New Low? Fox & Friends Hosts Conspiracy Theorist Cashill To Peddle Claim That Ayers Wrote Obama's Memoir
Research ››› ››› ERIC SCHROECK
Fox & Friends hosted WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill to promote his discredited conspiracy theory that Bill Ayers wrote President Obama's memoir, Dreams from My Father. Cashill has a long history of pushing insane conspiracy theories about Obama.
Fox & Friends Hosts Cashill To Push His Conspiracy Theory That Ayers Wrote Obama's Memoir
Fox & Friends Hosts Cashill To Promote His Conspiracy Theory That Ayers Wrote Dreams From My Father. On March 29, Fox & Friends hosted Cashill to promote his claim that Ayers wrote Obama's memoir, Dreams from My Father. During the interview, co-host Steve Doocy asked Cashill, "[W]hy isn't the mainstream media touching this with a 10-foot pole?" Co-host Gretchen Carlson ended the interview by promoting Cashill's book, saying, "Well, if you want to know more about these claims, check out Jack Cashill's book, Deconstructing Obama." From Fox & Friends:
DOOCY: For the second time in less than a year a half, controversial professor Bill Ayers is making the claim that he, Ayers, wrote President Obama's book Dreams from My Father. Listen to this:
[begin video clip]
AYERS: I wrote that - Dreams from My Father.
OFF-CAMERA VOICE: Yeah, we know that.
OFF-CAMERA VOICE: You wrote that?
AYERS [video clip]: Yeah, and if you could help me prove it, I'll split the royalties with you.
[end video clip]
CARLSON: All right, so was it a joke, or was he being serious? Joining us now is the author of Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America's First Post-Modern President," Jack Cashill. Good morning to you, Jack.
CASHILL: Hey, good morning, Gretchen. Good morning, Steve.
DOOCY: Good morning.
CARLSON: So, when you hear that - it's not the first time that Bill Ayers has done this. Is it a joke, or is he being serious?
CASHILL: It's a joke, but the joke is on the White House. This is the third time he's done it, but it's the first time he did it on camera. He knew the camera was pointed at him, and he did it at a particularly critical time. And that is when we're going to launch a military attack on Libya, which he is not at all pleased with, nor is the hard left. And in a sense, I think it's a shot across the president's bow. I think he's saying, hey, I know something about you, and I'm prepared to talk about it if you don't play ball with me.
DOOCY: And Jack, do you have any doubt in your mind whether or not the president of the United States wrote his book?
CASHILL: I have no doubt that Bill Ayers was the primary craftsman behind Dreams From My Father, and an interesting twist on this, too, is that earlier in that clip, he disassociates himself from the second book, Audacity of Hope, which he says was a hack political book -- and it was, it was written by committee. And --
DOOCY: Right. But, Jack, how can you - I mean, that's very damning to say that somebody else wrote the president's book. You have any evidence?
CASHILL: Oh, I have a ton of evidence. It's all between the pages of my book, Deconstructing Obama, and when you see it all accumulated, Steve, when you see chapter after chapter after chapter after chapter, the textural evidence is so powerful it's undeniable. And then there was also the confirmation by Christopher Andersen in his book Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage, and he has no skin in that game.
CARLSON: Let me ask you this, Jack. So let's say Bill Ayers did write that book.
CARLSON: Why do we -- why does it matter? And I know that you also believe that if he did, some of the stories are not exactly truthful, and how does that play into everything?
CASHILL: Well, first of all, it matters because the whole myth of Obama's literary genius is built around the book Dreams from My Father, and that's taken away. It also throws into doubt Obama's ability to tell the truth, because he said he scarcely knew this guy. It also puts the, you know, a terrorist wandering around in the head of Barack Obama.
But what's even more important is that the story they tell in the book Dreams from My Father is contrived to a large degree. And they, you know, Obama, Ayers, slash admits as much, especially about the first two years of Obama's life. What we know for a fact is that there was no Obama family. That he and his mother lived in the state of Washington the first year of his life while Barack Sr. was back in Hawaii. When the family returns to Hawaii, he's gone. Barack Sr. is gone to Harvard. The whole fabricated family life is--does not exist.
DOOCY: Jack, why isn't the mainstream media touching this with a 10-foot pole?
CASHILL: They're afraid of this story. I mean, because they have so much vested interest in, you know, upholding the Obama agenda. Not only that, but in, they put up so much personal emotional equity in Obama's genius. There's a lot of very smart literary people who should have seen this on the first read of Dreams from My Father, and they didn't. It's transparent he's not a writer. There's no paper trail before this book, and what paper trail there is shows him to be like a C-minus student in a freshman comp class. You don't go from that to writing the best-produced, best-written memoir ever by an American literary figure.
CARLSON: Well, if you want to know more about these claims, check out Jack Cashill's book, Deconstructing Obama. Jack, thanks for your thoughts this morning.
CASHILL: Gretchen, thanks. Steve, thank you, too.
DOOCY: You betcha. Thank you, sir. [Fox News' Fox & Friends, 3/29/11]
Conspiracy Theory That Ayers Wrote Dreams Has Long Been Discredited
Oxford Don Conducted Computer Study, Found Claim To Be "Very Implausible." The Sunday Times of London reported on November 2, 2008, that Peter Millican, a philosophy don at Hertford College, Oxford, who "devised a computer software program that can detect when works are by the same author by comparing favourite words and phrases," was contacted by Republican activists who offered him $10,000 to "assess alleged similarities" between Dreams From My Father and Ayers' book Fugitive Days:
Millican took a preliminary look and found the charges "very implausible". A deal was agreed for more detailed research but when Millican said the results had to be made public, even if no link to Ayers was proved, interest waned.
Millican said: "I thought it was extremely unlikely that we would get a positive result. It is the sort of thing where people make claims after seeing a few crude similarities and go overboard on them." [The Sunday Times, 11/2/08]
Millican: Previous Analyses Commissioned By Cashill And Others "Seem Badly Flawed." Millican wrote in a separate November 2, 2008, Sunday Times commentary:
My Signature system acquired some publicity this year through its involvement in a heated debate about Coleridge's alleged authorship of a translation of Goethe's Faust. So some Republicans were keen to make use of my expertise to help them in their quest to unmask Ayers as the hidden puppet master behind the Obama of 1995.
The person who came up with this strange theory is Jack Cashill, an American author who claimed to find striking similarities between Dreams from My Father and Ayers's 2001 memoir Fugitive Days.
The trouble with these sorts of claims is that they are far too easy to make: take any two substantial memoirs from the same era and you are likely to be able to pick out a fair number of passages that have some similarities. Unless the similarities are really close (and they weren't), just listing them makes no case at all, even if it might be enough to persuade some readers.
Cashill and friends -- who were convinced but aware that more evidence would be needed to convince others -- enlisted teams of analysts to try to give the theory a solid statistical basis. All of these analyses supposedly delivered positive results, but they seem badly flawed.
Bob -- the man who brought me into all this -- seemed sincerely interested in getting to the truth about Cashill's dramatic allegation. He supplied me with the relevant texts and a number of appropriate "controls"
Some preliminary tests, using various data measures and a range of powerful statistical facilities that were recently added to Signature, indicated nothing that would give Obama any cause for concern. So I felt that any analysis I did would be far more likely to put an end to the story than to substantiate it, by providing objective data against what looked like partisan allegations. [The Sunday Times, 11/2/08]
Cashill Has Pushed Numerous Other Insane Obama Theories
Cashill: "Where's The Birth Certificate?" On the March 18 edition of Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends, Cashill stated that a reporter should ask Obama, "Where's the birth certificate?" During the interview, Cashill said that "we know more about George Washington's first few years than we know about Barack Obama's." [Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends, 3/18/11]
Cashill Suggests Barack Obama Sr. Isn't Really Obama's Father. In a January 20 WorldNetDaily column headlined, "Just who is really Obama's father," Cashill suggested that Barack Obama Sr. is not Obama's father and that Obama may actually be "the illegitimate son of an American black." From Cashill's column:
Then, too, those who have read "Dreams" are almost invariably surprised by the fond memories Ann's father, Stanley Dunham, has of his putative son-in-law. These memories do not deceive.
A photo taken on the occasion of Obama Sr.'s celebratory departure from Hawaii shows a smiling Stanley Dunham -- looking all the world like a young Barack Obama Jr. -- standing right next to the African guy who allegedly knocked up his 17-year-old daughter and is now abandoning them. As the father of two daughters, this doesn't smell right at all.
One of my correspondents -- let's call him Frank Hardy -- is convinced that the Dunham family left for Hawaii abruptly right after Ann's graduation in June 1960 because Ann was pregnant. He makes a good case.
If a black guy had impregnated Ann, this would explain the family's abrupt departure to Hawaii, the one state in the union where a mixed-race baby could grow up almost unnoticed. It certainly explains the move to Hawaii better than the dreamy rationale Stanley Dunham offers in "Dreams."
This scenario makes sense of any number of other details as well, like Ann's angry resistance to the move, her mother's willingness to quit her job as an escrow officer in nearby Bellevue, Wash., Ann's poor performance in her limited first-semester courses at the University of Hawaii, her failure to enroll for the second semester and, most of all, her otherwise inexplicable return to Seattle in August 1961 -- if not earlier.
True, to make this scenario work, which we have to add one major variable, but it is a credible one. Imagine Ann coming home from class one day in Hawaii in fall 1960 in one of her all-concealing muumuus -- she had written friends that muumuus were worn on campus -- and telling her father about a charming, larger-than-life Kenyan in her class.
The scheming Stanley befriends Barack Sr. and enlists him in his plot. He explains that a boy named Barack, the legitimate son of a Kenyan, could move through American life more seamlessly than a boy named, say, Stanley, the illegitimate son of an American black.
Stanley tells Barack Sr. that he can make it worth his while. Ann understands. As to Barack Sr., he has to contribute nothing to the proceedings but his name -- with his "son" born in February 1961, not August.
A marriage license from Maui -- the county specified in the divorce papers -- assures that no marriage announcement will appear in the Honolulu papers. Ann will leave in time for the 1961 fall semester at the University of Washington -- perhaps months before -- and she will not return until Obama Sr. leaves for Harvard. [WorldNetDaily, 1/20/11]
Cashill: Frank Marshall Davis "Quite Possibly" Had Sex With "Underage Obama." In a March 10 column, Cashill wrote that "drunken poet" Frank Marshall Davis was "plying the underage Obama with alcohol and quite possibly sex." From Cashill's column:
On the Hawaii front, Obama had to worry too about what [Chicago Tribune reporter David] Mendell would learn about poet, pornographer and card-carrying member of the CPUSA, Frank Marshall Davis.
That relationship between Obama and Davis is succinctly illustrated in the poem "Pop," which was published under the 19-year-old Obama's name in a 1981 edition of an Occidental College literary journal.
Instinctively protective of Obama, reviewers to a person decided that the "Pop" of the poem had to be Obama's mother's father, Stanley Dunham, the man Obama called "Gramps."
Not a one of them asked the most basic question: Why would Obama name a poem about the man he called "Gramps" "Pop"?
Rebecca Mead, writing in the New Yorker, unhesitatingly describes the poem as a "loving if slightly jaded portrait of Obama's maternal grandfather."
Obama biographer David Remnick makes the same point, "'Pop,'" he says as though a given, "clearly reflects Obama's relationship with his grandfather Stanley Dunham."
More oblivious still is British poet Ian McMillan. "There's a humanity in the poem," he writes in the Guardian, "a sense of family values and shared cultural concerns that give us a hint of the Democrat to come."
Family values? What family? Roman Polanski's? The "Pop" of the poem is a drunken poet who is plying the underage Obama with alcohol and quite possibly sex. [WorldNetDaily, 3/10/11]
Cashill: Frank Marshall Davis "Cannot Be Ruled Out" As Obama's Father. In a February 7, 2010, American Thinker column pushing his claim that Barack Obama Sr. may not be Obama's father, Cashill wrote that "[s]ome have theorized" that Davis is Obama's father, and that "[t]his theory, though tenuous, cannot be ruled out." From Cashill's column:
In any scenario, Obama had at least one black parent, and if it is not Obama Sr., who then is it? Obama offers a possible clue in Dreams:
I was intrigued by old Frank, with his books and whiskey breath and the hint of hard-earned knowledge behind the hooded eyes. The visits to his house always left me feeling vaguely uncomfortable, though, as if I were witnessing some complicated, unspoken transaction between the two men, a transaction I couldn't fully understand. The same thing I felt whenever Gramps took me downtown to one of his favorite bars, in Honolulu's red-light district.
The "Frank" in question is Frank Marshall Davis, a black communist, pornographer, and poet who had abandoned Chicago for Hawaii. In "Pop," it should be noted, the Pop character "recites an old poem" just before the reconciliation and reeks of whiskey. Davis would have been in his mid-seventies at the time. Some have theorized that Davis, in fact, is Obama's father and the "Pop" of the poem. This theory, though tenuous, cannot be ruled out. A grandson can look more like his maternal grandfather than his father. That happens. And then, too, there is Davis's Chicago connection. [American Thinker, 2/7/10]
Cashill Pushes Wild Theories About The "Murky Circumstances Of Obama's Birth." In his February 7, 2010, American Thinker column, Cashill wrote: "Both the 'Dunham as father' and the 'anonymous black father' scenarios would make the Obama camp wary of sharing Obama's actual birth certificate." Cashill further promoted claims surrounding Obama's birth by fellow WorldNetDaily columnist and Obama conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. From Cashill's column:
Jerome Corsi of WorldNetDaily has found additional evidence that argues against Obama's birth to Ann Dunham in August 1961. As the records clearly show, "Stanley Ann Dunham" enrolled for classes at the University of Washington at Seattle on August 19, 1961, fifteen days after Obama's presumed birth. It defies all logic -- and logistics as well -- that Dunham would have flown her newborn across the Pacific, found an apartment and a job, and enrolled at school all within two weeks of the birth.
It seems altogether possible that the progressive and adventurous seventeen-year-old Dunham was impregnated by a black man while the family was still living in the Seattle area. If so, this pregnancy could have prompted the family to uproot to Hawaii, where no one knew them and where mixed-race babies were more accepted. According to the Andersen account, whose source was Maxine Box, "There were loud arguments between father and daughter -- fights that sometimes turned violent." Ann did not want to go.
Both the "Dunham as father" and the "anonymous black father" scenarios would make the Obama camp wary of sharing Obama's actual birth certificate, either because Dunham was not Obama's mother, or, if she were, because Obama was born much earlier than August 4, 1961. [American Thinker, 2/7/10]
Cashill Pushes Theory That Obama Is Using Phony Social Security Number. In a March 17 WorldNetDaily column, Cashill advanced conspiracy theories about "Obama's mysterious Social Security number":
While out promoting my new book, "Deconstructing Obama," I have been asked a few times about Obama's mysterious Social Security number.
Not knowing enough to speak authoritatively, I chose to swim upstream through the data flood and head for the source.
Here I found a no-nonsense licensed investigator from Ohio named Susan Daniels. Widowed at 30 with seven children, Daniels went back to school and eventually emerged as a certified paralegal.
This being the case, I asked Daniels to guide me through the data mine field and help me ascertain what we know for sure about the world's best-known Social Security number - 042-68-4425.
"All I can say," says Daniels of 042-68-4425, "is that it's phony and [Obama] has been using it, with it first appearing on his Selective Service document in 1980."
Daniels sent me a copy of the hand-written application of the individual who held the number immediately before Obama's, 042-68-4424. The applicant, Thomas Wood, died at age 19, which is why his information is available.
Wood's Social Security number was issued sometime between March and May of 1977. Obama would turn 16 in August of that year. Wood lived on Glenview Drive in Newington, Conn., the state from which all "042s" applied. Obama lived in Hawaii.
Other than the 1980 Selective Service registration, the first time Daniels could find Obama using the "042" number was in 1986 in Chicago.
As to how Obama may have secured that number, it is possible that he turned to his radical friends for advice. [WorldNetDaily, 3/17/11]