So what did Jesse say?

As my custom late afternoon, I was enjoying a few double gin and tonics and watching CNN, the Situation Room. The big story? Rev. Jesse Jackson was beside himself with apologies for something he said about Barack Obama and was captured on a “hot microphone.” Whatever that is. Probably should ask George Allen, late of the Senate from Virginia.

After an hour or so of listening to CNN promote this — and interview experts about the political fallout real or imagined, what did Jesse say? Here’s the story, as reported on the CNN Web site.

NEW YORK (CNN) — The Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized Wednesday for “crude and hurtful” remarks he made about Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama after finishing an interview with a Fox News correspondent.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized to Sen. Obama's campaign Wednesday over "hurtful" remarks.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized to Sen. Obama’s campaign Wednesday over “hurtful” remarks.

Jackson told CNN’s “Situation Room” that a “hot” microphone caught a part of conversation he was having with a fellow guest at the studio.

He said he made a comment about Obama “speaking down black people” followed by a crude remark.

“It was very private” he said, adding later, if “any hurt or harm has been caused to his campaign, I apologize.” Video Watch more of Jackson’s apology on CNN »

The Obama campaign had no immediate comment.

Jackson‘s apology came a few hours before Fox News planned to air the remarks.

“I feel very distressed because I’m supportive of this campaign and with the senator,” Jackson told CNN. “I was in a conversation with a fellow guest on Sunday. He asked about Barack’s speeches lately at the black churches. I said he comes down as speaking down to black people.”

He said Obama’s message to black voters must be broader and serve as more than a “moral challenge.”

The black community is faced with high levels of unemployment, home foreclosures and violence, “so we have some real serious issues — not just moral issues,” he said.

However, Jackson said after finding out about the open microphone, he immediately contacted the Obama campaign to apologize.

So what did Jesse say? I don’t know. CNN — and NBC — told me everything else except that. Guess I’ll have to wait for it to appear on YouTube.

And truthfully, I don’t give a rat’s ass what Jackson said. But why won’t the networks report it? “The public’s right to know.” He,he, he, he. I think this says a lot about what has killed journalism in this country. Lack of guts. Did he say something so offensive that it can’t be reported? Good grief. Wonder what Don Imus has to say about this?

I also think it is interesting that reporters criticize PR people for not disclosing everything, including the secret formula to Coke. Is there any group that caters to its own self-interest more than journalists? Don’t think so. They even employ “reader advocates” to spin the company line. Gee. Wonder if a PR guy could get away with the spin we see in those columns? (I’m grumpy today. After my run I had to go to the dentist. Couldn’t that be considered a modest form of waterboarding?)

OK gang. Let’s see who is going to step up and tell the truth on the Jesse Jackson story. Bet it won’t be the traditional media. Although I have some hope for Howard Kurtz and The Washington Post. And then there is always Drudge and Huffington. Are they traditional media these days? Or new media?

We’ll see.

Update: Well, I guess O’Reilly has the story on Fox News.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized Wednesday for saying Barack Obama is “talking down to black people” during what he thought was a private conversation with a FOX News reporter Sunday.

Jackson was speaking at the time about Obama’s speeches in black churches and his support for faith-based charities. Jackson added, “I want to cut his nuts off.”

Uh, “cut his nuts off.” Ouch.


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