On the March 1 edition of San Francisco radio station KSFO's Morning Show, citing a source who reportedly once expressed "understand[ing] for how the Holocaust took place," guest Catherine Moy rehashed a host of falsehoods and smears about Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). Moy, who co-wrote American Mourning: The Intimate Story of Two Families Joined by War, Torn by Beliefs (WND Books, 2006) with co-host Melanie Morgan, stated that, according to her source, Obama "flat-out lied" about his upbringing. Moy also used her source's claims to revisit the debunked January 17 InsightMag.com article claiming that "researchers connected to" Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) disclosed that Obama "spent at least four years in a so-called Madrassa, or Muslim seminary, in Indonesia." Moy said her source was Andy Martin, whom she described only as a "Republican" who "once ran in the primaries" for the Illinois Senate seat eventually won by Obama, as her source for the information about Obama.
According to a January 31, 2004, Copley News Service article, Martin was removed from the 2004 Republican Illinois Senate primary ballot after falling more than 1,000 signatures short of the 5,000 needed to put him on the ballot; Martin claimed he had filed the required number of signatures "but that someone had doctored them." A February 10, 2006, Chicago Tribune article noted that Martin also ran for a Senate seat in Florida in 2004.
According to the Tribune article, during bankruptcy proceedings, Martin "referred to a federal bankruptcy judge as a "crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race," and, separately, stated: "I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did, when Jew survivors are operating as a wolf pack to steal my property." The Tribune also reported that "Federal Bureau of Prisons records show Martin has spent several stints in several federal prisons on issues related to contempt of court."
The Nexis database includes several news articles reporting that Martin's Selective Service file described him as having a "moderately-severe character defect manifested by well documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character." For example, the Tribune article explained:
In 1973, the Illinois Supreme Court refused to allow Martin admission to the bar. The court's decision noted that Martin, a University of Illinois law school graduate who was previously known by the name Anthony R. Martin-Trigona, had a Selective Service record that showed he had a "moderately-severe character defect manifested by well documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character."
Still, the court noted that "issues raised as to [Martin's] mental stability" did not need to be considered in light of other matters it cited in deciding that Martin lacked the qualities of "responsibility, candor, fairness, self-restraint, objectivity and respect for the judicial system" required for the administration of justice.
Among issues the high court cited in denying his law license were Martin's criticism of members of a bar review panel as "emotionally ill" and "scum," his filing of a petition asking that a parking violation be lifted because it was "entered by an insane judge" and his description of an attorney as "shaking and tottering and drooling like an idiot," according to court records.
A June 28, 2004, Chicago Sun-Times column by Neil Steinberg reported that, as Moy suggested, Martin had issued a "NEWS FLASH" in 2004 "announcing his candidacy for Senate and demanding the Illinois Republican Party 'conduct an open selection process' that, one assumes, includes him." Steinberg's column included the same quote from Martin's Selective Service file.
Leading up to Obama's February 10 announcement that he would run in the Democratic presidential primary, Martin wrote that "[d]uring Obama Week leading up to February 10th, we will release our CIA-style psychological profile on him; that analysis will cast more light on Barack's supple psyche and his ability to seamlessly deny objective reality."
Moy stated that, according to Martin, the school Obama attended was "not a madrassa, but that they did teach the Quran, and they did teach that Jews are pigs. So that it -- you know, those kind of things that the Quran teaches, all of those things in the Quran that offend so many, he was taught." But Obama himself has written that he was taught the Quran while in public school in Indonesia. From his book Dreams From My Father (Three Rivers Press, 1995):
In Indonesia, I had spent two years at a Muslim school, two years at a Catholic school. In the Muslim school, the teacher wrote to tell my mother that I made faces during Koranic studies. My mother wasn't overly concerned. 'Be respectful,' she'd said. In the Catholic school, when it came time to pray, I would pretend to close my eyes, then peek around the room.
Nothing happened. No angels descended. Just a parched old nun and thirty brown children, muttering words. Sometimes the nun would catch me, and her stern look would force my lids back shut. But that didn't change how I felt inside. I felt that way now, listening to Will; my silence was like closing my eyes.
At the beginning of the segment, Rodgers asserted that Obama's campaign denied the InsightMag.com article by falsely saying that the school Obama attended in Indonesia was "a very conventional Catholic school." In fact, in addition to writing in The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (Crown, October 2006) that he was "sent first to a neighborhood Catholic school and then to a predominantly Muslim school," on January 23, Obama released a statement denying the InsightMag.com story, and stating that, while in Indonesia, Obama was sent "to two years of Catholic school, as well as two years of public school." From his statement:
All of the claims about Senator Obama's faith and education raised in the Insight Magazine story and repeated on Fox News are false. Senator Obama was raised in a secular household in Indonesia by his stepfather and mother. Obama's stepfather worked for a U.S. oil company, and sent his stepson to two years of Catholic school, as well as two years of public school. As Obama described it, "Without the money to go to the international school that most expatriate children attended, I went to local Indonesian schools and ran the streets with the children of farmers, servants, tailors, and clerks." [The Audacity of Hope, p. 274]
To be clear, Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends the United Church of Christ in Chicago. Furthermore, the Indonesian school Obama attended in Jakarta is a public school that is not and never has been a Madrassa.
Moy further claimed that CNN, which debunked the InsightMag.com story on January 22, "did a really poor job" because "they talked to one person, who was at school with him, who was a friend and a great supporter." In fact, CNN correspondent John Vause quoted two sources in the version of his story posted online -- Hardi Priyono, deputy headmaster of the Basuki school, which Obama attended, and Bandug Winadijanto, a former classmate of Obama's who, Vause reported, claimed "that not a lot has changed at the school since the two men were pupils." The InsightMag.com story was also debunked by the AP, who cited a spokesman for Indonesia's Ministry of Religious Affairs, and ABC, who cited a separate assistant headmaster at the school.
Moy later added that Martin "told me that his research that he did on Barack Obama, that's where Mrs. Clinton got it and leaked it, and that's where you first got your story from Insight." Martin has similarly boasted: "Even Hillary Clinton began with my research [on Obama's school]. No surprise; because I was right." But as ABC News' Jake Tapper reported, the accusation that Clinton is responsible for the smear "remains unproven and unsubstantiated," as Media Matters has noted.
After rehashing the myth about Obama's schooling, Rodgers turned the conversation to a February 26 article in London's Daily Mail to claim that Obama presented a false picture of his father, Barack Obama Sr., in Dreams From My Father. Moy answered that "Mr. Martin continues to do research on Barack Obama because he feels that he has flat-out lied to the public" and that "the fact is that Barack Obama has lied over and over again in his books about his family." Moy added that Obama's "father was married at least three times while married to his mother -- Barack Obama's mother -- so he's a polygamist, but the media do nothing about that when they're beating up Mitt Romney like a rented mule over it."
In fact, as Media Matters for America noted, the Daily Mail article, titled "A Drunk and a Bigot: What the U.S. Presidential Hopeful Hasn't Said About His Father," falsely suggested that Obama omitted key details -- which the Daily Mail claimed to have "discovered" -- about his father's life in Dreams From My Father to present a "conveniently potted account of his personal history." According to the Daily Mail, "We have discovered that his father was not just a deeply flawed individual but an abusive bigamist and an egomaniac, whose life was ruined not by racism or corruption but his own weaknesses." The Daily Mail selectively quoted from Dreams From My Father to support its claim, but in the entire passage from which the article quotes, on Pages 125-126 (paperback), Obama recounted a conversation with his mother that addressed his father's bigamy.
At the end of the segment, Morgan referred to the role Fox News played in forwarding the InsightMag.com story and said: "I think Fox News might be interested in knowing that their original reporting on this is vindicated." Later, Morgan advised Moy to "put up a really great picture of yourself on the website because Media Matters, which is listening to every word that we say on this radio station and transcribing it, is going to be putting a bull's-eye on you -- politically speaking, of course -- later today." Moy responded: "Well, then, I should put up a big picture of my back end, then, I think."
From the March 1 edition of KSFO's Morning Show:
RODGERS: Catherine Moy collaborated with Melanie on the book American Mourning, and, lately, she's been working on another project, I believe, to look into what is or is not true about Senator Barack Obama's personal history -- family history. Ms. Moy, as you know, a few weeks ago when the story made the rounds that Barack Obama as a young child attended a school in Indonesia that was said to be a madrassa, where Muslim children are, frankly, taught to hate non-Muslims, his campaign came out very quickly with a denial. They said it was a very conventional Catholic school. Is that the end of the story?
MOY: Not at all. Good morning to you all. It is not the end of this story. The fact is, is that when CNN came out to attack that story, by Insight, they did a really poor job. What they did was go to visit the school now -- which is more than 30 years past the time Barack Obama was there as a student -- and they talked to one person who was at school with him, who was a friend and a great supporter. Not exactly the most credible source. From what I found, and I yesterday interviewed a man, Andy Martin, who's a Republican, but once ran in the primaries against -- well, wouldn't have been against him, Barack Obama, but he's looking for Barack Obama's senatorial seat.
He started doing the research on this. I interviewed him yesterday. He said it was not a madrassa, but that they did teach the Quran, and they did teach that Jews are pigs. So that it -- you know, those kind of things that the Quran teaches, all of those things in the Quran that offend so many, he was taught.
RODGERS: A major British newspaper, the Daily Mail, out of London, was out yesterday with a story that said much of the family history that Senator Obama writes about in his book, especially the stuff about his father, is, frankly, greatly fictional. Do you have any information on that?
MOY: Yes, I read that article as well, and I did speak to Mr. Martin about this. Mr. Martin continues to do research on Barack Obama because he feels that he has flat-out lied to the public. And, yes, the fact is that Barack Obama has lied over and over again in his books about his family. His father was married at least three times while married to his mother -- Barack Obama's mother -- so he's a polygamist, but the media do nothing about that when they're beating up Mitt Romney like a rented mule over it.
MOY: And Mr. Martin is not -- he says that this story is not peaking now, but it'll take Barack Obama out.
RODGERS: You know who will not bring this stuff up? Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton will never bring this up.
MOY: Well, here is the problem, or it's not the problem. Hillary Clinton won't say it with her own lips. But Mr. Martin has led -- told me that his research that he did on Barack Obama, that's where Mrs. Clinton got it and leaked it, and that's where you first got your story from Insight.
RODGERS: Mel, anything you want to add to this?
MORGAN: I just, I'm sitting here absorbing all this information, and I'm thinking about how the mainstream media is going to ignore this story, but we're not going to let that happen. In fact, I'm looking at Carl Cameron from Fox News, and I think that Fox News might be interested in knowing that their original reporting on this is vindicated.
MOY: Absolutely. Last night, actually, I was a little bit perturbed. [Fox News'] Hannity & Colmes had a black columnist, and I can't track him down anywhere, but he apparently wrote something about this church that Barack Obama attends now. And, of course, you know, Colmes is attacking him and saying, "How do you know? You haven't been there." Well, you know what? You don't have to go there. You can go to the website and listen to what they have to say, and I'm telling you, it is going to make people's eyeballs pop clean out of their heads.
MORGAN: Well, I've got to say to you, Cat, be careful. What I would recommend you do is put up a really great picture of yourself on the website because Media Matters, which is listening to every word that we say on this radio station and transcribing it, is going to be putting a bull's-eye on you -- politically speaking, of course -- later today. So you can count on it. And that's good because that will further the story.
MOY: Well, then, I should put up a big picture of my back end, then, I think.
MORGAN: Be careful there.
RODGERS: It's Catherine Moy. Thank you, Ms. Moy.
MOY: Thank you.