2008; 6:28 PM ET
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Minister Farrakhan is a good man with good intentions. The media takes his words out of context. He says what the majority of Blacks "FEEL". He keep us level headed and focus on self inprovment which is the basis for community development. Check his good works. Race is an issues with some whites because they still remember how they treated Black Peolple for over 400 years. Reminds me of a conversation between God and Abraham, describing our souljourn as being in a strange land among strange poeple for 400 years. Time is up it is time for payment for 400 years of free labor! Pay Me MY Money!

Posted by: Tiger | April 22, 2008 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Richard 'Cohen' in the 'Washington Post' - credibility=0.

Try again and at least change your name to disguise your obvious bias. Sheesh...

Posted by: lordwalsingham | March 4, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I Love Farrakhan. For $3.95 on the website, you can watch and hear his speech from Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 in which he praises Obama as "the herald of The Messiah". Whites, Asians, Latinos and various other people are present. The Hon. Min Louis Farrakhan is not a race hater. Jesus says harsh things in the Bible in John 8:44 about Jews. We must see, based on historical facts, if he or The Nation of Islam ever hurt 1 Jew or white person. The more you talk about Jesus, Obama or Farrakhan, the more fame and power you give them. Keep talking (smile).

Posted by: tyronex1 | February 29, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse






Posted by: Multiple1 | February 29, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I have nothing against Obama. If ever he's going to be the democratic candidate, I'll vote for him, but I don't think he's going to win as a president because he got bigger baggage than Hillary. Hillary's life is not perfect,it's an open book to all of us. We don't know much of Obama. They put him on a high pedestal; his ties with this group of people is to me a big bombshell. How can he change color in split seconds. This man will denounce anything and everything just to be elected. And that's not the end of it. Fellow democrats, wake up. We need to get the Office. We need to get somebody who got no ties with these groups. How can he unite us. He's denouncing them right now because he was caught. If he needs a spiritual adviser who is he going to call and who are the people he's going to be with. Imagine seeing Farrakhan and his spiritual adviser in the White House. I'm sorry I can not take that...

Posted by: jyoti1 | February 27, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Of course Barak Obama must be asked whether or not he accepts Farrakhan's endorsement. Farrakhan is a self-perceived powerful man in the Black community. I would not expect a white candidate to be asked whether or not he agrees with David Duke (KKK member) or Trent Lott (who made a stupid comment about the 1960s segregationist policies of Strom Thurmmond). None of these men carry the influence of the slick leader of the Nation of Islam-Louis Farrakhan. Unfortunately, the press will go to Farrakhan when he speaks about Jews, whites or most political issues involving Blacks. I want to know that Barak Obama strongly eschews the antisemitic comments and rhetoric of Minister Farrakhan and that he rejects his endorsement outright. Obama did just that last night at the debate but he did falter when asked to reject the Minister's support. Louis Farrakhan is a dangerous individual to both Black and white communities. Any amount of research performed on the Nation of Islam's track record will unearth a trail of vile and unfounded antisemitism. Thank you Barak Obama for taking a stand, though pressured by Hillary Clinton. If your readership is interested, I posted a blog last night on Obama's mysterious stance on Israel:

Posted by: lslapides | February 27, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Some rambling thoughts from a person living in Canada, where single payer medicine is a monumental failure, no better than for profit systems like yours (combinations of the two works in many countries in Europe- France etc-) so your candidates are all obfuscating the truth about publicly funded health care.C'mon up to any emergency room in Toronto and see ( Rural Canada has virtually no doctors living there anymore - so there are no crowded emergency rooms)
The criticism's of Obama are based on liberal standards that would require repudiation of any political candidate who belonged to a segregated golf club. Belonging to a church and having acquaintanceships that may be unsavory are not equivalent. Besides, how can liberals have faith in any judgements they make. First, the Clintons were heroes and now they're bums. The right had them pegged all along, while the left villified us for hating the Clinton's.Bush turned out to be a cropper as well. The politics of personal attack were a Democratic innovation, when they attacked Regan as "dumb". What you reap, you sow.
What have 40 years of servility to the Dems done for black people? Why do the supporters of Democrats oppose educational vouchers,( we white folk know better and besides we don't want to upset the teacher unions, who are huge donors to the Dems) when this is something that many black people want. How can Obama talk about repudiating or restricting free trade? He is pandering to voters. It was the erection of trade barriers that led to the Depression of the 1930's? Why do you think the French elected Sarkozy this year? They understood that the kind of policies espoused by Hilary Clinton and Barrak Obama were destroying the French economy. Bush's policies are also bankrupt. Corporations generally have no loyalty to the countries that they operate in. Consider the role that unions played in rendering the US uncompetitive. When Wal-Mart first got started, no one stayed loyal to the mom and pops that them served for many years. Everyone wanted to save a buck. In the 70's people bought cheap japanese cars, not caring about US jobs. US car companies didn't care. They just wanted to produce crap ( read Halberstam's The Reckoning). As Pogo said " We have met the enemy and it is us".
In reality, no one actually cares about the people. Each candidate represents their personal interest group. Bipartisanim is fantasy. How can you compromise on matters of principal? You cannot build a just society on the basis of materialistic values because the debate degenerates into who gets what? Socialism and Communism are also into materialism. You cannot build a society solely on rights without a balance of responsibility. It doesn't matter who you elect,because at best there is no common enterprise called America.As Tolstoy said" Democracy means changing your prison guards every four years ( It doesn't have to be that way). Nader understands that there is no difference in your political parties ( He's also an idologue. All ideology is doomed to fail, because each problem may require a different solution) It's only about reshuffeling the deck, leaving the same battle to be played out next time. Instead of ad hominem attacks on Richard Cohen, who has written vile columns on Israel rendering laughable anyone who accuses him of being an agent of the Zionist movement. One needs to ascertain whether it is seemly for a person seeking to heal the nation to continue to be a dues paying member of a racist like Farrakhan. No one forgives former KKK members and those that praise them. ( Remember Trent Lott? Man, did he get nailed for his association with a decrepit, old segregationist) As many Jews support Obama as do not. You think this is a conspiracy as well?

Posted by: chaimklein | February 26, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Shame on you, Mr. Hussein Obama

There are many questions that are beginning to surface about Mr. Obama. He can simply not be trusted with the affairs of our country. His wife's remarks were enough to send a clear message that she has never been proud of America ... Not even the heroic sacrifice of those on 9/11.


Posted by: nnia | February 25, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but to hear this after all Obama has done to unite this country, Farrakhan would even bother to come out and say anything at all like Nader coming out and running for office now you both need to stay out of it have a cup of tea and a smile, read the paper. but please don't say anything else. People need hope not a joke

Posted by: burke2145 | February 25, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Why should Obama have to repudiate and distance himself from Minister Farrakhan? I think that it is hypocritical for anyone to ask a blackman to repudiate and distance himself from another blackman who has done him or any other people no wrong. Also, Minister Farrakhan hasn't nor has he instructed any of his followers to harm anyone. Yet, Caucasians can sit down with other caucasians who may have been their open enemy. Reagan wasn't asked to repudiate Gorbachev although the Soviet Union had some of the worst human rights abuses in history, the same with China, East Germany, etc, etc. It seems that whenever the United States is dealing with Muslims or any dark people that they may not agree with, or they deem as un-acceptable,they set pre-conditions for sitting down with them as though the US is an Angel! This is hypocritical behaviour to say the least.

Posted by: ernestb | February 25, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

article is news. obama would not be where he is today without belonging to a christian church. check out trinity church and ask why this church. what religion was he first 26yrs before joining them. many like myself wonder what percentage of obamas beliefs is muslim and what percentage trinity church. he isnt very open. his hasnt embraced any other church. so why the fit every time any news comes out about his only two affiliations. his followers try to erase these facts from their minds. but its out there. its who obama is. reconcile that if you can.

Posted by: judyferretti | February 25, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I hope that in his next column, Mr Cohen will ask to Rudy Giuliani to denounce the late pope PIE IX and the Catholic Church who is reminded in history books as the pope who was complicitly silent when 6 millions Jews were butchered during World War II by Hitler.

Any tip off that the Allies knew of the Holocaust would compromise sources, lengthening and possibly losing the war. That's why the Allies didn't act on intelligence and why they didn't liberate the camps first - because they weren't supposed to know about them.

Doing so would let the Nazis know that we had broken their code and C3i.

What's worse: Liberating the camps and losing the war, or winning the war and letting more die in the camps?

Posted by: ben44la | February 22, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

This is for "Herr" Strummer. There is not one shred of evidence, ANYWHERE, that your Jesus Christ ever existed. The so-called crucifixion took place almost 80 years before any writings about this so-called individual occurred. Also, the crucifixion,if it happened, was done according to Roman Law, not Jewish Law. The Jews never crucified and, in any case, would not have put a revolutionary to death. Have you, perhaps, been reading old copies of "Father" Coughlin's Christian Mobilizer?

Posted by: ming1 | February 15, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

We realy should watch out for Obama. His Step Father raised him to be a muslim, and was registerd in schools as one. I would not be suprised if he had those point of views.

Posted by: steve.benger | February 14, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

No question Obama should have found another church. If I were a member of a church where the pastor thought David Duke "truly epitomized greatness," I would quit that church, not just said oh I disagree with that remark, and keep lending my name to the church and looking for support from it. This is common-sense, folks. Just think about it. It's not even a close call or debatable. Terrible, terrible decision by Obama.

Posted by: dmike | February 10, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

It is true.... we are truly judged by with whom we associate. Why would you associate with an anti-semite. I would certainly not affiliate myself with a church that has such feelings about Jews.It is just as bad to tolerate it.Remerber all of the Germans in Nazi Gemany that didn't lift a finger!!!!!!!!!!
Also does anyone know that Obama's former employer Rezsko is in prison and he might be linked to that , also?

Posted by: ceikenberry | February 3, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Now that I think of it....Cohen is absolutley onto something.

Yesterday in the supermarket I met a man who's son is a friend of a downtown florist who has a neighbor in Michigan...well this man has a neice who's married to a man in New York, well that man's son-in-law married a gal down in Tuskeegee who joined a church and he recalls they had a member there on leave from the military that met I guy working on that same ship as he in 1975 who claims to know this very magazine editor
and had a friend who died last year unfortunately but told his third ex-wife who can support Cohen's assertion!!!!!!!

It's all true...Great Reporting!!!! Keep up the great work Cohen.

Posted by: tlhnetconsult | January 27, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

We are judged by the company we keep. Unfortunately, Obama's 'religious adviser' is a blatant anti-semite who makes no apologizies for his views. Obama has not rejected his religious adviser who teached hate and anti-semitism, only the fact that Louis Farrakhan has been deemed a great man by his religous adviser. This is no different than someone who belongs to a "white only" country club, which would be totally unaceptable for a President. Why is this any different?

Posted by: sshlossman | January 22, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Obama's OWN WORDS from his autobiographical book "Dreams of My
Father" are really quite alarming. He is apparently deeply conflicted about race issues and this is the last person we need to lead our country.

Barack Obama: "That hate hadn't gone away," he wrote, blaming "white people -- some cruel, some ignorant, sometimes a single face, sometimes just a faceless
image of a system claiming power over our lives."

Obama vowed to "never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own" and said "certain whites could be excluded from the general category of
our distrust."

And comments he made regarding his college days make him out to be very calculating:
"To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The
Marxist professors and structural feminists."

In addition, I am also very concerned that Obama belongs to a Black-Only, race-dividing church, Trinity United Church of Christ, where whites, Mexicans, Asians, etc. are not welcome.

We need someone who doesn't see color between the races, but instead focuses on individual civil liberties.

Posted by: blakmira1 | January 18, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

It seems as though Obama's supporters want it both's ok to bash Hillary but we can't point out facts of Obama's campaign and people who have close ties to him.
Obama will get ground up in the Republican machine in the general election if he is the candidate. All these things that his supporters are willing to overlook are being filed away in the Republican swiftboat file. He won't know what hit him.
There seems to be a visceral hatred against Hillary and it seems to be because she is a woman. You can't forgive her for staying with Bill, but would villify her for leaving him. You are willing to swallow what the Republicans tried to smear her with regarding Whitewater, people who committed suicide when Bill was President, even because she had a successful career and has been fighting for women's and children's right for 35 years.
Obama can use Ronald Reagan as an example for change, and you say nothing. John Kerry can endorse Obama, and leave his former running mate in the dust and you say nothing. His pastor can say that he admires Louis Fahrakkan, and hey that's ok too. Obama can get the courts to change the rules for caucusing in Nevada making it easier for the unions who support him to vote, but that's ok with you because it gives him an unfair advantage. What about the Jews not being able to vote until after 7pm? Should they have special caucus hours for them? What about people who can't get off work for two hours during the day who don't work at casinos? Should they be able to caucus at their workplace? But, hey we are talking about OBAMA, and anything is OK as long as it gives him an advantage.

Why are you willing to give this man a pass on everything? He is not MLK, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln or any of the above. He is a first-term senator who has a gift for gab. He would be a very successful televangelist getting rich off the backs of the poor. And don't throw that race card at me. He is fair game for criticism. If he can dish it out, he should be able to take it, and so can you.

Posted by: yougogirl2008 | January 17, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I find it exceedingly troubling to fathom the idea of Barack Obama repudiating Louis Farrakhan.
What Senator of Rome would have embraced Jesus? Surely He was rejected by the Jews.
If this is true it will serve as the hemlock for his campaign. The poor heard Jesus gladly. Mr. Obama cannot win with out the support of the poor because the rich do not embrace his idea of "change". This was a calculated chess move by Cohen and it is unfortunate that Mr. Axelford could not recognize it. Silence is golden.

Posted by: marcus.muhammad | January 17, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Is the Washington Post becoming a tabloid newspaper. This article is trash.
The Washington Post should print a disclaimer immediately.

Posted by: volcanojon | January 17, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

SHAME ON YOU, Richard Cohen!!! You have NO RIGHT to call yourself objective when obviously have an AXE to grind. What connection does Senator Obama have with his Pastor's choice of Louis Farrakhan. I know Christians like Jesse Jackson who Support Farakhan, but as a christian, I dont support their choice. Does that make me complicit? You seem to have forgotten, Obama's mom is white? So why would he support someone who HATES whites & Jews?
SHAME ON YOU, and your shameless agenda!!!Richard Cohen.

Posted by: solex | January 16, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen,

Let me first start off by saying that I am an admirer of your work. When given the chance, I try to make sure I read any editorials that you write for the Washington Post. Whether or not I agree or disagree with your opinion, it is always thought provoking. As I am sure you know, religious/spiritual leaders often hold special places within their individual realms. African American ministers have enjoyed an enormous amount of success, fame, acclaim, and clout within the African American community. Such is the case with Minister Louis Farrakhan. While the influence that the Nation of Islam was once able to wield in the African American community has waned over the past 60 years, it is still one of the few entities that African Americans have left that offer an opportunity to hold onto one's dignity and self worth, while forcing society to accept an individual as man or a woman. While you may be able to appreciate, empathize and sympathize with the plight of the African American, you really can not fully understand what is like to be treated as if you were not even a human being. That is the value of the Nation Islam. Now I am not a member of the Nation of Islam nor am I Muslim. I can not say that I am willing to go on the line for everything the Nation stands for. What I am willing to do is challenge you to find one instance in which the Nation of Islam has caused any harm to a member of the Jewish faith. I can point out several in which WASP have done so.

You refer to Minister Farrakhan as being Anti-Semitic. Do you really understand what that is? Descendants of the Ancient Hebrews are not the only members of the Semitic family. Merriam-Webster is one of, if not the standard for dictionaries in the United States. MW's definition of the word Semite is: 1 a: a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs b: a descendant of these peoples. If this stands true, than why is it that every time there is any form of perceived derogatory remarks made against members of the Jewish faith they are considered either Anti-Semitic remarks or the person themselves is considered Anti-Semitic? I believe this to be one of the most severe cases of a misuse of language. While Farrakhan is not an Arab, he does share a common faith with the majority of the Arab world. Do you mean to tell me that his remarks are also offensive to them? Would you consider all the hate speech directed towards Arabs post 9-11 Anti-Semitic? You probably would not. As you can see I have a problem with that term.

Again I go back to Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. There is no denying that there is probably no race of people that have suffered more injustices throughout history than those of the Jewish faith. I ask you how much of that can be placed at the feet of African Americans? Before I go any further, I am not condoning any speech that is derived from hate and solely based on opinion. Words indeed can be very powerful when used effectively but in the case of Minister Farrakhan they are just that, words. Not to mention he has backed off some of his earlier remarks directed at Jews. I see no mention of the fact that he has met with many Jewish religious members over the past few years to try and begin a healing process.

You and I both know that the Nation of Islam has no real power or authority to be a detrimental factor in the survival of Jews. Why you have decided to harp on Minister Farrakhan as if he is the greatest threat to the Jewish race is beyond me. While you may not like the things that he says, there is some truth to his rhetoric. Most of the communication outlets (Film, magazines, newspapers and television) are controlled by members of the Jewish faith. I have no inside knowledge that there is some ongoing conspiracy by the Jews to control the message line for the whole nation but the U.S. Government certainly did in the 40's and 50's. The Nation of Islam never blacklisted one Jewish writer or film maker yet Minister Farrakhan is the recipient of your outrage of Anti-Semitism. Not one member of the Nation of Islam turned on one gas switch, shaved one head, nor loaded one person onto a train in Europe yet here we are today in 2008 writing about something Minister Farrakhan said. To even put Minister Farrakhan and Hitler in the same sentence is ridiculous.

There has not been one war that was fought in which assistance was not used from the inside. There is documented proof that there were some Jews, whether knowing or not knowing, did aide in the takeover of Germany by the Third Reich. If you do not want to accept that, I understand. I would rather you direct your energy towards the Bush family that financed Hitler through the firm Brown Brothers Harriman. The WASP establishment has been the greatest enemy to the Jewish people in America and in Europe. Whether de facto or de jure, every stipulation put in place to discriminate against Jews was done so by WASP. That should be the subject of your editorial (I am sure you have been to the National Holocaust Museum but I am not sure if you paid attention to the irony of the location of that building. One of the biggest stereotypes about Jews is their relationship to money. And where does the museum get placed? Right next to the U.S. Mint! Farrakhan was not on the planning committee) Instead the "media" is concerned about what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says about the Holocaust (while Mel Gibson continues to be a darling of Hollywood) and what Minister Farrakhan said a few years ago. When there is so much focus placed on what a man like Minister Farrakhan says and not nearly as much outrage directed at the true master of the misery of the Jews, how can you blame him when he shouts out conspiracy?

As I mentioned earlier, Farrakhan does not have a seat at the table of power in the United States. What is plain for everyone to see is that Jews do have a very powerful influence in every aspect with the exception of politics (By that I mean holding political office. It appears the U.S. Presidency has been reserved for the WASP. Kennedy was able to break the barrier but not without help from the entire white ethnic community - Italian, Irish, Jews, etc... - and some shady deals in Chicago and West Virginia). I believe the Jewish population represents 2-3% of the entire American populous yet the control of the majority of media outlets, financial establishments, entertainment industries, the practice of law (the arguments for and against a perception that there is a stereotype regarding Jewish lawyers are many, but 2 out of 9 Supreme Court Justices are Jewish so there is denying that there is some profound influence on the interpretation of the law), medicine and education resides with the hands of the Jewish community. This is not a knock on the Jewish people. I admire the accomplishments of the Jews. In each category I have mentioned African Americans have suffered egregious discrimination and unfairness. Who else is Farrakhan to blame? Again I am not condoning hate, but just trying to shed some light on an argument that has been going for far too long.

I am of the opinion that you are not a supporter of Barack Obama. That is fine. You have a right to support the candidate that best represents your views and beliefs. Barack may not be that guy. What he has done over the past month has been remarkable. I do not think anyone saw this coming. It certainly looks like he is the early favorite to win the Democratic ticket. He would not be able to do so without the support of a large number of Caucasian supporters. It is a well known fact that a majority of Caucasians that have any knowledge of Minister Farrakhan have a severe dislike for the man. You have submitted an editorial that can not do anything but at the very least create a suspicion about whether or not Obama and the minister are somehow on the same philosophical and political page. This could severely cripple his support base. Do you think Farrakhan would cry out conspiracy? What has Obama done to deserve that from you? Attack him on his record and what he is actually saying to the American people. This editorial harks of "Never Forget", yet I believe it is misdirected.

Again I enjoy your writing and please keep up the good work!

Brandon C Craddock

PS - My family last name is Marcus and we are prone to spend Christmas at a Chinese Restaurant!

Posted by: htwine37 | January 16, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Just a few more degrees and we'll find out that Obama knows Kevin Bacon, too.

Posted by: terry.smith | January 16, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

It's time for Richard Cohen to GO. And yes, I mean retire, kicked to the can, fired, severed by mutual agreement. However The Washington Post wants to handle it. Cohen's day has come and LONG GONE, and it's time to pull the plug.

Posted by: PBurns | January 16, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

"I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan," Obama said in the statement. "I assume that Trumpet Magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree." Senator Barack Obama

Posted by: Katy7540 | January 15, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I hope for their sake the jews can take-out the hofjuden....

Posted by: hankomatic1 | January 15, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Farakhan is anti-semetic, anti-gay, and foolish-muslim-convert ... black people have no future so long as they regard people like him as a guide to equality.

Posted by: adamyk | January 15, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Obama supporters had better get used to it, since Richard Cohen's column will seem like a walk in the park compared to the bile that the Republican slime machine will air should he get the nomination. Whether or not things are true is of little consequence when presented to an American electorate dumb enough to re-elect George Bush after four disasterous years in office. The Swift Boat campaign proved that.

It's here that Hillary has a monumental advantage over Senator Obama. Her negatives are indeed high, but there is very little the American public doesn't already know about her. After all, Kenneth Starr and his Republican henchmen spent 6 years and $65 million "vetting" her!

Barrack Obama is an unknown quantity, but the few "negatives" in his past we do know about should be enough to keep GOP ad writers busy for months, and I'd wager that we've just scratched the surface in discovering incidents in Obama's past that Karl Rove's disciples can turn into dirt.

Senator Clinton's already been through that ringer, and she's proved (in the Senate and in upstate New York) that her intelligence, savy, and competence can make her negatives go down. Senator Obama's negatives have no place to go but up, and that could be disasterous to our goal of recapturing the White House in November.

Posted by: debrabra | January 15, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Mn. Farrakhan has more honor and integrity than any U.S. president from George Washington to the next one (you elect/select).And to the writer comparing Mn.Farrakhan to Hitler is truly not fitting for a newspaper. Hitler killed millions of white people. Mn. Farrakhan is healing what white people have done to Black people in this country, by teaching the truth. Black people in America have suffered more than any people historically speaking by the hands of others and when one speaks for the oppressed we are not surprised when those who have benefited get a little uncomfortable.

Posted by: gersim11 | January 15, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

I keep hoping that one of these days Washington Post will stop Richard Cohen's Op-ed articles of hate mongering against the Afro Americans and Muslims. Mr. Cohen only mission in life is to spews hate to please the zionist lobby. Today he has pushed the envelope a little further.

Posted by: abdulhaisheikh | January 15, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

An anti-zionist stance should not be interpreted to be hate or racism but a matter of understanding differing tribal traits and awareness, by non-zionist tribal groups, of the false tribal identity that the U.S. and British Crown controlled mass media have forged on the norms of North American society....

Posted by: hankomatic1 | January 15, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

People need to learn how columnists work. Cohen did not write this as a WaPo editorial, he wrote it in _his_ column, which the WaPo has no control over. This reflects Cohen's opinion, not the WaPo opinion, any more than conservative columnists reflect the official WaPo stance. If it had been a WaPo editorial, it would be different, but do not slam the WaPo for not controlling its columnists content.

Also, Cohen always takes this approach and this was predictable. Better to raise this now and get it over with, than to wait. I am undecided, and I think it is fine to ask any of the candidates to distance themselves from radical views they do not share. Obama did a good job of addressing this and moving past it.

Posted by: herewegoagainnow | January 15, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Why are conservatives proud of that status? ... what exactly is it that they would like to conserve?? ... the old ways of inequality, bigotry, white-power and just never ending mistakes.

The only good thing humans do is change .. improve ... conservatives are people who are well-off with the status-quo, and therefore want to preserve the status quo

liberals are the future ... and in most developed countries outside of the US, the present!

Posted by: adamyk | January 15, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

When Jesse Jackson ran for president, he said, in the presence of a dozen black journalists, all off the record (or so he thought) the infamous phrase "hymie town." The Jewish community ripped him to shreds when one of those black reporters, who worked for the Washington Post, outted that comment. Yet, the same week that hellfire broke loose, Eddie Murphy, in one of his greatest bits on Saturday Night Live, did a doo-woo singing group satire of the incident by singing, ala The Temptations, "Don't Take Me Down To...Hymie Town." There was no Jewish protest, no calls to ban NBC network, castrate Lorne Michaels or ban and ruin Eddie Murphy's career. I have never understood until Richard Cohen's column about Obama why the American Jewish community destroyed Jesse Jackson's candidacy for uttering "hymie town" once to a private group of black journalists, but Eddie Murphy could sing the phrase approximately 7 times on live global television to an audience of 25 million people and no Jews said a word. If the Jewish community degrades itself a second time to play the anti-semitic card against the second only truly legitimate national African American contender for presidency of the united states this nation has ever seen, it will do more to invoke a distain for Jewish Americans as unreconstructed racists than anything imaginable in the last 100 years. If American Jews do not renounce Richard Cohen's astonishingly "racist overreach" to strike at Barack Obama, I dare say the line between "Jewish" and "just some other racist white people with religion" will be smudged into oblivion. This isn't about protecting the integrity of the Jewish community. This is about negative wing American Jews once again attempting to do dirty racist white folks business and stigmatize the black guy. Richard Cohen, have you no shame left at all? Have you forgotten that the Judenrat were sent to the gas chambers after the Nazis had used them to hhelp kill all of their own people? Richard Cohen, you are a Judenrat. American Jewish people must repudiate this egregious act of racism.

Posted by: waltervincent7 | January 15, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Liberals bought "Diversity" but it cost them their Community.

Posted by: zqll1 | January 15, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Now that Obama's religious ties are being questioned and honestly questioned, it seems that the Democrats (having put aside their racial bickering for now)are in for another lousy ride.
And Richard Cohen is not a Conservative.
He is prochoice, against the Iraqi War, opposed to Bush's tax cuts and loves Gore on global warming.
So please don't blame the Conservatives, Repubs or neocons for the bs pile you people find yourselves in.
You Liberals and Democrats of all colors love racial politics, you got it!
As for now the Demos have no one to equal Condi Rice, Clarence Thomas, J.C. Watts, and Colin Powell.

Posted by: zqll1 | January 15, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

I find it instructive that the right wing nutjobs who post on this site chooose to post their identical opinions about 5 x in a row. What a joke you piece of s, Karl Rove wannabees. Obama will win out the day but not for want of smearing by you. God knows what else they (the racist, right-wing %#$#) will resort to and God protect Obama.

Posted by: keesnvd | January 15, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Israel is the greatest country on the planet because they are clearly affiliated with religion - yet have a remarkably secular government and policitcal process... who would have thought that israel would be the beacon of light in the quest for the separation of church and state ... while the US elections cant get passed abortion issues and all candidates must declare their belief in god ...

Posted by: adamyk | January 15, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Its nice that Richard Cohen has such a close connection with the Clinton Oppo. research team. It was particularly convenient that he wrote this column not when folks were caucusing in Iowa, but as voters in states like California and Florida with a significant number of Jewish voters are starting their mail in balloting. Did he talk to Obama about Farrakan before he smeared him with this guilt by asssociation? Or did he simply toss this stink bomb out there for the fun of it? Joe McCarthy would be proud.

When you consider the Post's recent "pass it on" article pumping up the "Obama is a closet Muslim" allegation, one wonders about whether you folks at the Post are simply angling for good seating at state dinners in the next Clinton White House.

Posted by: dmooney | January 15, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Why does everyone care what Cohen has to say??

All candidates that declare a spiritual connection or affiliation with a church, especially the christian variety, is unfit for rational leadership.

Obama is clearly a simple minded person if he needs that church to be spiritually satisfied, and he is a fool for not distancing himself from all you american nuts who like to form your own church and declare it as holy.

Trinity United Church of Christ - a made-up church for black people - i mean how silly are you americans.

Non-secular people are all the same - silly and about 200 years behind the times ...

Posted by: adamyk | January 15, 2008 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Cohen needs to have his head examined. Denying the Holocaust is not a criminal act for which a person should be condemned.
It would be historically fallacious of course to deny it, but then to emphasise the Holocaust above the rest of the events of history would be equally fallacious. I come from a Jewish background, and am apalled by the madness of the Nazis, but then, I am equally apalled by the sordid way the Palestinians have been treated by the Israelis.

Posted by: alzach | January 15, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

info: Zionism is The Real Enemy of the jews....

Posted by: hankomatic1 | January 15, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Soooo, lintgrty, in addition to swallowing Obama's weird cult like rhetoric, he should also tell the Obamaites like yourself as well as THE NON-CONVERTED how and what to read as well, to further the cult atmosphere?


Posted by: Spring_Rain | January 15, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Watching Sen Obama handle what is thrown
at him with grace and great intelligence
daily makes clear as we move toward November that
he has the strength, character, and humility of a
leader. When I listen to him, read what he has said,
I get the sense of someone who is not easily distracted
by what is not important. He knows himself.

Waiting to vote

Posted by: berrybl | January 15, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

bldlcc: My point is simple, The TRUTH is what I try to find. I go to as many newspapers and cable TV along with the Network TV News programs as I can. I do not listen to a radio.

Posted by: lylepink | January 15, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I think that credit should be given to Barack for not attacking the Clinton on the drug issue. This a President who has publicly lied to people about an extra marital affair and a President who has claimed smoking pot but not inhaling. Shame on the the politicians who continuously, think that we cannot think outside of the box.

Posted by: cesarganao | January 15, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I read Mr. Cohen's column yesterday and it sickened me. The idea of putting out that Barak Obama is an anti-Semite is despicable, and unworthy of the Post and its audience. Leave that crap on Fox News where it belongs. Is Richard Cohen the next Ann Coulter?

I have a friend - a close friend and sometime mentor - who is a conservative Republican. But his stuff doesn't rub off on me, because I know there are some things he's wrong about. To insinuate that Mr. Obama can't discern what to accept and what to reject in the opinions of a friend is laughable. That kind of reasoning could get us another Republican president - or worse, Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: Michael15 | January 15, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I found this great article on the topic at It raises some great issues. Here is an excerpt:

"For the last couple of days we have heard incessant commentary in the mainstream mediums about the racial issues brought up recently in the Democratic side of this season's primary elections. This, amongst the vast criticisms that the Clinton campaign has received for supposedly sending out "agents" to spread rumors about Barack Obama's not too lustrous past, has Hillary's supporters scrambling for cover. Apparently, or so the press claims, there exists certain knowledge about a candidate's past that we are not supposed to discuss because they are "insensitive" or "negative". Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television and supporter of Hillary Clinton's candidacy, recently caught some heat when he made public references to Barack Obama's past drug use (cocaine and marijuana) for being "ugly" attempts to discredit Obama's reputation amongst conservative Democrats. Tonight, in Nevada's Democrat debate, we will probably get to hear these candidates respond to this so-called "mud slinging" charges, which up until now are being leveled against both camps, and probably witness a pathetic "coming together" in which both lead candidates leave all this controversy behind. An act which is only done out of pure self-interest since they both know that this "race and gender" discussion hurts both camps somewhat equally. Once again, instead of witnessing an actual debate on real issues, we will get washed down campaign slogans, ad nauseum. What is the information contained in this Fine Print that the Media keeps pushing us to ignore until the election is over?..." Visit to see the rest of the article.

Posted by: elsylee28 | January 15, 2008 9:30 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, Obama, don't let the small minds shout you down. Some people don't have adequate analytical skills, and must be taught. How can they learn? Reading, reading, and more reading. Suggest reading to the small minds, Obama.

Posted by: IIntgrty | January 15, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey Paul Begala (svreader). Should Andrew Young also apologize? Should HRC repudiate Andrew Young? This is silly and shameless, and you know it.

Posted by: steveboyington | January 15, 2008 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Wasting newsprint on this drivel is a sin.
Will wapo next print Space Aliens control Obama, (well maybe dennis)

Posted by: llawrence9 | January 15, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

svreader, I saw Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright at a convention in Chicago three years ago. He was indeed an electrifying orator and had a firm command of his knowledge base. Does that make me anti-Semitic as well? You yourself said that we do not have to agree on all points, just like Obama does not have to agree on all points with his pastor. The level of duplicity shown by you only convinces more people that you are an unpaid Clintonista who continues to spew the HRC line and quaff the Clinton campaign kool-aid(tm). In short, you are ignorant.

As for Mr. Cohen, I hope he has the journalistic integrity to hold everyone to the same measure, i.e., Mitt Romney and Mormonism (or the Christ of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and their tenets from the Book of Mormon. I seriously doubt if Mr. Cohen has that kind of moxie, because he would get squished like a bug.

Posted by: meldupree | January 15, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Cheap journalism. Is this man actually paid by the Washington Post? If so I suggest you do someething about it. You will start looking like Enquirer or some similar rag.
Anybody can dig out stuff like that, but it isn't journalism at all.

Posted by: johnedfran | January 15, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

For once, I agree with the majority. Cohen's article had no basis. No one should be accused of racism by second degree of separation. According to Cohen, anyone who is not deferential to his position (i.e., an active pro-semite, whatever it means) is guilty as charged. Huckabee first, Obama now. Cohen is the Frank Rich of the WaPo, and it's not a compliment.

Posted by: snap1 | January 15, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Give me six degrees of separation and I will have Richard Cohen linked to Joseph Goebbels. What is his point?

Posted by: hjmartin | January 15, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Tennis players are being suspended for gambling. Baseball players are being suspended and indicted for use of steroids.

Richard Cohen should be suspended until after November 2008 for his obvious racial bias and utter stupidity. If it were me, he'd be fired - He's in the same category as Imus.

I will never read his columns again. And, like I do with the NY Times, I will take anything I read in the Wash Post with quite a few more grains of salt.

Posted by: LisaSteiner | January 15, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse


Your point? I'm certainly not calling the guy racist (obsessed with hating Farrakhan would be more to the point), but history is replete with examples proving that matrimony fails to trump socio-political allegiances. BTW, which sources are you using for news, anyway? Not a single bad story, indeed. What, pray tell, is this comment-line all about, velvet press coverage?

Posted by: bldlcc | January 15, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Cohen seems to have taken the mantle (again) of political provocateur, slinging mud bombs of innuendo and hate.

We already have one Rush; Redux needs no space in a major daily newspaper.

Posted by: fredlevy | January 15, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Cohen knew this was a non-issue, except that it had potential problems for Obama which could not be ignored. By putting it out there now, it is, hopefully, over and done by the time of major elections.

Posted by: kbtoledo | January 15, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Cohen is the most inconsistent columnist writing for the Post. If you read his columns carefully enough over a period of time, you'll see that he spends half his time looking back and wondering how in the world he could have been so wrong about what he wrote previously. He'll rehash some innuendo, then feel guilty about it and apologize in a later column. There are so many more talented columnists writing for the Post (Dionne, Will, Broder, Robinson, etc.) and this man is the most embarrassing. Would that Jon Stewart could give Richard Cohen the Crossfire treatment!

Posted by: psean | January 15, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a great rhetoritician, but, to quote the greatest of them all, "Quam diu fuer iste tuus nos eludit?" Doff the gloves and let's have at it.

The pause between the publication of the piece lauding Farrakan and Senator Obama's PR flack repudiating it is, at the least, a little bit pregnant. Not a Mr. Soulja moment.

Posted by: pmroddy | January 15, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama is absolutely noting like Nelson Mandela. Obama likes to compare himself to all manner of greatness, even Moses in one interview. You know I find myself kind of sick of the grandiose arrogant fantasy. Yes a fantasy to liken yourself to JFK, MLK, Mandela and even Moses. Gee he left out Ghandi.

Mandela was imprisonned for 27 years, Obama has lived esentially a white life of priviledge.

I've seen Mandela speak. None of his words involve religious rhetoric. They are all real politics. Obama's wacky cult like religion is imbued in his so called political speeches. This really does need to be questioned. It's called the separation of church and state for a reason.

If he chooses to preach in his political speeches then his church, where he gets his ideas from, and his spiritual advisor heads is fair game to be questioned by voters.

Posted by: slbk | January 15, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

bj wrote:

"it is funny that Obama is always held to a different standard than Clinton. When one of Clinton supporters talked about his drug use the media condemns her, not the supporter. Also, the supporters of Obama (neocon republicans pretending as democrats)spews venom on her. When One of his supporters is openly embracing Farakhan, the journalist who put the story out is vilified by the Obama supporters. I suppose this is the change Obama and his media cronies are talking about."

BJ- YOU MAKE A VERY GOOD POINT-WHY DOES THE OBAMA CAMP ALWAYS ATTACK THE MESSENGER RATHER THAN ADDRESSING THE REAL ISSUE? COULD IT BE THAT THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES? In fact, on one of these blogs here not long ago, a young voter said he had been banned from Obama's website for asking questions, not querrelous questions, just a lot of questions, to find out where Obama stood on the issues-AND THEY BANNED HIM FOR THAT.



Posted by: Spring_Rain | January 15, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

With America going into - and perhaps already in - a deep recession, 2007 being the second-hottest year on record, oil at USD 100, etc etc, it's dismaying to see that the pages of the Washington Post will be used to explore swift-boating nonsense this election year. But then again, this paper also supported the war in Iraq. Better grow up fast America. Look at the dollar down there in the dirt, and who's buying your banks. You're losing it. Like the Clintonites said, before they went on to help build the subprime problem, "it's the economy, stupid."

Posted by: andrewdewit | January 15, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse


There is a difference between Pope Pius IX (who lived in the 19th Century CE and raised a kidnapped Jewish boy to become a priest) and Pope Pius XII (who lived in the 20th Century CE and twiddled his thumbs during the Holocaust).

Posted by: hrobinson | January 15, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse


Just air TV ads with the results of the latest Rasmussen poll.

This poll shows that only Obama has a chance of beating Clinton.

Poll results:

If the presidential election were held last week, the results would be:

CLINTON 38% -- McCAIN 49%
OBAMA 43% -- McCAIN 46%

Democrats are voting for Clinton because they think she has a better chance of winning. For goodness sake, get this news OUT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: saraz1 | January 15, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Cohen's column is pretty despicable. Now Obama is being held responsible for an award given by a magazine he has no role in producing. How desperate do you have to be to peddle such nonsense?

Cohen brings to mind those two other national disgraces, the Clintons, whose attacks on Obama are shrill and seem to be motivated by outrage that a black man might actually deprive them of an office they dementedly believe they are entitled to.

Perhaps Cohen should write a column about Rudy Guiliani. Now there's a subject worth tackling: a presidential candidate whose advisors are far-right pro-Israel and pro-war Islamophobes. If Cohen is concerned about bigotry, the Guiliani campaign should give him material for a slew of columns.

Posted by: idaaudeh | January 15, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

A reminder, this is the Birthday of MLK. A debate scheduled on this day will probably be brought in the upcoming one. Just a guess, but watch Russert try and get Hillary.

Posted by: lylepink | January 15, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Whether or not Mr. Obama publicly distances himself from Mr. Wright for political expediency, he clearly will be one of Mr. Obama's closest personal advisors in his Presidency.

This should be a concern to all rational American voters.

Posted by: slbk | January 15, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Post. Manufacture a controversy in the morning; report on it in the afternoon.

Posted by: mikeo12 | January 15, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

From the NYT in April.

"Mr. Wright's political statements may be more controversial than his theological ones. He has said that Zionism has an element of "white racism." (For its part, the Anti-Defamation League says it has no evidence of any anti-Semitism by Mr. Wright.)

On the Sunday after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Mr. Wright said the attacks were a consequence of violent American policies. Four years later he wrote that the attacks had proved that "people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just 'disappeared' as the Great White West went on its merry way of ignoring Black concerns."

Provocative Assertions

Such statements involve "a certain deeply embedded anti-Americanism," said Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative group that studies religious issues and public policy. "A lot of people are going to say to Mr. Obama, are these your views?"

Mr. Wright prayed with the Obama family just before his presidential announcement. Asked later about the incident, the Obama campaign said in a statement, "Senator Obama is proud of his pastor and his church."

"If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me," Mr. Wright said with a shrug. "I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen."

Posted by: slbk | January 15, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

And may I simply add:

"Muslim" is not a slur.
"Muslim" does not equal terrorist or terrorist sympathizer.
"Muslim" is not a charge to be defended against.

While Europe was plunged into the ignorance of the Dark Ages, the Islamic Empire preserved the Greek and Roman writings that later provided the foundation for the Renaissance. The West as we know it exists because of Islam. This Christian of European descent would like to thank them here and now.

Posted by: treetopflyer | January 15, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

It's clear the WP is pulling out all stops to get Hillary elected. Their continued yellow journalism is unfortunate. I'll be canceling my subscription. I'll get my Sports news elsewhere.

Posted by: bfjam | January 15, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

SLBK: FACTS are something The Media always tries to distort when it comes to Obama, favorable to Obama, BTW. Mr. Cohen is married to a black woman, in case you Obama supporters try to claim race is the issue here, which it clearly is not. bjoseph1: Again FACTS get in the way when they are about Obama. I have Posted about this several times and done extensive research, and everything I have been able to find proves The Media is supporting Obama nearly 100%. I have been unable to find any reporter that has a single bad story about him.

Posted by: lylepink | January 15, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Cohen proved years ago that he didn't have the intellect to overcome the prejudices of religion. There is nothing surprising about his reporting this tripe. What is surprising is that anyone would find it noteworthy.

When he decides to write a few columns about the apartheid that the state of Israel is perpetrating on Palestinians then I will read his column. Until then he is just another sorry fanatic with a newspaper column.

Posted by: cometzbb | January 15, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

There is something a foul in the air!. Drip drip drip....little inconvenient affiliation, whether with his afrocentric spiritual leader Rev.Wright, or the corrupt Rezko, Exelon....and soon an ocean of questions..Obama put himself out in the public he will have to answer uncomfortable questions about his cocaine habit (has anyone ever really questioned him about the frequency and duration of his habit?) can understand a little reefer...youthful indiscretion..but COCAINE??? Obama was pretty smart in having brought the drug issue out front, being the author, he was in a position to "mold" and "soften" his past indiscretions. I have seen a few of his photographs and note that he was in fact a pleasingly plump youth...what is with the skinny almost emaciated look????

Posted by: piamenon | January 15, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Wow! It only took 5 posts before someone decided to see the hand of Clinton in this.

I sometimes wonder what delusional planet the anti-Clinton brigade live in if they always have to see Hillary or Bill's hand in every event that in some way casts a negative shadow (however unmeritted) on their own candidate of choice.

Gosh, if the Clintons were really as all powerful as the ABC brigade would have us believe then the election result would already be inplace.

What next? Hillary was the other gun(wo)man on the grassy knoll? Hillary hid the alien bodies after Roswell? Get a life, get a grip. Slam Cohen if the reporting was in error. But leave the conspiracy theories at the door.

Posted by: anthonyrimell | January 15, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I've been to Dr. Wright's church a few times. Guess I must hate Jews. Makes sense.

Posted by: dailyfare | January 15, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

To slbk and the like:

What a bunch of BULL. Our current VP, dick Cheney, was video taped hugging Osama Bin Laden in Bin Laden's tent while Cheney worked (soley at the time) for Halliburton. So what does that prove in your world view? Oh, I'm sue that you'll find some excusable rationalization. Par for the course for all of you 'Deep Thinkers'.

Posted by: bldlcc | January 15, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

What are they teaching at this Church

Does Barack Obama belong to a Church lead by a racist Reverent?


Posted by: jeffboste | January 15, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Let's see: Over the past 40 minutes, Obama's supporters and Mr. Cohen have each been labeled "neocons" by various bombthrowers on this page. Well, which is it?

I'm an Obama supporter--and, by the way, about as far from a "neocon" as a person could possibly be--and found Mr. Cohen's column distasteful but somehow inevitable (has there ever been a black candidate for public office who hasn't been forced to publicly dissociate him/herself from Farrakhan?).

For crying out loud, Democrats, take it down a notch! Obama clearly isn't a black Muslim or a racist of any stripe, and he's done Cohen's bidding and condemned Farrakhan. The Clintons, though I question the integrity of their tactics this past week, clearly aren't racists either. As I write this, I dread the idea that Obama is going to be forced to discuss this again in the debate that starts in 20 minutes. That'll be five minutes that could have been used to discuss something REAL!

Posted by: jonfromcali | January 15, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

So since Richard Cohen was having an affair with a married woman, does that mean he takes the institution of marriage as a sham, and if so does that mean he hates civilizations since it's one of the bedrocks of traditional society???

Posted by: CoCoSausage | January 15, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Is every African-American running for office required to first denounce Louis Farakhan? This is absurd. I used to think Cohen was just boring--now I see that he is ill-intentioned as well. Very, very disappointing.

Posted by: jhm2133 | January 15, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I quess the next thing Mr. C will say is that Mr. Obama helped free convicted murders, rapist and white collor criminals?
It worked for the Bush's . I hope Mr. C has no ties to the JDL in some parts of the world they are seen as a raciest terror group. Get real and deal with the economy, health insurance and crime. and stop wasting good paper and ink on trash.
This is 2008 not the 1950"s!!!!!

Posted by: wilkin55 | January 15, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Cohen is an idiot. Trash journalism at its best.

Posted by: zbob99 | January 15, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

The New York times wrote about the Obama's church connection to Farrakhan and Ghadafi in April.

Posted by: slbk | January 15, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I respect Mr. Cohen's comments and concern, and Senator Obama's excellent and immediate response. Frankly this nonsense has to stop, it plays right into everything bad in politics. The Irish-American candidate against the British-American candidate, the Jewish-American candidate denounces the Catholic-American candidate, the German-American against the Polish-American and on and on. Enough already! This country has more problems to solve than we even realize at this point. Let's get the best person elected and forget the b.s. Seems like the Sly Stone song - "Everyday People". Let's get on with things, please. My kids have more sense than the adults who write in the newspapers.

Posted by: bfjam | January 15, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

What I see in Barack Obama is more Nelson Mandela than anyone else. He wants to move this country forward not by dwelling on past injustices and crimes perpetuated on people of his race but by unifying and inspiring us all to do better. Too bad that Mr. Cohen cannot see the hope in that.

Posted by: smfilmer | January 15, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

This is unbelievable. The Post now reports on the ####storm that they themselves ignited. This is the ultimate in journalistic self-pleasuring. I always thought that complaints about the Post were exaggerated, but this is beyond the pale. The house that Woodward and Bernstein built has decayed to a house of wormwood and bullcrud.

Posted by: treetopflyer | January 15, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I read Mr. Cohen's column. I always thought he was a liberal, so I don't understand his reasoning.

Mr. Cohen sounds like an activist looking for something to be offended by. He is trying to hold Senator Obama accountable for something his pastor or his pastor's family said or did.

Mr. Cohen followed an old script. In 1992, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania belonged to a church whose pastor had Palestinian sympathies. An activist made the church a campaign issue, demanding that the candidate resign from the church or denounce her pastor.

Pastors have freedom of the pulpit and congregants are not required to follow the views of their pastor.

Religious bigotry is percolating to the surface this year in both parties whether it is the religion of Governor Romney and Governor Huckabee or Senator Obama's alleged religious connections.

America can do better.

Posted by: microbrewjournalism | January 15, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

So since Richard Cohen was having an affair with a married woman, does that mean he takes the institution of marriage as a sham, and if so does that mean he hates civilizations since it's one of the bedrocks of traditional society???

Posted by: CoCoSausage | January 15, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

If you have nothing to write about, please don't write. Your piece was abominable

Posted by: marabunta | January 15, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Richard, I usually enjoy reading your articles but this one is distasteful, disgusting and low of the lowest pull him down drama that is being play on Obama presently. I don't even know what to make out of this but my guess is that washington post is turning from one of the most respected news sources in north america to one of the rest of them. Don't you have more important issues to write about? What a tabloid worth of article.

Posted by: cuttell2000 | January 15, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

A week ago, this wouldn't have even come up. Now, Obama has to go out of his way to talk about this nonsense. Obama is in such a tough spot right now because he ran as a candidate of no color for so long and now the race issue is plaguing the entire Democratic race right now. In fact, the only way John Edwards can even get coverage is to chime in on what the Clintons said.

The 'geniuses' working behind the scenes in these two campaigns who thought it was a good idea to drag this stuff out for political gain should be smacked.

Posted by: kissman24x | January 15, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Talk about shooting the messenger. It's okay for Obama supporters to try and tar Ms. Clinton as denigrating Dr .King but we are supposed to overlook the fact that his "spiritual advisor" admires and glorifies a latter day Nazi. If Obama's connection to this man is so remote why are the folks quoted above so upset at seeing it in print. Mr. Cohen has, after all, just given us the facts. By the way, the Pope mentioned above was Pius XII, not Pius IX. - Dave Jewell, Philadelphia.

Posted by: dajewell | January 15, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

First, there was the idea not to vote for Sen. Barak Obama because he could not win the general election. That was followed by the insinuation his campaign was doomed because the Sen. had addmitted to some drug experimentation in his youth. Next, came the misrepresentation that Mr. Obama is a Muslim, and perhaps related, in some unknown fashion, to former Irak president Saddam Hussein. Now comes the not so subtle insinuation, by Mr. Richard Cohen, that Mr. Obama is anti-Semitic. So, Sen. Obama continues to be associated with drugs, Islam-terrorism, anti-Semitism, and in the end, of being an African-American running for the U.S. Presidency who because of his color cannot win. With this kind of concerted character assassination effort against Sen. Obama one wonders why wouldn't people believe, not only Mr. Louis Farrakha, that Semites have in fact played a negative role against African Americans?

Posted by: juanjose | January 15, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor profiled Wright and Obama on April 30, she reported that Wright had gone to Libya in 1984 to meet with Moammar Ghadafi - alongside Rev. Louis Farrakhan. (Why are all of Obama's allies enthralled with anti-American dictators?) Kantor described Wright as the man who converted Obama to Christianity, a "dynamic pastor who preached Afrocentric theology, dabbled in radical politics and delivered music-and-profanity-spiked sermons."

Posted by: slbk | January 15, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

It is instructive to note that the Washington Post had no problem lambasting Romney for being a Mormon - and did it day after day after day. Strangley, they found Obama's membership in a lunatic asylum of a church off limits till one column today. And the Post says its an "objective" rag. Yeah, right.

Posted by: birvin9999 | January 15, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Shame on the Washington Post! Shame on Mr. Cohen!

Posted by: baldeh_bolong | January 15, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

What would people think if the publication of a of a conservative white candidate's church praised David Duke? This was embarrassing but Obama responded appropriately.

Posted by: elialexanderkay | January 15, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Was there ever any doubt that Obama does not share Farrakhan's views? No. I do not think he needs to resign from the church. This all strikes me as nonsense.

Posted by: vofreas | January 15, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Will HRC now denounce LBJ? After all he described passing the civil rights act as throwing bones "to those uppity Negroes" and fought tooth and nail against passage when IKE proposed it.

Posted by: rahaha | January 15, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

This is six degrees of B.S.

Posted by: TheContractor | January 15, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen is a peddler of lies and ineuendo and he should be ashamed of himself. That column he wrote this morning was just disgraceful. If Mr. Cohen had any guts he would write another column retracting the nosense that was written in the post this morning. It seems to me the Post and Mr. Cohen are reading from the Clinton playbook. Mr. Cohen you should be ashamed of yourself for your spreading of lies.

Posted by: lumi21us | January 15, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Farakhan is a racist. He is no better than David Duke or Adolf Hitler.

I do not understand at all why any Christian church leader heaps praise on Farakhan. What is there about Farakhan that is consistent with the teachings of Jesus Christ?

Obama was wrong to wait for Cohen's column to disassociate himself from that miserable excuse for Christian church that he attends.

Posted by: Realist1929 | January 15, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Obama should pick Ron Paul as his running mate -- two antisemites on one ticket.

Posted by: info | January 15, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I think it's cute that Richard Cohen would infer anyone as anti-semitic. In 2006, Mr. Cohen himself was criticized as being anti-semitic for writing the following in his column:
"The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now."

While Mr. Cohen would later claim these words were taken out of context, a passerby might take that quote as sounding rather anti-semitic, right?

So, a guy who's been accused of penning anti-semitic prose now wants to point fingers? Very cute. Good to know that people in glass houses still like to throw stones.

Posted by: nwrepresent1 | January 15, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

cohen was accused of being a racist sniper in 1995. today, he is a bomb thrower.

Posted by: kshegay | January 15, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

The right thing to do if you find out that an organization you belong to is racist or supports a racist adgenda is to first, resign from it, second, apologize sincerely and publicly, and third, firmly kick yourself in the a** for not doing your homework.

Obama has released a statement saying that he doesn't agree with Farrakhan's positions.

That's a good start.

The next thing he should do is resign from that church if the church or its pastors still support Farrakhan.

The litmus test should be that if the organization has a racist agenda or supports racism then you should not be a member of it, and certainly not be a member if you are in public office, or are running for public office, especially the Presidency.

Either the minister or Obama or both should resign from that church, and they should do it immediately.

Posted by: svreader | January 15, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Better to deal with this now than in October when it will be distorted beyond belief. If Cohen didn't raise it in the Post, it would have surfaced in another, probably worse, forum. At least there is truth in this story, unlike the bogus Obama raised in madrassa stories that are being circulated like crazy.

Its big money politics and there will be guilt by association all over the place. It will be everywhere this year, get used to it.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 15, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

More Neocon treachery from the shameless Washington Post. Only Jewish extremism must never be critcized. Meanwhile the solid, sane, vital Jewish majority in this country are beaten into silence by these rabid dog extremist Neocons.

Posted by: The_5th_W | January 15, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Anyone still believes so-called "change" from Obama. Make sure you understand what "change" really means.

Posted by: va-us | January 15, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

This just confirms that WaPo is beating the NYT to the bottom.

I have to agree with brookish that Cohen, and now Murray, are making an ugly attempt to connect Obama to Farrakhan.

WaPo bookmarks deleted. I hope others will follow suit.


Posted by: stevief | January 15, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama supporters need to give Cohen a break. Although equating the ministers's views to Obama was questionable, the question itself, do you support Farrakhan was perfectly legitimate. Obama indicated he disagrees with him, at least on anti-semitism, and on church giving him award. Flap over, better now than in general election.

Posted by: merganser | January 15, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

this aipac-adl sctick is getting old.

Posted by: kshegay | January 15, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

This is an excellent example of a media outlet making itself a part of the story.

The actual story, support of Mr. Farrakhan by the Trumpet News Magazine, is old, originally reported by the AP in March 2007 and now re-hashed, when there is already racial tension in the campaign, by Mr. Cohen.

Cohen's op-ed appeared this morning, and now the Post reports Obama's response to its own report of old news in "The Trail".

This an exceptionally poor demonstration of journalistic integrity by the Washington Post, which I am sure will generate many letters to the Ombudsman.

Posted by: RayD1 | January 15, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey WP when will you stop this anti Obama nonsense?

What's next if Obama says he supports the Dallas Cowboys will it be another example of how extremist he is?

When Mr. Kahane decides to write about anti semitism you know people will pick it up and run with it even if they know he's not necessarily the most unbiased man around.

Kind of a liberal version of Charles K without the ambulatory product.

Funny how these stories come up and divert attention from the killing fields in the Middle East.

Posted by: ita8111 | January 15, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

The pope by the way is not Mr. Gulianni's personal fiend, spiritual advisor, pastor, nor did he marry Mr. Gulianni any of the many times that has occured. Nor does the Pope admire or consider among his friends, or visit Moammar Ghadafi while he is plotting terrorist attacks against US targets, or otherwise.

Mr. Wright would be among Mr. Obama's advisors as he is today. Mr. Wright admires and went to visit Moammar Ghadafi in the 80's, with Mr. Farakhan.

Gee I wonder what the Republicans will do with that info? They really want Obama to win. I wonder why???

Posted by: slbk | January 15, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Good for Obama. But, Cohen owes a big apology for throwing gasoline on the fire. It will be interesting if there is equal criticism of Clinton supporter Andrew Young, also a member of UCC and the recent recipient of the Trumpet Award. Is Andrew Young anti-semitic?

Posted by: joy2 | January 15, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Can we stop this infighting? Democrats are heading to a loss if they continue this

Posted by: iyesata | January 15, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Mr Wright, Mr.Obama's personal spiritual advisor, the pastor of his church and the man who married the Obamas also visited Moammar Gadhafi with Mr. Farakhan in the 1980's. Mr. Write has admitted to this as fact and stated it could be a problem for Mr. Obama.

With an inexperienced President, one must consider whom that President would surround himself with for advisors. Mr. Write would certainly be one of these people for Mr. Obama. If you vote for Mr. Obama for President of the United States, you should know his spiritual advisor, close personal friend, and pastor is also a close personal friend and admirer of Farikhan and Ghadafi.

This is not swifboating. Swiftboating involved lies. These are facts.

Posted by: slbk | January 15, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Mr Wright, Mr.Obama's personal spiritual advisor, the pastor of his church and the man who married the Obamas also visited Moammar Gadhafi with Mr. Farakhan in the 1980's. Mr. Write has admitted to this as fact and stated it could be a problem for Mr. Obama.

With an inexperienced President, one must consider whom that President would surround himself with for advisors. Mr. Write would certainly be one of these people for Mr. Obama. If you vote for Mr. Obama for President of the United States, you should know his spiritual advisor, close personal friend, and pastor is also a close personal friend and admirer of Farikhan and Ghadafi.

This is not swifboating. Swiftboating involved lies. These are facts.

Posted by: slbk | January 15, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

It is funny that Obama is always held to a different standard than Clinton. When one of Clinton supporters talked about his drug use the media condemns her, not the supporter. Also, the supporters of Obama (neocon republicans pretending as democrats)spews venom on her. When One of his supporters is openly embracing Farakhan, the journalist who put the story out is vilified by the Obama supporters. I suppose this is the change Obama and his media cronies are talking about

Posted by: bjoseph1 | January 15, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

It is funny that Obama is always held to a different standard than Clinton. When one of Clinton supporters talked about his drug use the media condemns her, not the supporter. Also, the supporters of Obama (neocon republicans pretending as democrats)spews venom on her. When One of his supporters is openly embracing Farakhan, the journalist who put the story out is vilified by the Obama supporters. I suppose this is the change Obama and his media cronies are talking about

Posted by: bjoseph1 | January 15, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

It is funny that Obama is always held to a different standard than Clinton. When one of Clinton supporters talked about his drug use the media condemns her, not the supporter. Also, the supporters of Obama (neocon republicans pretending as democrats)spews venom on her. When One of his supporters is openly embracing Farakhan, the journalist who put the story out is vilified by the Obama supporters. I suppose this is the change Obama and his media cronies are talking about

Posted by: bjoseph1 | January 15, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Since when is my pastor's daughters' magazine's editorial board's opinion an "affiliation"? This was a nasty stretch. If that's the best WAPO can do, maybe I'll vote for Obama after all! He must be perfect!

Posted by: brookish | January 15, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

It is funny that Obama is always held to a different standard than Clinton. When one of Clinton supporters talked about his drug use the media condemns her, not the supporter. Also, the supporters of Obama (neocon republicans pretending as democrats)spews venom on her. When One of his supporters is openly embracing Farakhan, the journalist who put the story out is vilified by the Obama supporters. I suppose this is the change Obama and his media cronies are talking about

Posted by: bjoseph1 | January 15, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

It is funny that Obama is always held to a different standard than Clinton. When one of Clinton supporters talked about his drug use the media condemns her, not the supporter. Also, the supporters of Obama (neocon republicans pretending as democrats)spews venom on her. When One of his supporters is openly embracing Farakhan, the journalist who put the story out is vilified by the Obama supporters. I suppose this is the change Obama and his media cronies are talking about

Posted by: bjoseph1 | January 15, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Will we be seeing a column tomorrow by Mr. Cohen apologizing to gentiles everywhere for the Jews killing Christ?

Because what I just wrote is less absurd than the putrid refuse that Cohen wrote and the Washington Post saw fit to print.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | January 15, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that this story doesn't mention the fact that Cohen's column drew a barrage of criticism from his readers, in what must be an all-time record for online comments to a Post article.

It was a very tacky article indeed of a sort that can only harm American politics further.

The entire Mormon bible repeatedly describes black skin as a curse sent from God to mark evil peoples. In one case, he lifts the curse from a tribe, and they turn white and "fair to behold" again.

If Obama must repudiate a church magazine he probably never read that praises a racist, should not Mitt Romney therefore be made to publicly repudiate the Mormon Bible?

Posted by: kevrobb | January 15, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I commend Obama on his swift response on this. However, his supporters had best understand that in an equal world ALL the candidates must answer for their affiliations.

If Edwards,Clinton or Kucinich belonged to a church that declared Farrakhan its 'Man of the Year' or some such, I rather suspect the Obama supporters would hold a somewhat different view of that circumstance.

Posted by: didereaux | January 15, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Mr Cohen is an intelligent man, and he will know if he has been used by Clintonites in their agony. But I did not need to read Mr Obama's pronouncements on this award, to know they would repudiate it, and I am only a Virginian.

Posted by: Carter_NIcholas_readily_targetable_in_Virginia | January 15, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Cohen, you are a fool.

Nothing is more racist than the name-dragging that has taken place across the right wing with Obama. Terrorist, Muslim, Jihadist, radical...what other absurd names will you racist rednecks throw at him? Stop stirring the pot when nothing in the pot is worth stirring.

A disgrace to columnists everywhere.

Posted by: thecrisis | January 15, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I recieved an email today making statements about Obama's taking oath on the Koran instead of the bible and making allogations about his being raised a Muslum. I find it hard to believe and I think something should be written to put a stop to this nonsense.

Posted by: jpenney1 | January 15, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

There was never any doubt that Obama doesn't share Farrakhan's views.

Cohen is on a fishing expedition ... find a possible link (no matter how indirect) to someone scandalous and make Obama spend time distancing himself from it publicly.

Cohen: if you really were genuine in wanting to know how Obama felt on this issue, you could have picked up the phone and called him / his campaign. Only after doing so is it ethical to post a story on the front of the posts' website.

Instead you chose to play a game, by going public first.

How lame.

Posted by: CynthiaS1 | January 15, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I hope that in his next column, Mr Cohen will ask to Rudy Giuliani to denounce the late pope PIE IX and the catholic church who is reminded in history books as the pope who was complicitly silent when 6 millions Jews were butchered during World War II by Hitler.

This was the last straw for me and and i'm asking myself what happened to the WAPO which has more to do now with the National Enquirer than anything else.

I was a catholic and by marrying a Jew, i have become a Jew. This is the most shameful thing that i have ever seen in this primary season.

Posted by: jo1976 | January 15, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

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