Corsi: Critics of Obama might be "put ... in jail" if he's president

››› ››› LILY YAN & DIANNA PARKER

On C-SPAN, Jerome Corsi, author of The Obama Nation, asserted that, if Sen. Barack Obama were elected president and someone were to write a book critical of him or to publish "a cartoon like The New Yorker," "Obama might just have to create a department of hate crimes and put them in jail."

Appearing on the August 16 edition of C-SPAN's Washington Journal, Jerome Corsi, author of The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality (Threshold Editions, August 2008), asserted that, if Sen. Barack Obama were elected president and someone were to write a book critical of him or to publish "a cartoon like The New Yorker," "Obama might just have to create a department of hate crimes and put them in jail." Responding to a caller's assertion that "we cannot question Obama," Corsi stated:

Ma'am, you make some very interesting points. Senator Obama is now appearing to have the thinnest skin of anybody I've ever seen run for president. And, you know, it reminds me because -- if this is the reaction for writing a book, and remember, I did not commit a crime. I wrote the book. And under the First Amendment, that's supposed to be protected and allowed. And it's a critical evaluation of Senator Obama.

But it has been pointed out, there has been many, many -- how many critical books of George Bush have there been? And George Bush doesn't come unglued at the people who write those books. It raises questions in my mind. If Senator Obama is reacting this ballistically -- this out of control, I mean, bouncing off the walls insanity, you know, concocting fake pictures of books that were never written attacking this -- 40 pages. Why didn't they write 140 pages? Because I wrote a book.

What's -- how is Senator Obama going to sit in the Oval Office and handle a crisis? I mean, all an enemy of the United States has to do is write a book about him and he'll go insane -- or put a cartoon like The New Yorker with Senator Obama, Muslim garb -- and Hillary [sic] dressed as a -- you know, a black militant.

And Senator Obama might just have to create a department of hate crimes and put them in jail. Where is the sense of humor here?

Also during the broadcast, Corsi continued to compound the falsehoods in his book by falsely claiming that he asks in his book for "definitive proof" -- such as "drug testing" -- that Obama has stopped using drugs. Corsi's claim came after host Pedro Echevarria pointed out that the Obama campaign and several major news outlets, such as The New York Times and Associated Press, have noted that Corsi's assertion that Obama "has yet to answer questions" concerning whether "he stopped using marijuana and cocaine completely in college, or whether his drug use extended into law school days or beyond," is false. Indeed, even before the book's official publication date, Media Matters for America documented this falsehood, noting that Obama wrote in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father, that he "stopped getting high" shortly after moving to New York City to attend Columbia University as an undergraduate, following two years at Occidental College -- a statement that contradicts Corsi's claim in Obama Nation that Obama has yet to say whether he stopped using drugs.

On Washington Journal, Corsi said:

What I'm asking in the book is where's the definitive proof? And I look for many uses of definitive proof. Where's the drug testing? Where's the other records? If Senator Obama wanted to establish this on the record, he could then or now do the drug testing and establish the issue. At least now it would establish it for now. Athletes are required to do this. They don't trust athletes to self-report on drug use. And, the questions that I'm asking now that the issue is on the table, put there by the senator himself, are questions I also say in the book, President Bush should himself have been forced to answer in 2000 and 2004 -- when he himself -- when the issue came up in his own campaign.

In fact, Corsi did not ask about "drug testing," "other records," or "definitive proof" in any of the book's passages about Obama's past drug use.

As Media Matters has noted, Corsi has previously mischaracterized the false claim he made about Obama's answers to questions about his drug use on at least two occasions and has issued other additional falsehoods while promoting his falsehood-laden book.

From the August 16 edition of CSPAN's Washington Journal:

ECHEVARRIA: You write on Page 77 of the book, looking at various aspects of Senator Obama --

CORSI: Sure, go right ahead.

ECHEVARRIA: This about drug use. You say that "[s]till, Obama has yet to answer questions whether he dealt drugs, or if he stopped using marijuana and cocaine completely in college, or whether his drug usage extended into his law school days or beyond." The Obama campaign, from what it put out, came out with this, it said -- and you can find this also on the senator's website -- that "Obama has made clear repeatedly that he stopped using marijuana in college, which peers have affirmed." Went on to go on to quote statements from The State Journal Register of the Springfield [Illinois], The New York Times, the Associated Press and the Politico. Again, an example of your claim against what they say is false.

CORSI: Well, you know, first of all, let me point out The New York Times and many of these other sources were -- have also been wrong dramatically about Senator Edwards, so their sources saying that Obama quit using drugs is probably just repeating what they were told, and I doubt they really did their own independent investigative research into the subject. Notoriously, people who use drugs, especially heavily, and Senator Obama says at Occidental, the drug use in college -- was his first college -- the drug use had actually become really habitual. In fact, he discusses how much of a habit it had become. For people who use drugs like that, their self-reporting that they stopped using drugs is usually notoriously inaccurate. But they'll repeat that to many people, who then repeat it as well.

What I'm asking in the book is where's the definitive proof? And I look for many uses of definitive proof. Where's the drug testing? Where's the other records? If Senator Obama wanted to establish this on the record, he could then or now do the drug testing and establish the issue. At least now it would establish it for now. Athletes are required to do this. They don't trust athletes to self-report on drug use. And, the questions that I'm asking now that the issue is on the table, put there by the senator himself, are questions I also say in the book, President Bush should himself have been forced to answer in 2000 and 2004 -- when he himself -- when the issue came up in his own campaign.

ECHEVARRIA: We'll take a look at various aspects of the book, but first to your calls.

[...]

CALLER: Good morning. And thank you for the book, sir. Appreciate it.

CORSI: Thank you. You're welcome.

CALLER: And I bought it a couple of days ago, so I'm reading it now.

CORSI: Deeply appreciate it, thank you.

CALLER: Mm-hmm. I -- we need something like this, because we cannot question Obama. Even his ears, he says, I don't like people talking about my ears, so we don't talk about his ears. But we talk about McCain's age, right? You didn't hear him say, "I don't like people talking about my age." So we're told what we can say, how we can say it.

And thank you, sir, because we need to know about this guy. He's left us -- they're hiding it. And I'm not sure how -- with the press like it is if you can do much good. And I'd love to talk to you for two hours.

CORSI: Well, thank you, ma'am. The mainstream media did not do its job. It was asleep. The mainstream media was busy making up epithets to use in case I wrote a book. I guess that's what they spend all their time doing.

Ma'am, you make some very interesting points. Senator Obama is now appearing to have the thinnest skin of anybody I've ever seen run for president. And, you know, it reminds me because -- if this is the reaction for writing a book, and remember, I did not commit a crime. I wrote the book. And under the First Amendment, that's supposed to be protected and allowed. And it's a critical evaluation of Senator Obama.

But it has been pointed out, there has been many, many -- how many critical books of George Bush have there been? And George Bush doesn't come unglued at the people who write those books. It raises questions in my mind. If Senator Obama is reacting this ballistically -- this out of control, I mean, bouncing off the walls insanity, you know, concocting fake pictures of books that were never written attacking this -- 40 pages. Why didn't they write 140 pages? Because I wrote a book.

What's -- how is Senator Obama going to sit in the Oval Office and handle a crisis? I mean, all an enemy of the United States has to do is write a book about him and he'll go insane -- or put a cartoon like The New Yorker with Senator Obama, Muslim garb -- and Hillary dressed as a -- you know, a black militant.

And Senator Obama might just have to create a department of hate crimes and put them in jail. Where is the sense of humor here?

I think that Senator McCain made a very appropriate comment yesterday when he said, "Let's just all keep our sense of humor." And I think that the criticism of me, the things that have been said have been over the top, and I've -- you know, my wife was calling me up trying to ask me to explain all the words I was being called on television.

ECHEVARRIA: From our line, for those who support Senator Obama, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Network/Outlet
C-SPAN
Person
Jerome Corsi
Show/Publication
Washington Journal
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.