(CNN) – In Jeremiah Wright's first television interview since clips of his controversial sermons circulated the Internet, Barack Obama's former pastor says his words were unfairly taken out of context for 'devious' reasons.'
In an interview on PBS set to air Friday, Wright expressed frustration with how his sermons had been portrayed by the news media and critics of Obama's White House bid.
“I felt it was unfair,” he told PBS' Bill Moyers according to released excerpts. “I felt it was unjust. I felt it was untrue. I felt that those who were doing that, were doing it for some very devious reasons.”
Some of Wright's past sermons came under fire after a news report turned some of his most contentious comments into a YouTube phenomenon last month. In one, the minister said America had brought the September 11 attacks upon itself. In another, he said Clinton had an advantage over Obama because she is white. He also accused the U.S. government of adopting policies to systematically oppress African-Americans. (Listen to some of Wright's sermons via Roland Matin's blog)
Obama immediately rejected the comments, though critics charged the Illinois senator should have denounced the minister long ago. In a widely-praised speech on race relations, Obama said he could no more disown Wright than "I can disown the black community."
Speaking to PBS, Wright did not recant his past sermons. "The persons who have heard the entire sermon understand the communication perfectly," he said.
Wright also called the response to his words "very, very unsettling," and suggested critics were pushing a caricature of him.
"The message that is being communicated by the sound bites is exactly what those pushing those sound bites want to communicate," he said, adding later, “I think they wanted to communicate that I am unpatriotic, that I am un-American, that I am filled with hate speech, that I have a cult at Trinity United Church of Christ - and by the way, guess who goes to his church, hint, hint, hint? That’s what they wanted to communicate.”
Wright also said he has never discussed politics with Obama.
“He goes out as a politician and says what he has to say as a politician. I continue to be a pastor who speaks to the people of God about the things of God.”
Wright's comments come just as the North Carolina Republican Party is set to run a television commercial that points to "controversial figures from Barack Obama's past" and shows clips of the former pastor. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain has called on the state party not to run the ad.
The Republican National Committee and presumptive GOP nominee John McCain have both asked the North Carolina state party not to run the ad.
I hope people just put this to rest this time... I am sure everyone is tired of this being brought up every now and then. EVeryone had their turn to say... let this man comment on it and let this GO.
what you said was unfair? you said them. words matter. what you say can and will be used against you. should have been more prepared or not made stupid statements.
There's no way to justify what he said. His message has truth but his attack and words were unjust.
I have no sympathy for his downfall, nor will I have any for Obama when he loses.
Wight did most of damage that destroyed you candidate.
If Obama is the nominee you will find out what the republican will do to Him.
Wright, Obama. Michelle etc etc. Bunch of idiots. Iam sure Maxine Waters will be his secretary of state and Marion Barry will be the Homeland Security chief
CNN and the rest media news are responsible for the blowout of Rev. Wright speech to go against Senator Obama
THIS GUY NEEDS TO GO AWAY!!!!
HE IS UN-AMERICAN
HERE WE GO AGAIN. CAN'T THE MEDIA GET A CLUE. WE DON'T CARE!!!
Windbag for Obama
He should sue the media for distorting his words. Roland Martin is the ONLY journalist that reported his sermon in context. And he should sue Sean Hannity first.
It's simple. Don't say stupid stuff and you won't get roasted for it....
Too little, too late. Although I don't mind you bringing this issue to surface AGAIN. It's only hurting your candidate even more...
Way to go Rev! It's your turn now. What you need to do is a nationally televised sermon. This country needs changing.
The best clerics are always the most hateful ones.
Look at the success of the Middle East clerics and Mullahs.
I love hate and violence from the pulpit.
It can really inspire hope.
Wright is totally insane.
And Obama is totally wrong having been part of it all!
Not very Presidential.
CNN and the rest news media are responsible for the blowout of Rev. Wright speech to go against Senator Obama
Has he said ANYTHING we did not expect?
C'mon Rev, we've been yearning for you to speak and let these folks know that you are not the sum of your 30 second clips.
i think this pastor needs to talk about how he provided spiritual advice to the the clintons during the lewinsky scandal!
doesn't matter .
we all hear a long version of his bull shxt online.
it's not a one liner out of context.
He is a raist and obama is a member of a raist church for 20 yrs.
go rev go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if the democrats cant win this race they should give up on politics- another 4 years for the good guys. whiners go home
I, for one, am glad he is finally speaking out. (He might as well. It isn't going away anyway.)
I would like to see the whole sermon to see what he's talking about. It is very possible that the press/news media have taken his comments piecemeal for their own purposes.
never be afraid to speak your mind.even if it turns out wrong,at least the question was asked.