Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed on his radio show that President Obama and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich were never professors. Limbaugh's claim about Obama echoed a claim previously made by Karl Rove.
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Limbaugh falsely claimed Obama was never a professor
Limbaugh: "One of the reasons I don't call Obama a professor is because he never was one." On the February 10 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, Rush Limbaugh said: "One of the reasons I don't call Obama a professor is 'cause he never was one. Calling him a professor is elevating him; he was a visiting lecturer."
University of Chicago considered Obama a professor
Obama was among "Professors" listed on University of Chicago website. Obama -- who held the title "Senior Lecturer in Law" between 1996 and 2004 -- was listed under "Professors" on the University of Chicago Law School's faculty page at least as far back as August 24, 2000, according to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. By contrast, "Lecturers in Law," which Obama was between 1992 and 1996, are listed separately.
Limbaugh's claim echoes a false claim made by Karl Rove
Rove put Obama's statement that he was a law professor on a "list of exaggerations." In April 2008 on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Fox News analyst Karl Rove said he had a "list of exaggerations" by then-Sen. Barack Obama. As one purported example, Rove said that Obama claimed, " 'I was a law school professor,' " before adding: "No, you were an instructor."
The University of Chicago issued a statement clarifying that Obama was a professor. From the University of Chicago's statement:
From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers has high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined.
Limbaugh falsely claimed Robert Reich was never a professor
Limbaugh: Robert Reich "was never a professor." Rush also stated on his February 10 radio show: "It's just like Robert B. Reich. He was never a professor. He was a guest lecturer, but never a professor."
Reich has been a professor at two separate universities
Reich is an associate professor of political science at the UC-Berkeley. Reich is a professor of Public Policy at the University of California-Berkeley. Prior to that, Reich was a professor at Brandeis University. Reich "joined the faculty at Brandeis in 1997 as the Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy."