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October 23, 2009
Obama's Columbia thesis excerpt surfaces
CORRECTION: In a blog post today I wrote about a report on a thesis that President Obama produced while at Columbia and provided a quote from that about the Constitution. My source for that was Michael Ledeen at PJM. Since then I have not been able to verify the claim at any source other than Ledeen and one obscure blog that was Mr. Ledeen's source. I now believe the story is totally false and Mr. Ledeen has also just recently stated that he will pull the story. I regret that I jumped the gun and did not verify this as fully as is is now evident I should have.
Denis Keohane added this to the comments section:
Note the timelines on these comments.
The first comment in the thread was at 9:13, almost immediately after the initial post with the story. The times on the comments do not reflect the real time here on the East Coast where I write, but they do properly show intervals. By 9:59, three quarters of an hour later by time stamp, I (DenisK), the author, have already posted that I have doubts that the story I picked up from Michael Ledeen's blog was real and I was having trouble verifying it from other news sources. In the interim and afterward, I tried without success to contact Mr. Ledeen (but did get through to PJM with my concerns) and to find any news source connecting Joe Klein to a supposed thesis. Rush Limbaugh started to reference the Ledeen claim on his radio show, and believing in abject shame that he picked it up from my post at AT, I immediately e-mailed him and stated that I was the AT author, that I could not verify Ledeen's claim, checked Ledeen's source and found it to be satire and that he should back away from a story that was in all likelihood totally bogus. If you go to the transcripts of Rush's show, you will find that he backed off the story within minutes of talking about it! Immediately after that I posted in the comments again at AT (11:42 a.m.) with a correction stating that Ledeen had inadvertently taken a satire seriously and that I had taken Ledeen's post seriously and the story was bogus. Not long after that Mr. Ledeen posted a link at the top of his blog post to an apology he offered for the mistake, and he also personally contacted Joe Klein and apologized.
Yes, CommonSense, bad mistakes, very much including mine. However, how quickly did we seek to correct them? Mr. Ledeen, Rush Limbaugh and PJM and the blog post author here at AT all posted corrections or backed off the story or both within hours or less. Was that the case with the major media and many on the left with the fake Limbaugh quotes, or the fake TANG documents about Bush, or Jesse McBeth, or...as you write this:
"Have you all no shame? As the president he deserves that much."
CommonSense, have you ever in the last several years heard the totally bogus claim that "Bush lied" about Iraq, and who has climbed down on that false charge? On the left it was just keep repeating the lie until it is believed! That's the difference.
Michael Ledeen at PJM reports on President Obama's Columbia college thesis, of which ten whole pages were made available to Joe Klein. The paper was entitled "Aristocracy Reborn," and Obama wrote this about the Constitution:
What on earth does this President have to do to get the media coverage he so richly deserves!
In the Virginia Governor's race, Republican candidate Robert McDonnell wrote a graduate thesis twenty years ago that could be politically damaging to his campaign. That decades old thesis has been covered by the Washington Post on August 30 and again on September 1. It has been reported on in some depth across the spectrum of media outlets from NPR to US News to the CS Monitor to FOX and on and on!
Or maybe a decades old claim that the U.S. Constitution didn't give early Americans liberty but fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy doesn't deserve some questions, like what did you mean by that and when and how did your thoughts change -- if they did?