My colleague Ben Dimiero has already laid out the many reasons why the Washington Post looks ridiculous by publishing Dinesh D'Souza's op-ed on President Obama's "anti-colonial" ideology (the theme of D'Souza's new, lie-filled book), but I'd like to kick in a couple more.
First, the Post isn't the only media outlet to feature D'Souza today. WorldNetDaily, the internet's buzzing hive of birtherism, published their fawning interview with D'Souza this morning, wholeheartedly endorsing his "anti-colonial" theory, which amounts to a sort of high-brow birtherism. So in publishing D'Souza, the Post has found some common ground with a website that credulously reported the "smoking gun" of Obama's (fake) Kenyan birth certificate.
Second, Howard Kurtz, the Post media critic who just defected to the Daily Beast, criticized the paper on Twitter this morning, asking why the paper would "run a condensed version of Dinesh D'Souza's Forbes piece, abetting [the] discredited argument that Obama's dad made him anticolonial?"
It's a good question, and there really is no good answer.
A couple of weeks ago, Forbes published a falsehood-ridden cover story from pseudo-intellectual hatchet man Dinesh D'Souza about Barack Obama's supposed "anti-colonial" worldview. Though D'Souza's theory drew praise from people like Newt Gingrich and Glenn Beck, the article became an embarrassment for Forbes. After the publication initially defended the piece by laughably claiming that it's "facts" were not in contention (they were), the fact-checker they tasked with vetting the article -- after it had already been published -- turned up inaccuracies and the magazine was impelled to issue a correction.
The article drew criticism from, among many others, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Forbes columnist Shikha Dalmia, who ripped D'Souza's "intellectual goofiness," "factual problems," and "unsubstantiated ideological accusations."
Apparently not content to sit idly by while Forbes took the lion's share of embarrassment for promoting baseless smears of the president, the Washington Post decided to give D'Souza a platform in their paper this morning to explain "Why Barack Obama is an anti-colonialist." As we detailed this week, D'Souza's new book laying out this theory is filled with absurd leaps of logic, baseless accusations, and outright lies. Why, after D'Souza's lies have already been exposed and another publication already got burned by his serial mendacity, did the Post think it was a good idea to give him space to misinform their readers?
Last year, after the Post gave Sarah Palin column space to spread numerous falsehoods about climate science, op-ed editor Autumn Brewington defended the decision to publish the op-ed because Palin "is someone who stirs discussion and we are in the business of putting out opinion." Essentially, the Post argued that they are content to publish garbage, as long as you'll click on it.
While this D'Souza op-ed is sure to "stir discussion," that discussion is likely going to focus on the lack of standards at the Post and the ongoing trainwreck that is their op-ed page. Is that really the type of discussion they want to have?
Visitors to the website for The King's College of New York City will see an entire page devoted to "Honor," a concept that the Christian college apparently holds quite dear: "The King's College is a community of honor, not merely a collection of individuals. The actions of one affect us all. Therefore, we commit to confronting breeches [sic] of honor in our midst." On that page, the King's College Honor Code is reproduced for all to read: "A student of The King's College will not lie, cheat, steal, or turn a blind eye to those who do. Every student is honor bound to confront any other student who breeches [sic] the Honor Code."
Obviously, the code is intended for students, but it is clear that the entire King's College community is held to the same exacting standards of honor. And it's with that in mind that we turn our attention to the King's College president, Dinesh D'Souza, and his new book, The Roots of Obama's Rage, which stands firmly athwart the principles of honesty and forthrightness that are expected of his students. Throughout the book, D'Souza lies indiscriminately on matters large and small and haphazardly contradicts himself in pursuit of a theory that can charitably be described as insane -- that Barack Obama is motivated by an "anti-colonial" ideology, inherited from the father he met only once, that seeks the disempowerment of what Obama views as the "neocolonial" United States.
It would be charitable to call this theory "insane" because that would suggest that D'Souza, in propagating it, wasn't moved by malice or any other ulterior motive. But D'Souza takes as little care to disguise the animus behind his theory as he does the falsehoods that undergird it. Put simply, this book takes Obama to account for the crime of being born to an African father:
The most powerful country in the world is being governed according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s -- a polygamist who abandoned his wives, drank himself into stupors, and bounced around on two iron legs (after his real legs had to be amputated because of a car crash), raging against the world for denying him the realization of his anti-colonial ambitions. This philandering, inebriated African socialist is now setting the nation's agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son. The son is the one who is making it happen, but the son is, as he candidly admits, only living out his father's dream. The invisible father provides the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done. America today is being goverened by a ghost. [Page 198]
Obama's father was a Harvard-taught economist and bureaucrat in Kenya's fledgling independent government, but to D'Souza he's a "Luo tribesman." D'Souza tries to contrast the senior Obama's personal failings with what he sees as Obama's lionized idea of the man, but most of his knowledge of Obama Sr.'s drinking and infidelities comes from Obama's own writings. The poisonous message is clear: Obama, like his father, is foreign and dangerous.
So it seems that Dinesh D'Souza, author of the new book The Roots of Obama's Rage, sat down with Jason Mattera, the frat-clown editor of Human Events, to field some softball questions about his lie-filled screed. In the video below, D'Souza explains how Obama "has no understanding whatever of entrepreneurship" and "never speaks of entrepreneurship in a positive way."
That's a bold statement, particularly when you consider that Obama held a Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship this past April. (It was held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, but I digress.) In his remarks at the summit, Obama said:
OBAMA: Now, I know some have asked -- given all the security and political and social challenges we face, why a summit on entrepreneurship? The answer is simple.
Entrepreneurship -- because you told us that this was an area where we can learn from each other; where America can share our experience as a society that empowers the inventor and the innovator; where men and women can take a chance on a dream -- taking an idea that starts around a kitchen table or in a garage, and turning it into a new business and even new industries that can change the world.
Entrepreneurship -- because throughout history, the market has been the most powerful force the world has ever known for creating opportunity and lifting people out of poverty.
Entrepreneurship -- because it's in our mutual economic interest. Trade between the United States and Muslim-majority countries has grown. But all this trade, combined, is still only about the same as our trade with one country -- Mexico. So there's so much more we can do together, in partnership, to foster opportunity and prosperity in all our countries.
And social entrepreneurship -- because, as I learned as a community organizer in Chicago, real change comes from the bottom up, from the grassroots, starting with the dreams and passions of single individuals serving their communities.
In his new book The Roots of Obama's Rage, Dinesh D'Souza theorizes that President Obama is motivated by an "anti-colonial" ideology inherited from his father, and boasts that this theory explains Obama's actions in a way "that no rival theory can even begin to do." In reality, D'Souza's absurd "anti-colonial" theory is premised upon a series of false and misleading claims.
To those of you who would dismiss Dinesh D'Souza's new book, The Roots of Obama's Rage, as a waste of time, a pernicious collection of lies and thinly veiled racial attacks, a monumentally stupid and unintentionally comedic exercise in right-wing demagoguery -- well, you're right. And this passage from pages 200-202 is pretty much all the evidence you'd need to prove that argument beyond any shadow of a doubt.
After repeating the nonsense right-wing attack on NASA administrator Charles Bolden for saying that the president tasked him with outreach to the Muslim world, D'Souza writes:
No surprise: most people think of NASA's job as one of landing on the moon and Mars and exploring other faraway destinations. Even some of Obama's supporters expressed puzzlement. Sure, we are all for Islamic self-esteem, and seven or eight hundred years ago the Muslims did make a couple of important discoveries, but what on earth was Obama up to here?
One of England's great colonial figures was the mining magnate Cecil Rhodes, one of the few people in history to get a country (Rhodesia) named after him. Rhodes is today remembered for the diamond mining company he founded, De Beers, and also for the Rhodes Scholarship. But in his time he commanded something of a private army, he got mixed up in the Matabele Wars and the Boer War, and his political and economic tentacles reached across most of southern Africa. At the peak of his power, Rhodes was asked by a journalist how far he intended his influence to spread. He replied, "I would annex the planets if I could. I often think of that." This is the colonial mindset carried to the final frontier: even possession of the whole earth is not enough! You can imagine how the anti-colonialists reacted to Rhodes. Rhodes's comment can help us understand how the anti-colonial mind perceives America's space program -- it is a projection of American power and arrogance into the solar system.
If Obama shares this view, no wonder that he wants to blunt NASA's space program, to divert it from being a symbol of American greatness to a more modest public relations operation that builds ties with Muslims and other peoples. Even when the Muslims aren't involved, Obama wants to make sure the Russians and the Chinese share the credit. Space, you see, is for human and not merely American exploration. Plug in our anti-colonial model and what at first seems inexplicable -- converting NASA into a community outreach program for Muslims -- suddenly makes complete sense. Remove the theory and it is almost impossibly difficult to account for what Obama is doing.
D'Souza actually wrote this. And he was actually serious when he wrote it. He believes that President Obama, being of the anti-colonialist bent, wants to "blunt" NASA's mission in order to prevent America from realizing Cecil Rhodes' dream of colonizing space.
It's no wonder that Glenn Beck finds this book to be so remarkable.
From the October 1 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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Dinesh D'Souza appeared on Fox News' Glenn Beck to discuss how his "anti-colonialist" theory explains the motivations behind President Obama's policy decisions. While doing so, D'Souza invented some facts and mangled others in order to peddle the ridiculous notion that President Obama is "a captive of the ideology of a Luo tribesman from the 1950s."
On page 187, D'Souza scoffs at Barack Obama's 2002 speech against the Iraq war, in which the future president said that the looming conflict was being used to "to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income" and other issues, writing:
I don't want to dwell here on the outrageousness of accusing Bush of putting thousands of American lives at risk for the purpose of saving his own political hide.
OK, so it's outrageous to accuse the president of putting American troops in harm's way for political reasons. With that in mind, let's take a look at what D'Souza wrote on page 51 of The Roots of Obama's Rage:
Now why would a president who has a big political stake in Afghanistan not care about proposed strategies to successfully prosecute the offensive and maybe even win the war? Short answer: Because he doesn't want to win. If Obama views Afghanistan as a war of colonial occupation, then his only concern is how fast he can get America out.
But wait a minute! Didn't Obama order an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan? Yes, but the Obama "surge" was a political necessity. Recall that Obama had campaigned on the position that Iraq was the "bad war" and Afghanistan was the "good war."
I'd say this would be funny if it weren't so sad, but it actually is really funny.
From the September 29 edition of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann:
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Today, Glenn Beck took his previous embrace of Dinesh D'Souza's dubious, error-riddled theory that President Obama is running America in an "anti-colonial" manner to the next level by handing over the bulk of his Fox News show to D'Souza in order to peddle his highbrow birtherism, as detailed in his book The Roots of Obama's Rage.
Before bringing on D'Souza, Beck began his show by explaining the difference between fact and opinion (his insistence that he and Fox News treat their viewers like adults notwithstanding). Then he introduced D'Souza as "a man with great credibility" and "not just some yahoo." Beck said he would "push back on" D'Souza "because I want to make sure the facts are right and separate fact from opinion."
Unmentioned by Beck was the growing pile of falsehoods and nonsense in D'Souza's book that made it likely little in the way of relevant facts would be presented. Indeed, D'Souza was more interested in playing Beck's favorite game of guilt by association, portraying Obama's mother as so "enamored" by anti-colonialism that she married one in Obama's father and then "another anti-colonial guy, a Third Worlder, an Indonesian" in Lolo Soetoro, who then "turned out to be more pro-Western and anti-communist than she thought." D'Souza also name-checked Obama's supposed "mentors," like Bill Ayers, Frank Marshall Davis, Edward Said, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and "anti-colonialist legal scholar" Roberto Mangabeira Unger.
Far from "pushing back" against D'Souza, Beck appeared to agree with everything he said, even sticking large "fact" signs on statements D'Souza highlighted. Beck didn't haul out any "opinion" signs, even when D'Souza was spouting opinions.
Yesterday I brought you Dinesh D'Souza's charmingly nonsensical theory that "anti-colonial" Barack Obama expresses his anti-French attitude by courting the adulation of the French people. This "anti-colonial" garbage forms the -- ahem -- "intellectual" backbone for D'Souza's ridiculous new book, The Roots of Obama's Rage. Today, we'll explore how D'Souza, in supporting his "anti-colonial" theory, employs the time-honored scholarly techniques of making stuff up and brazenly lying.
On page 47 of The Roots of Obama's Rage, D'Souza takes on Obama's response to the Gulf oil spill, which he calls "lethargic." According to D'Souza [emphasis added]:
Finally, addressing the TV cameras on May 14, 2010, Obama managed to work up some enthusiasm. Time and again he condemned "British Petroleum" -- an interesting term since the company long ago changed its name to BP. Given our anti-colonial theory, it's no surprise that Obama wanted to remind Americans of what BP used to stand for. He was equally outspoken in whacking the other oil companies for their "ridiculous spectacle" of "pointing fingers of blame."
Here's the transcript of Obama's May 14 remarks. Guess how many times Obama says "British Petroleum."
Zero. Not once.
But don't take my word for it. Here's the video of Obama's remarks -- not one utterance of "British Petroleum."
D'Souza completely fabricated it. But even if it were true and Obama said "British Petroluem" over and over -- so what? They're a British company. If Obama had set fire to a Union Jack each time he said it, then D'Souza might have been on to something, but as it is he doesn't really have a point, regardless of how you look at it.
And that doesn't even matter because Obama didn't say "British Petroleum."
UPDATE: It's not President Obama, but I did manage to turn up a dastardly "anti-colonial" who actually did attack "British Petroleum" on May 14 and castigated the oil companies for "playing the blame game" and "pointing fingers at one another":
I'm reading through Dinesh D'Souza's forthcoming book, The Roots of Obama's Rage, and finding it a slow-going affair -- not because the writing is particularly dense or nuanced, but because much of it makes little to no sense.
On pages 40-41, for example, D'Souza argues that the "anti-colonial" worldview Obama inherited from his father leads him to have a dismissive attitude toward the old European colonial powers, France and Britain in particular. According to D'Souza, the way Obama expresses his hatred for the French is to -- and here's the tricky part -- court their adulation:
By itself this admission may mean little, but now consider Obama's June 2009 visit to Paris, where he was invited to dinner by the French prime minister Nicolas Sarkozy and his model wife Carla Bruni. The Obamas declined. Their refusal was odd, given that they were staying at the residence of the U.S. ambassador just yards from the Sarkozy residence in the Élysée apartments. The French press noted the snub, but there wasn't much of a ruckus even among the usually prickly French. In fact, the Pew Research surveys show that the Europeans in general, and especially the French, remain enthusiastic about Obama. How can this be explained if Obama has a streak that is anti-European and specifically anti-French?
The answer, of course, is that Obama has won over the French by criticizing his own country. The French are sensitive to snubs of their leaders, but this is a small price to pay for an American leader who comes to France and apologizes for American arrogance. It was in Strasbourg three months earlier that Obama delighted the French by saying, "In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." Much is forgiven in Paris for an American leader who kowtows in this way. Thus Obama can bash neocolonial America and stiff the prime minister of the old colonialists while at the same time basking in their adulation -- quite a rhetorical feat indeed.
I'm having difficulty understanding why an American president with "a streak that is anti-European and specifically anti-French" would want to "win over" or "kowtow" to the French people. I'm also curious as to how Obama's invitation to Sarkozy and Bruni to dine at the White House fits in with the anti-colonial snub strategy. Also, D'Souza neglected to explain what the French thought of these sentences from Obama's Strasbourg speech, which immediately followed the lines he quoted: "But in Europe there is anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad."
It could be that the "prickly French" aren't as sensitive to criticisms of themselves as they are to "snubs of their leaders." Or maybe D'Souza just writes words without really thinking about what he's saying.
From the September 22 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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Over at Forbes, Dinesh D'Souza recently spun a fantastic tale about how Obama's family heritage makes it impossible for him to support American business. Or something. (Instead, he champions anti-colonialist policies.)
But yesterday on Mad Money, Host Jim Cramer had this to say [emphasis added]:
"Do you know why this market went up and stayed up today, with the Dow voting 146 points, S&P rising one-and-a-half percent? Because today during the fantastic CNBC-hosted town hall with El Presidente, we got the ultimate confirmation that we are seeing a new and improved more pro-business President Obama! And that's change the market can believe in."
And yes, this is the same Cramer who last year attacked Obama's "radical" agenda, and blamed him for overseeing "the most, greatest wealth destruction I've seen by a President."
So no, not a cheerleader.