Wrong Wright: Conservative Media Falsely Claim Biden Gave “Shout Out” To Jeremiah Wright

Vice President Joe Biden did not make a reference to Rev. Jeremiah Wright in his speech today at the NAACP's annual convention, despite breathless speculation from conservative media that he did. A spokesperson from the Obama campaign told Salon's Joan Walsh and The Washington Post's Greg Sargent that Biden “was referencing a different Reverend Wright ...an old friend from Delaware.”

In his speech, Biden spoke about “the men and women who educated me when we'd sit over in Reverend Wright's church” about desegregation, presumably during his early political career in Delaware -- and not Illinois, where Jeremiah Wright is based.

Conservative media heard “Wright” and apparently assumed that “the” Jeremiah Wright was the only possible Rev. Wright that Biden could be speaking about. It wouldn't make any sense for Biden to make a reference to the controversial clergyman miles from his hometown - especially in the middle of election season - but several of the usual suspects went for it anyway. Major figures in conservative media have often obsessed over Rev. Wright, and pounce on the flimsiest evidence to bring it back up.

Among those who jumped the gun:

Fox Nation, who headlined their story “At NAACP Summit, Biden Reminisces About Sitting In REVEREND WRIGHT'S CHURCH” before quickly pulling it without an explanation (their usual technique).

The Drudge Report, who linked to the video on conservative blog Weasel Zippers. Weasel Zippers asked if Biden learned “how America's chickens came home to roost” from Wright.

Glenn Beck's news site, The Blaze, who wrote: “But Biden curiously started his speech by reminiscing about sitting in Reverend Jeremiah Wright's church.”

Michelle Malkin asked if Biden had given a “shout out to ... Rev. Jeremiah Wright” and asked, “Who thought resurrecting the race-hustling reverend was a good idea?” She later updated her post to ask, “Is there a different Rev. Wright in Delaware that Biden's talking about? Maybe a #realreporter will ask.” And then she blamed Biden for her own knee-jerk confusion noting, “Perhaps VP Biden should have made a greater effort to make a clear distinction with the infamous Rev. Wright, given how much he haunted his boss during the 2008 campaign season...”