Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Secret Sound-bite

Today the Rev. Jesse Jackson issued an apology for something he said about Barack Obama, something we may never know. CNN reported that "a Fox News microphone picked up comments he [Rev. Jackson] meant to deliver privately that seemed to disparage the presumptive Democratic nominee for appearing to lecture the black community on morality."

Here is part of Rev. Jackson's apology. "This is a sound bite in a broader conversation about urban policy and racial disparities. I feel very distressed because I'm supportive of this campaign and with the senator, what he has done and is doing," he said. "I said he comes down as speaking down to black people. The moral message must be a much broader message. What we need really is racial justice and urban policy and jobs and health care. That's a range of issues on the menu. Then I said something I regret was crude. It was very private. And very much a sound bite," he also said.

We may never know what Rev. Jackson said about Obama. But what we can walk away with is the lesson that you should always be careful what you say when you are a high-profile person issuing opinions and critiques in earshot of the media. When the media is around you better believe that what you say can and will be overheard, maybe even recorded. Just ask Rev. Jackson.

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