Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Jesse Jackson is attracted to the line of sight between television cameras and human misery like no other person on earth.
My wife once sat across the aisle from Jackson on a flight to LA and I've seen him up close working the press. He's an incredibly charismatic man with a very nimble mind. No matter what you throw at him he responds with an avalanche of words, some plausible, some absurd, mostly just rhetoric. Unlike most camera junkies (like Chuck Schumer, whose need for attention is painful to watch) he always manages to give the impression that he's doing the cameras a favor. He's a fraud, of course, but the press treats him like an artifact of the 'charming rogue'. When your con is such an important and volatile issue as race or abortion, though, you'd think that the press would feel some responsibity to be a little more challenging. They do so with Randall Terry. Occasionally with Sharpton. Why not Jackson?
Notwithstanding his usual behavior, in this particular instance criticism of Jackson is unfair. Terri's parents invited Jesse Jackson just recently.
He did not show up uninvited, and did now show up before being invited. Given that his presence demonstrates that this is not all an issue for the right-wing, I think it would have been a good idea to invite him even earlier!