It wouldn't be debate night without a media attempt to drum up some eleventh-hour controversy. Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller yesterday released what it termed a "racially charged" video of a speech then-Sen. Barack Obama gave to an audience of black ministers. In it, Obama gives a "special shout out" to the infamous Jeremiah Wright, calling him a "great leader." He also scolds the government for its handling of Hurricane Katrina. But many pundits are panning the would-be "October surprise," saying the footage is old and not terribly explosive. Here's what people are saying:
- The Drudge Report has been showcasing the video on its front page, and Matt Drudge gleefully tweeted that the speech "undermines Obama's carefully crafted image."
- Fox News is likewise having a field day. Gawker has a cringe-worthy video of Sean Hannity attempting to do an impression of Obama's cadence, which he calls "Al Gore preacher mode."
- But BuzzFeed notes that the video has been online since 2007, and has been reported on before—by Carlson himself.
- The Atlantic Wire was less than impressed, writing that most people agree the government failed Katrina victims, and that "everybody got over" the whole Jeremiah Wright thing years ago.
- Howard Kurtz agrees. "An analysis of why some blacks are angry and frustrated is not the same as racial rabble-rousing," he writes in the Daily Beast.
- Not to be outdone, Rachel Maddow is swinging back, likening the video to an "uncirculated" video from HuffPo of a 2011 Paul Ryan speech that echos Romney's notorious 47% comments: "70% of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American ideal. Only 30% want the welfare state," he says.