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Why Don't McCain's Superstitions Get the Same Play as Obama's Former Pastor?: Prof. Kevin Howley

Why Don't McCain's Superstitions Get the Same Play as Obama's Former Pastor?: Prof. Kevin Howley

May 5, 2008

Kevin Howley 2008 hs.jpgMay 5, 2008, Greencastle, Ind. - The ongoing controversy over remarks by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright have political pundits and talking heads "working overtime trying to outdo each other's sense of righteous indignation and moral panic," writes Kevin Howley, associate professor of communication at DePauw University. In an op-ed published in the Bloomington Alternative, Dr. Howley declares that "Wright's provocative statements have demonstrated that race is most certainly an issue in this year's historic presidential campaign."

Senator Barack Obama continues to take heat, "not for any 'outrageous,' 'inflammatory' or 'divisive' statements he has made, but rather, because his former pastor dared to share his deepest suspicions, frustrations and anxieties about the state of the African-American community," Howley states. "And yet, in the parallel universe occupied by the mainstream media, Sen. John McCain gets a pass from the press corps when it comes to the inflammatory statements and end-times prophecy John McCain.jpgespoused by pastor John Hagee, the controversial televangelist who has endorsed the Arizona senator for president."

The professor continues, "If all of this isn't enough to test our collective credulity, McCain's own superstitious beliefs and weird habits don't seem to faze mainstream journalists or the chattering classes of cable news and talk radio. In fact, reporters seem downright charmed by McCain's penchant for talismans. For instance, a positively giddy report in a recent edition of the Washington Times notes, 'Mr. McCain has dozens of superstitions and rituals ... He carries a lucky feather, a lucky compass and a lucky penny -- not to mention a lucky nickel and a lucky quarter.' ... As luck would have it, McCain's superstitious nature hasn't threatened his presidential bid the way Obama's pastor's views and beliefs have undermined the Illinois senator's candidacy. Perhaps the next time McCain sits down for a cozy chat with NBC's Tim Russert, the longtime beltway insider will grill McCain on his irrational belief system with the same tenacity he questioned Dennis Kucinich on the existence of UFOs during a Democratic debate. Knock wood."

ballot box.jpgHowley concludes, "Fortunately, come Tuesday it won't be TV talking heads, campaign strategists or outspoken preachers that will help determine who the Democratic nominee will be. That's up to all the rational, superstitious and religious voters in Indiana and North Carolina. Believe it or not!"

Read the column in it's entirety at College News.org.

Last month, Kevin Howley -- author of Community Media: People, Places, and Communication Technologies -- analyzed media coverage of the war. Learn more in this previous story.