Deception & Misdirection
Obama, Giuliani, & the Man Who Never Was (or close to it): Frank Marshall Davis
[Continuing our series on deception in politics and policy.]
When former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani criticized President Obama as the product of his extremist upbringing, the media pounced, treating Giuliani’s comments as unsupported rants and demanding that every GOP leader denounce the remarks. In fact, the person who “outed” Barack Obama as the protégé of a Communist was… Barack Obama himself.
If you depend, for your political information, on the major news media organizations, you’d never know that. That’s just one of many important little bits of information about the President that they’ve protected you from. As a result, Giuliani’s comments seemed, to many people, to be baseless and a little weird.
Radio talk show host Chris Plante, formerly of CNN, notes that “The most insidious power of the news media is the power to ignore.”
Often, this takes the form of ignoring aspects of the news that support political opinions with which they disagree. The media are quick to report hate crimes or other violent acts that support left-wing stereotypes, while they decline to report such acts that run against their worldview. (Recently, when a Tea Party-hating fan of Rachel Maddow killed three young Muslims, the media focused on the fact that the perpetrator was from North Carolina, thus implying that the murders were a right-wing hate crime.) When a politician is exposed as a crook, his party affiliation is typically a prominent part of the story, provided that he’s a Republican. On the other hand, when a crooked politician acted in concert with environmentalist groups and their crony-capitalist allies in the case of recently resigned Governor John Kitzhaber (D-Oregon), the scandal was presented as the story of an otherwise upstanding public servant being led astray by his much-younger, greedy fiancée, with no mention of the “green” angle.
As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama presented a special problem for extremists in the news media. His background was such that, if the public were made aware of it, he would stand little chance of being elected president. The historical fact that, running for the state senate, he held a major campaign event, reasonably described as the “launch” of his campaign, at the home of two terrorists—one of them the most famous terrorist in America prior to Timothy McVeigh—that fact alone would have, should have knocked him out of contention. Beyond that was the fact that his relationship with the two, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, went well beyond a campaign event held at their home (working together to distribute millions of dollars in “philanthropy,” among other things) and that Obama and his campaign chief got caught lying about the relationship (claiming that Obama and Ayers/Dohrn were just folks in the same neighborhood, and that they knew each other because their children—roughly 20 years apart in age—went to school together), and that Obama defenders got caught lying about Ayers and Dohrn (referring to them as “anti-war,” when in fact they had openly declared war on America as justification for their scores of bombings, including those of the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol).
On top of that was the fact that Senator Obama was a longtime member of an infamous hate-church where the preacher declared that 9/11 was “chickens coming home to roost” for America, which he called AmeriKKK and about which he declared, “Not God bless America, but God d**n America!” And the fact that Obama became friends with extremists like Rashid Khalidi, and worked closely with the corrupt left-wing organization ACORN, and sought the support of the New Party (a Democratic Socialists of America spinoff so far left that the Greens considered it a fringe group).
Back to the beginning
In his comments, Giuliani went back to earlier in the President’s life, when he was a teenager growing up in Hawaii, abandoned by his mother and being raised by his grandparents. To mentor his grandson, Stanley Dunham, a radical leftist, brought young Barack into contact with a man named Frank Marshall Davis.
Davis was a famous journalist and poet. He had been managing editor of the Atlanta World, one of the first successful African-American newspapers, and, upon moving to Chicago, became executive editor of the Associated Negro Press, the wire service for African-American papers. (The term “Negro” was, at the time, considered respectful.)
Davis was a member of the Communist Party—literally a card-carrying Communist, card #47544—and he was a strong defender of the mass murderer Joseph Stalin. (It is important to point out, whenever one discusses the Communist Party, that the party murdered an estimated 100-150 million people during the 20th Century. Unlike most other “progressive” organizations, the Communist Party was a ruthless hate group, so blinded by ideology that, during the time of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, CP members were required to support Hitler.)
It was Davis who provided an African-American role model. Remember that Obama was of mixed heritage, his father from Africa and his mother from Kansas and Hawaii. He was not an “African-American” in the usual sense of the term, referring to someone whose ancestors were slaves brought from Africa to the New World. (We don’t call an immigrant from Egypt an African-American, and we don’t call a “white” South African immigrant an African-American. Likewise, someone with a Kenyan father and an American mother may be “black”—a term that describes various dark-skinned peoples—but is not African-American in the usual sense.) Obama was from Hawaii, which never banned “interracial” marriage and which was often held up as an example of what a non-racial society could look like. (Ever notice those pictures of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others in the Selma-to-Montgomery march wearing leis?) His life’s journey that brought him to identify not as “biracial,” “multiracial,” or omniracial (think Tiger Woods, pre-scandal) but as a black man—that was the key story in Obama’s Dreams from my Father, which he refers to as his autobiography.
(It’s not really his autobiography, of course, since, as the President admitted to little fanfare in 2012, much of it is fiction. Yes, the President of the United States admitted that he made up his “autobiography,” the one that made him a political star, the one that was sometimes mentioned as one of the best-written autobiographies ever, and it barely made the news at all. In any event, the part about Frank Marshall Davis appears to be true.)
In Dreams, Barack Obama refers to “Frank” only by first name, but the description is so specific that it can be only one man. How many left-wing African-American poets around Davis’s age moved from Chicago to Honolulu and lived there when Obama was a teenager? In fact, no one has ever challenged the identification of “Frank” as Frank Marshall Davis.
The name “Frank” in reference to Davis occurs 22 times in Dreams. That’s more than twice the number of mentions of Michelle, the President’s wife. Interestingly, the references to Frank were removed from the book when it came out in an audio version, a sign of what lawyers call “consciousness of guilt.”
For more on Davis, I’ll refer you to others for more information on Davis:
- Paul Kengor, who’s written a book about Davis, has a piece at http://spectator.org/articles/61849/here%E2%80%99s-guy-rudy-talking-about-frank-marshall-davis-communist-party-no-47544 .
- The anti-Communist website Discover the Networks has a profile of Davis at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2323 .
- And there’s a 2012 piece by Jack Cashill at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2012/06/time_and_again_maraniss_conceals_obamas_socialist_roots.html .
Nowadays, reporters often avoid the issue of Davis’s Communist affiliation. They hide behind language like “Davis was investigated by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, and some claimed that he had Communist ties.” But before Davis’s relationship with Barack Obama became important to history, journalists made no effort to cover up his affiliation. For example, the September 22, 1997 African-American Review listed Davis among authors who “emerged from or were nurtured by the literary and cultural institutions of the communist Left in the 1930s and played important roles in these institutions.” Other articles contrasted Davis with, say, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and others who broke with the Party.
As for the Davis-Obama relationship, even Wikipedia, which, in its article on Davis, buries the lede, admits at the end of the article:
In his memoir Dreams from My Father, Barack Obama mentions a friend of his grandfather named Frank, who was later identified as Davis. Davis told Obama that he and Stanley (Obama’s maternal grandfather) both had grown up only 50 miles apart, near Wichita, although they did not meet until Hawaii. He described the way race relations were back then, including Jim Crow, and his view that there had been little progress since then. As Obama remembered, “It made me smile, thinking back on Frank and his old Black Power, dashiki self. In some ways he was as incurable as my mother, as certain in his faith, living in the same sixties time warp that Hawaii had created.” Obama also remembered Frank later in life when he took a job in South Chicago as a community organizer and took some time one day to visit the areas where Frank had lived and wrote in his book, “I imagined Frank in a baggy suit and wide lapels, standing in front of the old Regal Theatre, waiting to see Duke or Ella emerge from a gig.”
Down the memory hole
During the Romney campaign, we learned about the time he was a bully to a kid who grew up to be gay. Recently, news articles have focused on Scott Walker’s college time and the mystery of why he left before graduation, and on the spending habits of Jeb Bush’s wife. The story of a future president being mentored by a famous poet/journalist in a way that set the course of his future life—including, one suspects, his move from Hawaii to Chicago—is the kind of story a political journalist yearns for.
So I went back and looked at news stories that appeared in major newspapers (as that category is defined by the Lexis/Nexis data service). How much coverage did the Davis story get? By the time I looked (Monday morning, February 23), the papers in that category had produced, since February 19, some 39 news stories, editorials, and columns by in-house writers that mentioned the flap over Giuliani’s recent criticism of the President.
Excluding letters to the editor and syndicated columns (by Cal Thomas, radio host Mike Rosen, former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich, and economist Thomas Sowell), here’s what the same set of newspapers produced about the relationship between Frank Marshall Davis and Barack Obama:
The Daily Telegraph (London)
August 23, 2008 Saturday
As a mixed-race child growing up in Hawaii, Barack Obama stood out from an early age
by Toby Harnden
As the sun sank over the Pacific Ocean behind him, Frank Marshall Davis looked up from his rickety front porch and saw his friend Stanley Dunham approaching. The grizzled old black man could see that Dunham was at last bringing along his grandson, whom he had been waiting to meet – a caramel-skinned boy of nine called Barry Obama. It was the autumn of 1970.
Next week, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois will become the first black man to accept the Democratic nomination to become President of the United States. Central to his appeal is his message of racial reconciliation, drawn largely from his own remarkable life story and extended family spread across the globe.
His quest to come to terms with his identity as an African-American essentially began with Davis that day in Honolulu nearly 38 years ago. The journey would take him to Los Angeles,
New York, Boston and Chicago and could well end triumphantly in the White House in January.
Hawaii imbued Obama with the laidback, almost preternatural calm that has underpinned his political career. It insulated him from the racial tensions of inner cities on the American mainland while also posing a conundrum about his blackness that would take him back there in search of an answer. The ambition would develop at Harvard Law School and the deceptive toughness in Chicago.
Frank Marshall Davis had been a noted poet, journalist and radical activist who had once been investigated by the congressional House Un-American Activities Committee. In 1956 he had exercised his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent rather than risk incriminating himself when asked whether he was a Communist. . . .
[This is one of the few full-length articles mentioning Davis that appeared after Barack Obama became famous. It goes on to discuss Davis, the young Obama, and the fact that Barack Obama Sr. was already married when he “married” Stanley Ann Dunham, Barack’s mother. (I do not mention that fact to embarrass the President. Frankly, I couldn’t care less. But that fact, acknowledged in Dreams, has been covered up by the media for the specific purpose of enhancing the President’s image—not the sort of thing that ethical journalists do—with the result that people who have mentioned it have been attacked as racists by the likes of Chris Matthews.]
[From this point forward, I’m including, for purposes of historical analysis, every reference to Davis in any one of these articles.]
The Jerusalem Post
October 3, 2008
by Glenn C. Altschuler
[Review of Jerome Corsi’s book The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality.]
. . . Corsi’s deconstruction of Obama’s voting record and policy pronouncements – surprise! – constitutes character assassination by another name. The candidate’s support for late-term abortions, gun control legislation, progressive corporate and income taxes, government subsidies for health care and foreign aid to reduce global poverty, Corsi declares, reflect “little more than a leftist resentment traceable to his days in Hawaii and in college, smoking marijuana and drinking liquor while listening to the likes of aging communist poet Frank Marshall Davis rail against capitalism.”
Verging on “fantasy and delusion,” Obama’s foreign policy agenda, according to Corsi, is predicated on “the power of his personality” to transform international relations. Although he’ll say “whatever he has to say just to get elected,” once in office he’ll unilaterally disarm America, withdraw precipitately from Iraq, appease Ahmadinejad and Hamas and abandon Israel.
Promoted as “meticulously researched and documented,” without intervention by “anyone in the Republican Party,” The Obama Nation is, of course, nothing more than a book- form campaign commercial that brings new meaning to the term ad hominem.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania)
October 12, 2008
Obama’s fishy associations Still no answers to questions on Ayers and others
Who is Barack Obama? Is he the thoughtful, moderate guy he’s appeared to be in the first two presidential debates? Or is he a closet radical? The election is less than a month away, and we still don’t know. . . .
In “Dreams From My Father,” Mr. Obama writes fondly of “Frank,” a mentor while he was growing up in Hawaii. “Frank” was Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party USA, and who was on the FBI’s list of subversives. . . .
[The editorial, one of the few pieces to look negatively at the Davis-Obama relationship, also lists Obama’s relationships with Khalidi, Wright, Ayers and Dohrn, and other extremists and hate-mongers.]
Chicago Sun Times
November 30, 2008
Obama’s Hawaii; Book explores his childhood and the cultural diversity that helped shape him
By Dave Hoekstra
. . .
HOW HE MET CHICAGO POET/UNION ACTIVIST DAVIS
The Dream Begins: How Hawai’i Shaped Barack Obama is the first book to explore President-elect Barack Obama’s friendship with Chicago union organizer-poet Frank Marshall Davis.
In 1948, Davis, an African American, and his wife, a white Chicago socialite named Helen Canfield Davis, visited Hawaii on a tip from Paul Robeson. They stayed the rest of their lives. Davis had been an editor with the Associated Negro Press in Chicago and wrote for the Gary (Ind.) American. In Hawaii, he became a champion of ethnic union workers while living in “The Waikiki Jungle” — a cluster of dense housing near the Diamond Head end of Waikiki.
“Barry’s grandfather brought him here to see Davis,” author Stu Glauberman says during a drive through the neighborhood.
Davis was an ally of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union that was organizing Hawaii’s plantations and docks.
[The ILWU, by the way, was headed by Harry Bridges, a Communist Party member.]
The New York Post
January 21, 2009
IT’S GLOBAL GLEE OVER BIG DAY – ‘HOMETOWN HERO’ HONORED ON 3 CONTINENTS
By Chuck Bennett
Three exotic locales where Barack Obama’s fabled life story took root – Kenya, Indonesia and Hawaii – celebrated his inauguration yesterday with the time-honored traditions of dance, drumming and communal feasts.
More than 500 goats and bulls were slaughtered for feasts in Kenya, the home of the president’s late father, Barack Sr., and his cousins and halfbrother. . . .
Others attended a special breakfast party at Don Ho’s Island Grill in Honolulu.
“I have a lot of expectations, a lot of hope, and I expect to see a lot of change,” said Beth Charlton, 56, a Honolulu medical technician who is the daughter of Frank Marshall Davis, a black journalist and poet who was a friend of Obama’s maternal grandfather.
San Jose Mercury News (California)
August 12, 2009
Opinion: Media lend credence to patently false information
By Eric Burns [president of the left-wing Media Matters for America]
Glenn Beck recently told his version of President Barack Obama’s life story. Obama’s parents met “while taking a Russian language class … at the height of the Cold War.” His father figure was Frank Marshall Davis, a man who “happened to be a communist.” In college, Obama attended “socialist conferences” and befriended political radicals. In Chicago, he fell in with “like-minded people like William Ayers,” “slumlord Tony Rezko” and “terrorist sympathizer Rashid Khalidi.” He joined a church that damns America. Obama’s “soul mate,” Michelle, only recently discovered patriotism. Now in the White House, Obama is still “honoring his communist child mentor with policy drafts.”
Consider also that in recent days, health care town hall meetings have been disrupted by increasingly violent, belligerent protesters shouting down representatives and accusing them and Obama of tyranny and worse.
It’s all connected. The leaders of the conservative movement feeding those protests have a simple message, encapsulated by Beck’s monologue: President Obama isn’t one of us. He wasn’t raised with American traditions or values, and he doesn’t believe in the American principals of free market capitalism, respect for life and liberty, and love of country. . . .
[This article shows the party line on matters related to Obama’s background—that any effort to look at it critically, in the manner of all other presidents and presidential candidates, is an effort to make him seem like The Other. Therefore, it’s racist. I would note that the foundation of Obama’s campaign against Romney was to make Romney, a member of an oft-persecuted religious minority, into The Other.]
June 6, 2012
by Abe Katsman
. . . Neither of Obama’s two navel-gazing autobiographies mentions any Jewish education. Raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, Obama has stated that his first exposure to Judaism and Zionism was as a sixth-grader, from a Jewish camp counselor. His mentor through his high school years was “Uncle Frank,” communist agitator Frank Marshall Davis, hardly a scholar of Judaism. . . .
The Washington Post
June 10, 2012
President Obama’s love for basketball can be traced back to his high school team
by David Maraniss
To say that President Obama loves basketball understates the role of the sport in his life.
The subject of Obama and basketball reaches into the complexities of self-perception and race. Since his self-discovery served as the organizing theme of his memoir, it was understandable that he focused his life through that racial lens, and that for dramatic effect he sometimes placed more emphasis on certain provocative scenes and topics. The tendency in his self-portrait was to present himself as blacker and more disaffected than he was, if only slightly so. He did this regarding his portrayal of both Frank Marshall Davis, the Frank character in the book, old and black and cynical; and Keith Kakugawa, the Ray character, young and black and angry – enhancing their roles in his teenage life at the expense of other people who spent vastly more time with him.
[Yep, the story is about basketball, and mentions Davis in passing.]
[At this point in the development of the Davis-Obama narrative, Obama’s defenders reverted to their usual tactic—to suggest that only kooks would be interested in such a thing, then point to a small group making extraordinary claims as if their claims somehow disproved the fact of the Davis-Obama relationship.]
The Washington Post
July 22, 2012
Romney’s aid and comfort to the Obama nuts
by Dana Milbank
On an official Mitt Romney campaign conference call this last week, former New Hampshire governorJohn Sununu tested the latest effort to paint the commander in chief as disloyal to his country.
“I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” the Romney surrogate said.
Sununu, challenged, later apologized for the words – but not the sentiment. And that’s not good enough.
It’s not good enough because Sununu, like other prominent Republicans, is winking at those conservatives who continue to make the claim, often race-based, that President Obama is something un-American, something “other” than the rest of us. On Thursday, two days after Sununu’s attack, Romney himself said that Obama lacks “an understanding of what it is that makes America such a unique nation.”
Sununu and Romney are legitimizing people such as Cliff Kincaid. Also on Thursday, Kincaid convened his annual conference at the National Press Club for conspiracy-minded conservatives, this one about Obama and “Radical Islam.”
On the program, Obama’s photo was alongside Vladimir Lenin’s and those of radical Muslim clerics. Kincaid got right to the point: Obama was actually sired by the late author Frank Marshall Davis, identified by Kincaid as a communist pornographer.
There is, Kincaid said, a “distinct possibility that Davis was Obama’s real father.” The host further informed the assembly that Davis was “Obama’s sex teacher” and that “Obama was under the tutelage of a pedophile.” Kincaid asked “what Frank Marshall Davis may have done to a young Barack Obama” and “what other terrible secrets are out there.” For more on this, Kincaid brought in a filmmaker to discuss his work on Obama and Davis, “Dreams from My Real Father.”
The next speaker, blogger Trevor Loudon, provided the additional information that Davis was a “possible Soviet spy” and that there are “a whole host of other communists and Marxists around Obama,” including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, with “a communist-front record as long as your arm.” Loudon figures that Obama is making it possible for Russia and China to attack the United States and that “Latin American states would be invited in for looting rights.”
“You’ve got to ask,” Loudon said, “how involved were the Soviets in promoting the career of Barack Obama, and are they getting a payoff today?” (The Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, the year Obama graduated from law school.) . . .
The New York Times
August 5, 2012
Best Sellers: Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction: Sunday, August 5th 2012
. . . 14. THE COMMUNIST, by Paul Kengor. (Threshold Editions/Mercury Ink) A professor at Grove City College argues that Frank Marshall Davis, an elderly black Communist whom Barack Obama met as a teenager in Honolulu, was his secret mentor. . . .
[Note that the fact of the Davis-Obama relationship is described sarcastically as that of Obama with his “secret mentor.” That’s the “secret mentor” whom Obama discussed extensively in his memoir.]
The Washington Post
August 24, 2012
In ‘2016,’ Obama is fear itself
by Michael O’Sullivan
“I’m not trying to bash Obama in a crude way,” Dinesh D’Souza says in a TV news clip featured in the conservative writer and commentator’s new documentary “2016: Obama’s America.” . . .
The real bogeyman isn’t Obama, who D’Souza acknowledges can come across as an appealing and charismatic leader. That honor is shared by several men D’Souza refers to as Obama’s “founding fathers,” in an unsubtle dig at the president’s patriotism. It’s a group that includes communist Frank Marshall Davis; former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers; academic Edward Said, whose views are described as anti-Zionist; liberal Harvard professor Roberto Unger; and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a proponent of so-called black liberation theology.
None of the names of these putative villains is new, which gives “2016” the air of a “Nightmare on Elm Street” sequel, pandering to the franchise’s hard-core fans, while boring everyone else.
[By this point, the Davis-Obama relationship is characterized as just boring old news. Hey, why are you bringing up that old story again?? It’s a technique the Clintons perfected during their years of scandal.]
August 30, 2012
Catering to conjecture
by John Brummett
This new right-wing documentary, 2016: Obama’s America, is a 90-minute silver-screen attack ad that I watched through the noon hour Tuesday with about 50 other people at the local Rave theater complex.
The film, which is largely the work of Reaganite pundit Dinesh D’Souza, is an elaborate exercise in conjecture and paranoia.
. . .
While a boy in Hawaii, young Barry was occasionally sent to be mentored by a learned old black guy, Frank Marshall Davis, who was so far left that he had sympathized with the Communist party in the 1930s.
Oh, my heavens. Don’t you see?
It’s all either false, or wildly imagined, or fantastically theorized. . . .
The New York Post
August 30, 2012
America’s Future Bam-bash film $izzling at box
by Amber Sutherland and Gerry Shields
A blistering anti-Obama documentary – “2016: Obama’s America” – has exploded on movie screens just as the president prepares for his big moment before the Democratic National Convention next week.
The film debuted on one screen in Houston last month, but is now in 1,091 theaters – including six in New York City – and is expected to be in 1,700 this weekend.
In the film, author Dinesh D’Souza traces Obama’s roots from Kenya, through Indonesia and Hawaii to document how he is ideologically rooted in the Third World.
D’Souza, a former Ronald Reagan policy adviser, points out that when Obama was a teen, his mentor was Frank Marshall Davis, a communist. . . .
October 19, 2012
Anti-Obama DVD floods Central Florida mailboxes
by Jim Stratton
A conservative, California-based filmmaker said this week that his company is distributing more than a million free copies of a conspiracy-laden DVD that claims much of what the public knows about President Barack Obama’s early life is false.
The movie — called “Dreams From My Real Father” — began appearing in Central Florida mailboxes sometime last week.
It is the work of Joel Gilbert, a director whose other movies have focused on everything from militant Islam to Bob Dylan to Elvis Presley. He said the DVD is being sent to swing states, including Florida and Ohio, but would not say who is financing the project or how much the distribution costs.
Gilbert’s central — and widely denounced — claim is that Obama’s father was not a Kenyan named Barack Obama but a black poet and journalist named Frank Marshall Davis. Marshall was a labor activist investigated in the 1940s and 1950s for ties to the American Communist Party.
Gilbert contends Davis and Ann Dunham — the president’s mother — had a secret relationship when they were living in Hawaii, and that Dunham’s family covered it up when she became pregnant.
Ultimately, Gilbert alleges, Obama discovered who his “true” father was. The men developed a relationship, Gilbert said, and the president’s “biological father” became his “ideological father.”
The movie is the latest entry in a stream of Obama-centric conspiracies produced by the far right. . . .
Tampa Bay Times
October 21, 2012
ROD SMITH: NO GUBERNATORIAL RUN IN 2014 WON’T RUN FOR GOVERNOR IN ’14 [and various political items]
by Adam C. Smith
. . .
Dreams from director
Don’t be alarmed if you receive an odd DVD in the mail. California filmmaker Joel Gilbert has sent his latest production, Dreams From My Real Father, to voters in Florida and other swing states. The widely ridiculed premise is that Obama’s real father is communist poet and journalist Frank Marshall Davis.
Gilbert has made films suggesting Elvis is alive and Paul McCartney is dead.
. . .
The New York Times
October 24, 2012
Strident Anti-Obama Messages Flood Key States
By Jeremy W. Peters
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — To turn on the television, open the mail or drive down the highway here is to watch conservatives test the boundaries of how far they can go to disqualify President Obama.
Along the Interstate that connects the beach towns of Florida’s east coast, giant billboards show the president, whom some on the far right have falsely accused of being Muslim, bowing to a Saudi king. Another blares ”Stop Obama!” and shows a nuclear warhead with ”Iran” painted on it aimed at Israel, a particularly potent message with this area’s many Jewish voters.
In one commercial that started running this month, a wealthy businessman and Hungarian immigrant named Thomas Peterffy laments how socialism shackled his native country. ”And that’s what I see happening here,” he says. ”That’s why I’m voting Republican and putting this ad on television.”
And a new anti-Obama DVD is dropping into voters’ mailboxes, claiming that the president is the love child of an illicit relationship between his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist Party loyalist. The back story of the DVD offers the latest example of how secretive forces outside the presidential campaigns can sweep into battleground states days before the election.
. . .
Focus groups were revolted by ”Dreams From My Real Father,” with its conspiracy theory paranoia and dubious evidence. It compares photos of the president and Mr. Davis, noting that they have similar noses and freckles. It also purports to have uncovered nude photos of Mr. Obama’s mother in a bondage magazine.
[Pollster Frank] Luntz’s clients were not surprised. Their thinking was, ”I want to know if it’s as bad as I think it is,” Mr. Luntz said.
But even though no major Republican activists stepped forward to finance its distribution, voters in Ohio and Florida have reported receiving the DVD.
The film is the work of Joel Gilbert, whose previous claims include having tracked down Elvis Presley in the witness protection program and discovering that Paul McCartney is in fact dead.
Mr. Gilbert will not say where he received the money to distribute his movie — he claims to have sent out four million copies. ”It’s a private company, so we don’t disclose who’s part of it,” he said. He also blamed the mainstream media for not looking deeper into the story he uncovered, telling The New York Times, ”I hope you’re not angry or jealous that I beat you to it and might win the Pulitzer Prize.”
His work has already received a lot of attention in corners of the conservative media, including on the radio programs of Monica Crowley and Michael Savage.
One voter from Stuart, Fla., who received the ”Dreams From My Real Father” DVD in the mail last week said she was appalled, confirming Republicans’ worst fears about the film.
”I thought, well, I’ll take a look and see what it is,” said the voter, Judy Cindrick. The DVD was addressed to her husband, who was not affiliated with either party on his state voter registration. ”But then it got to the part about the president’s mother, and I was like, O.K., I can’t even watch this anymore. This is just something a bunch of crackpots put together.”
The New Zealand Herald
October 31, 2012
US election: Dirty tricks exposed
With a week to go until Election Day, the nasty campaign tactics are coming out.
People in Florida, Virginia and Indiana have gotten calls falsely telling them they can vote early by phone and don”t need to go to a polling place. In suburban Broward County, Florida, a handful of elderly voters who requested absentee ballots say they were visited by unknown people claiming to be authorized to collect the ballots.
And there”s a mysterious DVD popping up in mailboxes that purports to be a documentary raising questions about the true identity of President Barack Obama’s father.
. . .
Independent Florida voter Jane Bowman smelled something bad, too, when she recently discovered a DVD in her mailbox questioning the identity of Obama’s father.
“I think it’s just a dirty trick. It just astonished me,” said Bowman, a Jacksonville resident who says she plans to vote for Obama as she did four years ago. “I think they’re doing everything they can to win Florida. It’s a sorry situation.”
The DVD”s director, who says he has mailed some 7 million copies to homes in swing states, says that he is unaffiliated with political campaigns or their supporters and that the film reflects his own painstaking research into Obama’s family background.
The DVD, “Dreams from My Real Father,” posits that the president’s true father was a communist agitator, author and poet living in Hawaii named Frank Marshall Davis not the Kenyan man who shares the president’s name. Both men are now dead.
The title is a reference to Obama’s book about his family history. That book does mention a poet named “Frank” who was a friend of Obama’s maternal grandfather.
In an interview, DVD director Joel Gilbert described himself as a nonpartisan independent who seeks only to tell what he views as an extremely important story. Gilbert said he did not coordinate distribution of the DVD with any political entity and also took no political contributions to finance it. Yet the DVD was targeted at voters in key battleground states, including 1.5 million in Florida and 1.2 million in Ohio, according to Gilbert’s website.
“It’s a publicity measure,” he said of the free mail distribution. “This has been an effort to force and embarrass the media into covering the content of the film.”
Gilbert declined to disclose how the DVD and its distribution were financed, saying his production company is private and not required to. He has also made what he calls “mockumentaries” exploring whether former Beatle Paul McCartney might really be dead as was rumored in the 1960s and finding Elvis Presley alive and living as a federal agent in Southern California. He has also done films on Islamic-Jewish relations and Iran’s strategic ambitions. . . .
The Observer (England)
March 17, 2013
Angry, confused, beaten: US rightwing turns to wackiness in battle for distinctive ideas: Paul Harris in Fort Washington joins delegates searching for a way back into America’s heart at a key annual meeting of conservatives
by Paul Harris
Gene Wisdom, a 55-year-old conservative from Nashville, Tennessee, was no fan of Barack Obama. Clutching a book called The Communist, he was waiting eagerly to meet the book’s author, Paul Kengor, so that he could sign it. The book, which detailed the life of black American journalist and labour activist Frank Marshall Davis, bore a startling subtitle: “The untold story of Barack Obama’s mentor.” That worked for Wisdom. “It is very convincing,” he said.
Believing that the president is more or less a communist would be surprising in many political circles, including many Republican ones. But Wisdom was not just queuing at another book launch. He was one of the crowd at the largest and most important conservative gathering in the American political calendar, where the outlandish is commonplace.
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), hosted by the American Conservative Union, does not do moderation or restraint. . . .
[C]onservative activists often find themselves glued together by emotion, paranoia and a firm belief that America is about to turn into a liberal totalitarian state. Tea Party groups promoted themselves with events linked to the Hunger Games, the dystopian sci-fi novel and film, and a video that fantasised about violent revolution. In a giant exhibition hall in the bowels of the centre, dozens of stalls vied for who could be most apocalyptic about the state of America. One contender was Cliff Kincaid’s group called America’s Survival. Kincaid was also promoting a film about Frank Marshall Davis. But this work postulated Davis was not just Obama’s political father but also his biological one: a development that would shock the many conservatives convinced Obama is a Kenyan. “He is a Marxist, though. It is his background,” Kincaid said.
The idea that Obama – whose administration has seen a wild stock market boom and who boasts Goldman Sachs as a major campaign contributor – is to the left of Lenin would seem insane anywhere outside this place. But inside CPAC there is a vast self-referencing ecosystem of media and thinktanks to back up that world view. . . .
December 18, 2013 Wednesday
PITTSBURGH PRESS EDITION
OBAMA’S PAST AS MURKY AS HIS WORD
by Jack Kelly
. . .
Unlike other recent presidential candidates, Mr. Obama has refused to permit release of his academic records from Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School.
He was asked by Khalid al-Mansour, an adviser to Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal, to write a letter of recommendation for Barack Obama to Harvard, former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton told an interviewer on a New York television show in March 2008.
During that year’s presidential campaign, Mr. al-Mansour (formerly Donald Warden), a black radical attorney convert to Islam, denied this, but he no longer does.
Donald Warden told him wealthy Arabs planned to spend $20 million a year for 10 years to aid minority students, and to encourage them to support Arab causes, Chicago Tribune columnist Vernon Jarrett wrote in a 1979 column.
Vernon Jarrett was the father-in-law of Valerie Jarrett, de facto White House chief of staff, a close friend of Frank Marshall Davis, a communist who was a mentor to Barack Obama as a teenager in Hawaii, noted Frank Miele, the Montana newspaper editor who unearthed the Jarrett column last year. . . .
Daily News (New York)
February 21, 2015
HIS ‘RED’ ALERT! Sees Bam Commie link GOP leaders recoil
by Celeste Katz with Jennifer Fermino and Dan Friedman
TRYING TO explain his controversial comments that President Obama doesn’t love America, Rudy Giuliani said Friday that he believes the President has been influenced by communism and socialism.
“Look, this man was brought up basically in a white family, so whatever he learned or didn’t learn, I attribute this more to the influence of communism and socialism” than to his race, Giuliani told the Daily News.
“I don’t (see) this President as being particularly a product of African-American society or something like that. He isn’t,” the former mayor added. “Logically, think about his background … The ideas that are troubling me and are leading to this come from Communists with whom he associated when he was 9 years old” through family connections.
When Obama was 9, he was living in Indonesia with his mother and his stepfather. Giuliani said he was referencing Obama’s grandfather having introduced him to Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party.
The mayor also brought up Obama’s relationship with “quasi-Communist” community organizer Saul Alinsky and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. . . .
[A sidebar referred to Alinsky and Wright as the “Focus of Rants” by Giuliani.]
The New York Post
February 21, 2015
Comrade-in-chief Rudy: Bam influenced by commies
by Carl Campanile and Geoff Earle
‘What people are feeling is sorry for Rudy Giuliani.’ – Josh Earnest
‘From the time [Obama] was 9, he was influenced by Frank Marshall Davis, who was a communist.’ – Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani doubled down on his claims that President Obama doesn’t “love America” in an interview with The Post Friday – claiming the commander-in-chief has been influenced by communists since his youth.
“From the time he was 9 years old, he was influenced by Frank Marshall Davis, who was a communist,” Giuliani said. The ex-mayor added that Obama’s grandfather introduced him to Davis, a writer and labor activist.
Giuliani also said another bad influence on Obama was Saul Alinsky, a community organizer whom the ex-mayor called a “socialist.”
The man once called “America’s mayor” also sharply criticized the president for having been a member of a church led by radical Chicago Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
. . .
Meanwhile, the White House countered by trying to make Giuliani seem less like a heroic guardian – and more like an oddball whom no one wants to be around.
“I can tell you that it’s sad to see when somebody who has attained a certain stature and even admiration tarnishes that legacy so thoroughly,” press secretary Josh Earnest said Friday.
“There’s no element of schadenfreude that people are feeling around here. What people are feeling is sorry for Rudy Giuliani.”
And to hammer the message home, Earnest added a personal note. “I think, really, the only thing that I feel is to feel sorry for Rudy Giuliani today,” he said.
There you go. Imagine if you read every single “major newspaper” (as classified by Lexis/Nexis). That’s the sum total of information you would have about the Davis-Obama relationship. (With the exception of that first article, I included the complete reference to Davis.)
Sometimes, conservatives, libertarians, JFK-type liberals, and others considered “Far Right” by the Obamaites get frustrated when they argue with friends on the Left. They can’t understand why their friends don’t react the same way they do, when they hear of the President’s tie to extremists and hate groups. They see a continuity that runs from the President’s youthful associations to his policies and associations today, from the illegal war on Libya, effectively on behalf of Al Qaeda, to the effort to censor the Internet, to the campaign to control what we eat, to the campaign by Al Sharpton (the administration’s “point person” on police brutality) to fabricate hoaxes that lead to the deaths of police officers.
The problem is that most people on the Left live in a bubble. They’ve never heard of Frank Marshall Davis except as the subject of right-wing conspiracy theories, and they see those conspiracy theories as the root of most criticism of the President. They live in a different world.
A final note: I believe that it is entirely possible for a person to rise above his background. Most of the founders of National Review, the premier conservative magazine, were former Communists. Former segregationists like Strom Thurmond, Robert Byrd, and Jimmy Carter claimed to have abandoned the abhorrent views they once professed, and I, for one, gave them the benefit of the doubt. I know vehement atheists who used to be religious; I have heard powerful Christian testimony from people who used to see the world very differently.
That—the testimony—is one thing that converts have in common. Ronald Reagan, a former leftist, had a story to tell about how he changed his mind. An academic mentor of mine, a former Soviet, had a story about how he came to reject Communism. Benjamin Franklin had a story about how he went from a loyal subject of the King to a republican revolutionary. Conversion stories are so important that, when we don’t have a verified story of conversion, we tend to accept even the stories that seem, to some of us, to be a little fishy (Constantine’s conversion to Christianity as the result of a vision of a cross in the sky, Lincoln’s conversion to abolitionism after seeing a slave market).
As Barack Obama rose from state legislator to U.S. Senator to presidential candidate, I waited to hear his conversion story.
We were told that the President has rejected the faith of both his father and stepfather (see my earlier piece at http://capitalresearch.org/2015/01/the-devil-can-cite-scripture-for-his-purpose-also-lying-is-ok-according-to-the-left/ ). We were told that he rejected the ideology of both the grandfather who raised him and the mentor who played a key role in the development of his personal and political identity.
And I was prepared to believe. At some point, I assumed, he would tell his conversion story. Probably in a major address, such as his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention. If he didn’t come forth with the story, he would at least be asked about it by some reporter.
I’m still waiting.