* Is Edward M. Smith, downstate labor skate, all for the Big O.? We read that in Clout Corner at Sun-Times. He’s a Rezko accomplice, featured in 5/18/04 taped chat in which R. sought his help. Big witness Levine said this week that Smith would help the R-cause as a state pension board chairman.
The Big-O camp doesn’t like him even if he likes O. and rests comfortably among O-committed superdelegates:
Asked two weeks ago if Smith was supporting Obama, an Obama spokesman first e-mailed “yes.” Four minutes later, another e-mail: “Wait. Hold. Double-checking.”
Asked again this week, the spokesman e-mailed: “Check in with Ed.”
Who’s not talking.
The Hillary camp likes him, however, says he’s “publicly for Obama.”
May we comment? Is this a laugh or not in the first place, that a young, good-looking, smooth-talking pol comes out of Illinois and says he’s for change, presumably for the better, that is, reform? Yes, it is to laugh, unless you mean change that is dear to Cook County Dems’ hearts such as removal of Patrick Fitzgerald as U.S. prosecutor once O. has his new house on Pennsylvania Avenue — no matter what he told various editorial boards.
* Meanwhile, back at the Mary Mitchell space, adulatory coverage continues, acquiring even greater glory for the newsgathering profession. She fills us in on the day’s “cutest question” and tells us O. “shared things” on the campaign trail.
Hey, people eat this stuff up. A Blithe Spirit reader is one; I asked her if she likes amateurism in her daily big-city paper.
Mary even let us in on O’s prayer life. He does it every day!
“I am a Christian. I pray every night, and when you are running for president you pray even more,” he said.
“What I pray for is less about me. . . . First I pray to make sure my family is OK, but whatever I am doing is good for the country and the people I am serving.”
The [Rev. Jeremiah] Wright controversy was a difficult moment, Obama said.
“One of the important things about my Christian faith is you forgive people. You try to understand them.”
God be thanked and praised for this wonderful man whom he has sent to lead us!
* It was a great day for Mary M. in Obama-land, but not for Rev. Donald McGuire, ex-S.J., who got arrested again, this time on criminal charges from Arizona, where the prosecutor says he molested two brothers 1998–2002, aged nine and 12 in ‘98. In Chicago yesterday, McG complained of chest pains on his way to an extradition hearing and was rushed to Mercy Hospital. Let us pray for all concerned; it’s the Christian way.
* To return to the O-question, to adore or not to adore, let us consider Manya Brachear in Chi Trib, who’s at it again, clearing away the cobwebs from pundit, blogosphere, You Tube, and other obstructions of our view of what God hath wrought on 95th Street.
It’s a plucky display, focusing on some (how many? which ones?) irreverent newsgatherers who have disturbed churchgoers, including a deacon in chemotherapy who finds the church a healing place. B. leads with her and how “a producer” called to interview her about “Obama’s church.” This man or woman violated her privacy but Brachear did not — what do we make of that?
“First of all, it’s not ‘Obama’s church.’ It’s God’s church,” said [Carole] Carter, 47, who is being treated for a second bout of breast cancer. “It’s not a good situation to be in. I fear for my pastor. I fear for my church.”
It’s all because of “incendiary snippets” from Rev. Wright’s sermons that “surfaced on the Internet and turned Obama’s 20-year membership at the South Side church into a potential political liability.”
Oops! Brachear doesn’t know about Wright’s being cancelled from Obama’s official announcement program in Springfield on Feb. 10, 2007, because of his being a political liability?
She closes her piece with this:
Wright has personally encouraged Carter throughout her battle, she said, and the church has helped her survive.
There you go: Our hearts are touched by the lede and they are locked in to Brachear’s argument by the kicker. Standard point-maker for article-with-slant. This one is pure puff, again with nod toward semi-opposing view — wait a minute, wait a darn minute: the web site version of this story, posted at 11:10 last night, doesn’t have this, which I read in my home-delivered hard copy on p. 6 of Metro section and here key in:
Ari L. Goldman, a professor at Columbia University Journalism School [say The Journalism School of Columbia University], said journalists not only have the right to cover the story, they “have an obligation to.” However, they too must strike a balance.
“I often tell students they are guests in this place, and they should act like that,” said Goldman, who teaches religion reporting. Reclaiming the sacred space at Trinity is key to opening a productive conversation about race, [Rev. John Thomas, president of the United Church of Christ] said . . .
There you have it: the one slightly dissenting voice is immediately balanced, or in this case confirmed at length in his second point, about acting as guests in church.
But It’s not in Brachear’s night-before copy, and ChicagoTribune.com lags behind the (longer) hard copy — which may be a first in this digital age.
As for the church’s sacred space, there are widely differing views of what the pastor had done to it long before newsies came around.
Update: Trib’s web editor “just posted the full story.” The Web site mistakenly received a shorter version,” says, “Thanks for noticing.”
Yep. Updated: 2:05 p.m. Dese guys aim to please.