The quickie controversy over Jesse Jackson’s comments regarding Barack Obama can only accrue to Obama’s benefit. The more he’s seen as not being Jackson-like, the better for his image with most Americans. There’s a reason they don’t make joint campaign appearances.

It’s clear that Jackson has become irrelevant. He’s full of jealousy about Obama’s success, and his “private” comments were more representative of how he feels than anything he says publicly. His statement of regret, in which he claimed his support for Obama’s campaign is “wide, deep, and unequivocal” is simply a lie. If it were true, he would never have made the emasculation comment (and gesture) during that Fox News taping. Politicians always couch their public proclamations in a veneer of correctness, but betray their honest feelings in off-the-cuff private remarks that aren’t intended for broader distribution.

As for Fox News, they held the story for more than three days and then played it up on O’Reilly’s show. Criticize them if you want, but it’s not like they withheld important breaking news. In fact, defining this story as “news” at all is a stretch. It is common practice among all media organizations to hang onto stories until they can exploit them (ever see “60 Minutes”?). The only problem is their claim that there is more to what Jackson said, but their refusal to show or share it. If it’s as explosive as FNC is implying, they should let it out.

Jackson forgot a cardinal rule of being interviewed. From the time they clip that lavalier microphone on you to the time they remove it from your lapel, you must assume that someone is listening to (and/or recording) everything you say, whether you’re on the air or not. Perhaps Jackson can attend a media training seminar on this topic.

They probably offer one in Hymietown.