Jeremiah Wright, in a rare media appearance, told Sirius XM Satellite Radio's Mark Thompson that he understands why Obama distanced himself from him, but doesn't forgive the media the way it covered him.
His reaction to Obama's victory, he said, was a "mixed bag of being proud of him and being blessed to have lived" through the moment, and pain at being "put up by the media" as a "weapon of mass destruction to destroy his candidacy."
Wright, who posed what may have been the deepest challenge to Obama's candidacy, and provoked its most racially-charged moments, is now a footnote to a winning campaign. He opened little new ground, and expressed joy that his former friend was now president, and no remorse at his own role.
The negative press, and the final wave of negative ads, had been particularly painful, he said.
"I sort of never realized how that affects my family, what that does to my kids or my grandkids," he said.
Wright also seemed to dispute the notion that the inflammatory moments that aired on cable television and the Internet were out of character, though he said they were out of context.
"I’ve been preaching the same thing for 40 years," he said, saying that white audiences couldn't be expected to understand a form of worship they'd never seen, and was once practiced in secret.
He also said that Obama's chief political advisor had been the one who pressed for rescinding his invitation to perform the invocation at Obama's campaign launch in Springfield, referring to David Axelrod's "not wanting me to give a public invocation."
Wright also repeated his perception -- which helped convince Obama to cut him off after initially refusing to in his speech on race -- that politics was part of his former congregant's calculus.
"He’s running for the presidency of the United States of America, which is a country where blacks are a minority," he said. "To get the votes that he needs in electoral politics, he has to distance himself from me, because his support would dry up when certain parts of the constituency found out who I was."
His greatest disappointment, he said, wasn't in Obama, but in some of his fellows in the black church, who "just rolled over and played dead while we in the black church continue to be hammered for who we are."
God don't like ugly.