President “hides” Jesus…in plain sight
A misleading story about Pres. Obama’s recent speech at Georgetown is making the rounds in conservative media today. Under the headline
“REPORT: Georgetown Hides ‘Jesus’ for Obama Speech at White House’s Request…”, The Drudge Report circulated a link to a CNSNews story which claimed in its headline “Georgetown Says It Covered Over Name of Jesus to Comply With White House Request,” but reported in its lede that
Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram “IHS”–symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ–because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday and the White House had asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols there. (emphasis added)
So Jesus was singled out not by Obama, but by CNS and Drudge. FoxNation later ran the same headline on their front page, leaving the true context tucked away on the story page.
Within hours Bill Donohue chimed in in typically histrionic fashion, saying:
The cowardice of Georgetown to stand fast on principle tells us more than we need to know about what is going on there, but the bigger story is the audacity of the Obama administration to ask a religious school to neuter itself before the president speaks there.
Catching wind of the developing meme, the White House issued a corrective statement to David Brody:
The President appreciated the gracious hosts at Georgetown University where he delivered his speech on the state of the economy. Decisions made about the backdrop for the speech were made to have a consistent background of American flags, which is standard for many presidential events. Any suggestions to the contrary are simply false.”
Georgetown University is saying that The White House made the request to cover all symbols around the stage but it’s important to point out at there are dozens of religious symbols in Gaston Hall and those were not covered up. Also, other still pictures from the event show portraits of Jesus in the background which are off center from the stage. In addition, I can tell you that it has been my experience on the campaign trail that advance teams do typically make backdrops as generic as possible. It’s pretty much standard fare to make them that way.
But “Obama advance team requests generic backdrop for Georgetown speech” is such a dull headline…