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Truth in Obama’s advertising? Sure, say the 'fact-checkers'

Monday, June 23, 2008 Free Headline Alerts

By Cliff Kincaid

The following are excerpts from an article for Accuracy in Media.

What happens when the “fact-checkers” don’t check facts and the “watchdogs” don’t watch? Consider the case of those who claim to be watching politicians for lies and deceptions and pretend to analyze Sen. Barack Obama’s new patriotic “Country I Love” television ad, airing in 18 states.

The Obama TV ad purports to describe his upbringing and legislative accomplishments but ignores his childhood mentor, Communist Frank Marshall Davis. While Obama associates Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn looked to Havana and Hanoi for their inspiration and guidance, Davis loved the old Soviet Union and refused to answer questions under oath about his Communist Party membership. He was a Stalinist.

By airing his patriotic ad, Obama is trying to suggest that whatever associations he had with these and other anti-American figures, and whatever mysterious circumstances he may have been raised or trained in, he still managed to somehow become a loyal American. But how is this possible? Which pro-American political figures had any influence at all on his life and career? Would he please name some? The Obama ad, which also touts his alleged legislative accomplishments, is curious for another reason. It ignores his costly pro-U.N. Global Poverty Act, now on the verge of full Senate passage.

The reason for the omission is obvious: Obama’s campaign understands that the bill, which commits the United States to spending more foreign aid money on the rest of the world, is not popular with the American people and would make him look like an anti-American globalist and socialist. This perception has to be avoided at all costs.

“America is a country of strong families and strong values,” Obama declares in the ad. “My life’s been blessed by both. I was raised by a single mom and my grandparents. We didn’t have much money, but they taught me values straight from the Kansas heartland where they grew up.”

In fact, his white grandfather helped raise Obama by selecting Frank Marshall Davis, a black communist writer and poet, as a father-figure and role model while he was growing up in Hawaii. His values, passed on to Obama, were those of a communist agent who pledged allegiance to Stalin. Among other things, as Obama himself admits in his book, “Frank” told him that blacks had a reason to hate whites and that he should not believe that [expletive deleted] about the American way of life. Davis was an influence over Obama during the years 1975-1979. His “poetry” is viciously anti-American and pro-Soviet. And yet Obama listened to it growing up.

All of this has been well-documented in numerous articles by Accuracy in Media, based on information in Obama’s book, Dreams From My Father; books by and about Davis; and interviews with and speeches by those who had information about Davis’s role in raising Obama. Congressional investigations named Davis as a key member of the Communist Party USA involved in a Soviet network that also included actor Paul Robeson and labor leader Harry Bridges.

Does Obama understand the dangers of communism and socialism? It is not reassuring to consider that Obama obviously doesn’t want the public to know that his childhood mentor was a Stalinist member of a communist network in Hawaii. His “Country I Love” TV ad ignores it. But that’s why we are supposed to have outside “fact-checkers,” media watchdogs, and the media themselves.

Nevertheless, the Annenberg Political Fact Check project declares that Obama’s “description of his upbringing and work history are accurate.” It claims, “The basic details that Obama provides about his family are correct. His books and various news reports confirm that Obama was raised in Hawaii by his mother and grandparents, who were transplants from Kansas…”

Books and various reports? That seems rather vague. In fact, his book, Dreams From My Father, confirms that a mysterious “Frank” was a mentor, and that he was a significant influence over Obama after his father had abandoned the family. And this “Frank,” as we now know, was Frank Marshall Davis. But the folks at “Fact Check” pretend not to know. Perhaps they didn’t take the time to examine the facts. This project includes personnel formerly with CNN, Time magazine, and public broadcasting. But a more serious examination of their backgrounds reveals that some of the staffers have had affiliations with liberal causes, personalities, and candidates such as Common Cause, Bill Moyers, the AFL-CIO, and Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark.

As the campaign moves ahead, there will be some superficial criticism by the media of Obama’s claims about himself and his legislative record, such as we saw in the treatment of this ad, but the really damaging truth about his anti-American background and record will be sanitized or suppressed. In a preemptive strike, the Obama campaign has already made it known that any questions about his patriotism, associations, or far-left ideology will automatically be rejected in advance as “smears” or “lies.” So the media will probably not even bother to raise any questions of substance.

Fox News is the latest to go into the tank for Obama, after owner Rupert Murdoch declared him a “rock star” and his New York Post endorsed him in the Democratic primaries.

It will take courage to tell the truth under these circumstances. Fortunately, there are groups like AIM, with your help, that will do it.

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