The enigma of Barack Obama: how family shapes character

April 25, 2011

One of the great frustrations of the 2008 presidential campaign was the total failure of the establishment media to do anything resembling real journalism regarding the background and history of Barack Obama, the man who would become the Democratic nominee and eventually President. His college records were sealed, his activities while a student in New York and in Chicago as a community organizer were only glanced at, and the people he closely associated with there –Socialist academics, organizers, and former communist terrorists– were dismissed as “people he just knew, nothing special.”

And as for his family background? Well, that became wrapped up and almost impossible to look at dispassionately because of the Birther nonsense that the Obama campaign brilliantly exploited to silence legitimate critics. Whether afraid of being labeled a crank or fearful of having the race card played against them, most critics then and now stay away from looking into those personal, formative experiences that would shape the character and beliefs of a president, preferring to attack him only on policy.

Yet, how can one effectively criticize policy without knowing the man’s character and beliefs, which would tell us not only what he wants to accomplish now, but in the future? To do so is to pick at details while refusing see the grand context that gives them shape and direction.

So, since the major media won’t investigate the President’s background, the fearless Bill Whittle will. This video is part one of a multi-part series looking into the influences on the character and beliefs of President Barack Obama, starting with his parents and grandparents:

And that’s how investigative reporting should be done, neither avoiding sensitive topics nor wallowing in crank conspiracy theories.

I’m looking forward to part two.

RELATED: Some journalists did do extensive work on Obama’s history. Before the election David Freddoso wrote “The Case Against Barack Obama,” which analyzed his rise through the political machines of Cook County, Chicago, and Springfield, seemingly untouched by the mud of Illinois politics. Unfortunately, it came out too late to influence the election. Just last year, journalist Stanley Kurtz published “Radical in Chief,” which is both a political biography of Obama and a history of American Socialism since the 1970s. I reviewed the book a while back and I think it’s crucial to understanding Barack Obama as we go into another election campaign. (And, fair disclosure, I do get a few pennies when the book links are clicked.)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Uncommon Knowledge: Stanley Kurtz

March 27, 2011

A while back I reviewed Stanley Kurtz’s latest book, Radical in Chief, a political biography of Barack Obama and a history of the evolution of American Socialism since the 1970s. It’s an important book, crucial to any real understanding both of the President, himself, and, indirectly, of how derelict the media was in their coverage of Obama’s background†.

Kurtz was recently interviewed by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution for their web program, Uncommon Knowledge. Here’s what they have to say about the subject:

Recent guest  Stanley Kurtz decided to do what the press failed to do – take an honest look at Obama’s politics.   His investigation resulted in Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism. In this episode, Kurtz discusses the many socialist influences in Obama’s life, from his college years to his time as a community organizer, with men such as Bill Ayers, Frank Marshal Davis, and Jeremiah Wright.

In examining Obama’s main mentors, Kurtz begins to see a clear ideology that motivates the President’s disdain for the middle class, take-no-prisoners approach to passing socialized healthcare, reluctance to discuss political theory and desire for, ultimately, a socialist revolution.

The interview is a little over 30 minutes long. Get a cup of tea or coffee, sit back, and relax. I think you’ll find it worthwhile:

†Yeah, I know. They had much more important, world-shaking issues to deal with. Like Sarah Palin’s tanning bed.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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