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Opinion: What else Jesse Jackson said when he slammed Barack Obama

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The mystery has been cleared up about what else Jesse Jackson said last week when he made his crude remarks about Barack Obama.

The previously unreported comment, disclosed Wednesday morning by the TVNewser blog, was:

“Barack ... he’s talking down to black people ... telling [black people] how to behave.” Only Jackson used the plural form of the “n-word,” not “black people,” in the second part of his comment.

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Initially, the firestorm was over comments Jackson made to a guest before a July 6 interview on ‘Fox & Friends.’

The civil rights leader whispered that Obama was ‘talking down to black people’ and that Jackson wanted to ‘cut his nuts off.’

The comments went unnoticed in the control room, Fox News said. But, as reported by The Times’ Matea Gold in a story published Friday, an employee working the overnight shift transcribed the tape, and the remarks that first caused the stir were reported several days later on Fox’s ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’ Then, as The Ticket reported, there was a controversy over exactly what Jackson said he wanted to do.

At the time, host Bill O’Reilly told viewers the network had decided to air only portions of what Jackson had said, adding there was ‘more damaging’ material, too. That gave rise to rumors that Jackson had used the “n word” –- and aimed it directly at Obama.

In a Wednesday afternoon interview with fellow Fox host Shepard Smith, O’Reilly said he had withheld the “n-word” remark because, “I’m not in the business of creating some kind of controversy that’s not relevant to the general subject -- one civil rights leader disparaging another over policy.”

But why did O’Reilly mention in the first place that he had “more damaging” material?

In a one-sentence statement offered as a reply, O’Reilly said Wednesday: “We tell the audience the full breadth of everything we report on.” There was no elaboration on why the “full breadth” didn’t include the actual comment.

As for how the “n-word” comment eventually got out, O’Reilly told Smith that “some weasel leaked it to the Internet.”

-- Stuart Silverstien


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