Establishment Media Bury Obama-Farrakhan Photo

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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The establishment media is ignoring a scandal that could damage former President Barack Obama’s legacy.

A new photo has emerged that shows Obama smiling with Louis Farrakhan, the leader of a black nationalist hate group, at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting in 2005. Obama was a senator at the time. Farrakhan is the longtime leader of the Nation of Islam, which even the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has said is an anti-Semitic, anti-white hate group.

A journalist for a Nation of Islam publication, Askia Muhammad, took the photo but suppressed its publication for 13 years in order to protect Obama’s presidential aspirations. Now, establishment journalists refuse to even cover the photo’s existence, in effect suppressing the photo for a second time.

The bombshell photo was first published on Jan. 20 by the Trice Edney News Wire, a “provocative, empowering, unapologetically Black” wire news service that interviewed Muhammad. Talking Points Memo, a liberal website, picked up the photo in a Jan. 25 story that made the Drudge Report, an influential news aggregator.

Obama’s office did not return a request for comment.

Other than the TPM article, left-wing and establishment media sources have covered for Obama since the photo became public, primarily by ignoring its existence. (RELATED: 13 Hard-Hitting Questions Liberal Reporters Asked Obama)

The New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN all have yet to publish a single article on the topic. The Wall Street Journal had published one piece on the photo: an opinion column that went up Monday night.

The New Yorker ran a piece that acknowledged the photo “might have derailed Obama,” but portrayed Obama as the victim for taking a photo with the leader of a known hate group.

“This past week, the response, both to the picture itself and to the fact of its years-long suppression, was predictable, if not totally unwarranted: Fox News latched on, and the lawyer and lifelong Democrat Alan Dershowitz—who, last January, had threatened to leave the Party if Ellison won the prize at the D.N.C.—declared that he never would have campaigned for Obama had he seen him standing near Farrakhan back when. I’m sure he’s not the only one,” wrote the New Yorker’s Vinson Cunningham.

“Muhammad, that anonymous C.B.C. functionary, and Farrakhan, with that faux-harmless smile, all knew it: if that picture spreads in 2007 or 2008, a whole different history ensues,” Cunningham wrote.

Obama was slow to distance himself from Farrakhan during the 2008 campaign after his ties to the pastor became a campaign issue.

Obama attended the Million Man March in 1995, which was organized by Farrakhan, and some of his early political backers in Chicago were Farrakhan allies.

Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, repeatedly praised Farrakhan and had plenty his own history of inflammatory statements, such as “God damn America.” Obama was forced to distance himself from Wright during the campaign, even though Wright married Barack and Michelle Obama and baptized their daughters.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger, another Chicago-area clergyman whom the New York Times identified in 2008 as one of Obama’s early political backers, is a longtime supporter of both Farrakhan and Wright. Pfleger told The New Yorker in 2016 that he still considers Farrakhan his closest adviser.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama was slow to reject Farrakhan’s emphatic endorsement. A spokesperson for Obama initially released a statement that said Obama had “been clear in his objections to Minister Farrakhan’s past pronouncements and has not solicited the minister’s support.” The statement did not reject Farrakhan’s endorsement. (RELATED: Seven Louis Farrakhan Quotes On Jews, Gays And White People)

“I obviously can’t censor him, but it is not support that I sought,” Obama said later. “And we’re not doing anything, I assure you, formally or informally with Minister Farrakhan.” He added: “I can’t say to somebody that he can’t say that he thinks I’m a good guy.”

Obama only rejected Farrakhan’s endorsement after Hillary Clinton slammed the senator for being so slow to distance himself from the hate group leader. “If the word ‘reject’ Senator Clinton feels is stronger than the word ‘denounce,’ then I’m happy to concede the point, and I would reject and denounce,” Obama said.

Farrakhan said at an event in 2016 that Obama visited him in Chicago shortly before the senator launched his campaign for president in 2007. During his speech, Farrakhan said a photo exists of himself with Obama, although it’s not clear if he was referring to the 2005 photo. Farrakhan also claimed that the Nation of Islam backed Obama’s early political career in Chicago, dating all the way back to 1996.

In other words: the new photo is just the latest evidence that Obama palled around with political and racial extremists as a politician in Chicago.

If Obama’s legacy escapes the Farrakhan scandal intact, he may very well have the media to thank for that.