Hannity To National Review Writer Clinging To Myth That Obama Is A Radical: "Both You And I ... Were Right"
Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
Loading the player reg...
Loading the player reg...
National Review claims it has new evidence that President Obama associated with a minor political party in Chicago in the 1990s. This is apparently supposed to reveal more about Obama's political views and the way he governs than his service in the U.S. Senate and the three years he has been president.
The article instead appears to be part of the right's ongoing effort to further the absurd myth that the media has not vetted Obama -- an argument that is destroyed by the facts.
National Review's Stanley Kurtz writes that he has minutes from a meeting of the New Party's Chicago chapter showing that Obama requested an endorsement and joined the party in 1996. Kurtz describes the New Party as "deeply hostile to the mainstream of the Democratic party and even to American capitalism."
Kurtz is trying to create confusion about the New Party's place on the political spectrum. Questions about Obama and the New Party arose during the 2008 election, and in a Politico blog post, Ben Smith accurately described where the New Party fell:
[T]he New Party was a attempt to build a model of political fusion. It dissolved after losing a Supreme Court ruling aimed at making fusion -- a system under which more than one party can run the same candidate, which exists in some states -- universal.
It's strongest heir, run by another New Party founder, is New York's labor-backed Working Families Party, which cross-endroses (mostly) Democratic candidates in the hopes of pulling the party to the left. Such noted socialists as Hillary Clinton and various Republican state senate candidates have run on the line. There are running arguments over whether they're good for the political process, but no particular taint of radicalism.
Right-wing media have recently revived the falsehood that the Independent Payment Advisory Board created by the health care law will lead to health care rationing. In fact, the law specifically prohibits the Advisory Board from making "any recommendations to ration health care ... or otherwise restrict benefits."
In a Fox News special that host Greta Van Susteren said would examine "ties in Senator [Barack] Obama's past that many, frankly, find unsettling," correspondent Gregg Jarrett cited only the views of conservative journalist Stanley Kurtz in reporting on the activities of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, on whose board Obama and member William Ayers served. Neither Jarrett nor Van Susteren gave any indication that they had sought input from any source other than Kurtz in reporting on CAC's activities. In fact, in contrast with Kurtz's claim that the CAC "reflected Bill Ayers' hard-left views," Education Week reported that the foundation's work actually "reflected ... mainstream thinking among education reformers."