CNN Lets Dinesh D'Souza Peddle Conspiracy Theory That Obama Is “Anti-American”

Conservative pundit Dinesh D'Souza appeared on CNN this morning to reinforce the message of his error-laden and factually inaccurate movie, 2016: Obama's America, attacking President Obama as “anti-American” and claiming he has “embraced a Third World ideology.”

While CNN host Zoraida Sambolin pressed D'Souza to explain his accusations, she offered no pushback to D'Souza's outlandish claims about Obama's character nor did she point out the discredited claims contained in his movie.

Indeed, 2016 is rife with basic factual errors and logical inconsistencies:

  • The film attacks Obama for failing to “lift a finger to help” his “destitute” Kenyan half-brother George (who has said he chooses to live in poverty)
  • The film falsely claims Obama loaned “billions of dollars” to Brazil to pursue offshore drilling
  • The film gives credence to the paranoid theory of a “United States of Islam”
  • The film fearmongers about Iran's nuclear ambitions and falsely attacks Obama for doing “nothing” to impede Iran's nuclear progress
  • The film attacks Obama for his support of the new START Treaty, which seeks to reduce nuclear stockpiles globally, and his vision of a world without nuclear weapons. But this was President Reagan's dream when he proposed the original START treaty, a fact the film doesn't mention.

The film is based on D'Souza's book, The Roots of Obama's Rage, which was also filled with false and misleading claims.

On CNN's Early Start, Sambolin stated that D'Souza's film is “controversial” and that it has “taken harsh criticism from those on the left for its assertion that President Obama -- influenced, in his youth, by his Kenyan father and several other anti-imperialist figures -- is attempting to fundamentally transform America.”

In fact, it's not just “the left” that has pointed out the film's shortcomings and wild theories. One critic called the film “not just unpersuasive,” but “positively misleading.”

D'Souza went on to repeat his charge that Obama is “anti-American” and that Obama's mentors (Jeremiah Wright, “Obama's pal Bill Ayers,” etc.) and his actions as president ultimately support this conclusion:

D'SOUZA: There are common themes running through all of these guys. Then I just take the ideology of the father and I compare it with the actions of the son. And I say, look, it's like a detective story. Does the jigsaw fit? And it turns out that if you look at Obama's actions, even now in the Middle East, it looks like what he's trying to do is scale back American power, and allow indigenous influences in the region to gain power.

Sambolin challenged none of D'Souza's claims and instead moved to highlight the purported similarities between D'Souza's and Obama's backgrounds. D'Souza concluded the interview by claiming “Obama is an American-born guy who's embraced a Third World ideology, which is his father's dream.”

Media Matters intern Brendan Karet contributed to this post.