Limbaugh falsely claimed "[t]here's no evidence" Obama wrote anything before Dreams from My Father “except a poem”
On his radio show, discussing Sen. Barack Obama's book, Dreams from My Father, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that "[t]here's no evidence that Obama has ever written anything prior to this except a poem." In fact, Obama reportedly authored an article for the Harvard Law Review in 1990. Limbaugh also baselessly suggested Obama did not write Dreams because "[h]e doesn't talk this way," and repeated the baseless allegation that there is a connection between Bill Ayers' written work and Obama's, because Ayers “does write very well.”
On the October 10 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh played several audio clips of Sen. Barack Obama reading from his book, Dreams from My Father, and falsely claimed, “There's no evidence that Obama has ever written anything prior to this except a poem. ... [W]e haven't seen anything that he wrote at Harvard Law, when he was at Columbia, any of the tests that he's written.” Limbaugh also baselessly suggested Obama did not write Dreams because "[h]e doesn't talk this way," and repeated the baseless allegation that there is a connection between former Weather Underground member William Ayers' written work and Obama's, because Ayers “does write very well.”
Contrary to Limbaugh's claim that "[t]here's no evidence that Obama has ever written anything prior to" Dreams, “except a poem,” Politico reported on August 22 that it found an “an unsigned -- and previously unattributed -- 1990 article” in the Harvard Law Review about “the question of whether fetuses should be able to file lawsuits against their mothers” and that the Obama campaign “provided a statement on Harvard Law Review letterhead confirming that the unsigned piece was Obama's.” Further, a July 30 post by reporter Jodi Kantor on The New York Times blog, The Caucus, stated: "We've asked four legal experts to take a look at then-Professor Barack Obama's course materials and offer some insight into what they say about Mr. Obama's teaching methods, priorities and approach to the Constitution." After providing the experts' analyses of Obama's course materials, Kantor posted eight years worth of exams Obama wrote while he was a professor at the University of Chicago, as well as a syllabus.
Moreover, Limbaugh provided no evidence that Obama did not write Dreams. In connecting Obama's book to Ayers' work, Limbaugh cited WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill. In an October 9 article for the conservative Web magazine American Thinker, Cashill theorized that Ayers wrote Dreams, arguing that Ayers “writes surprisingly well and very much like 'Obama,' ”and that “when Ayers speaks, even off the cuff, he uses a cadence and vocabulary consistent with his memoir. One does not hear any of Dreams in Obama's casual speech.” Cashill has devoted several WorldNetDaily columns to advancing this claim.
From the October 10 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: From Obama, reading from his book, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Now, this is a key passage. He is admitting, in this passage of his book that he reads himself, to his own radicalism. He says he couldn't escape it if he tried. Here we go.
OBAMA [audio clip]: Black nationalism provided that history. An unambiguous morality tale that was easily communicated and easily grasped. A steady attack on the white race, the constant recitation of black people's brutal experience in this country, served as the ballast that could prevent the ideas of personal and communal responsibility from --
LIMBAUGH: Stop the tape. Stop it, stop -- stop it. Ed, stop it. What is this? Ballast? He doesn't talk this way. You know, there are stories out there he may not have written this book. There's a guy named Jack Cashill -- Cashill -- not sure how he pronounces it
who's gone back and he can't say for sure. But he's read Ayers' books. So Obama -- in both these books -- Obama first submitted a manuscript, it took him 10 months to do it; the publisher rejected it. It was worthless.
So, he went back -- they'd given him a big advance -- I'm really shortening the story here, and now, Jack Cashill has compared some of these passages in Obama's book to Bill Ayers, who does write very well. There's no evidence that Obama has ever written anything prior to this except a poem, and the poem was as dumb as "A River, Rock, and a Tree" [sic] that Maya Angelou did at the Slickster's inauguration back in 1993. There's no evidence that he has any kind of -- we haven't seen anything that he wrote at Harvard Law, when he was at Columbia, any of the tests that he's written. But if you listen to the -- if you read his books, you listen to his audio reading of the book here, you don't hear this when Obama goes out and speaks. I would like for him to be given a test on his own book.