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FOX News Examines Barack Obama's "Character and Conduct"

Reported by Deborah - August 19, 2008 -

No matter how much we learn about Barack Obama, FOX News will still claim he's a mystery to voters. Last night FNC aired the first part of an investigative report Presidential Character & Conduct about Barack Obama who has already been scrutinized relentlessly and often unfairly by the network. Unfortunately, the hour long special hosted by Bill Hemmer was a carefully crafted attempt to create more doubt and confusion about Obama as well as reinforce the smears and accusations FOX News has tirelessly promoted.

The FOX website released a collection of information about Obama to go along with their examination of his "character and conduct'. The choice of material pretty much illustrates the message they crafted in last night's piece.

While exploring his Chicago history, there was a major emphasis on Tony Rezko. After building up strong suggestions of Obama's guilt, Bill Hemmer concluded that he had done nothing illegal. Once again, Tony Rezko is prominent in FOX's extra info list providing a copy of his indictment, an investigative report from the Chicago Sun Times, and even a map of Rezko's projects

Although time was spent exploring Obama's community work in Chicago there was very little emphasis on his teaching career at the University of Chicago. Although viewers were informed that after interviewing 400 Columbia University graduates none of them knew Barack Obama when he attended, they didn't bother to interview even one of his students about their experiences in Obama's class. Wouldn't that have provided insight into the candidates character?

The friendship with Sohale Siddiqi who he meant when he left home for the first time at 18 to attend Occidental College was made into a big deal during the documentary. They made a point to note that Obama visited Pakistan at age 20 to visit Siddiqi's family. Then gravely explored Obama rooming with him in New York when he first got there alone, broke and homeless to go to Columbia. Obama had written about being forced to sleep on the streets for a few nights and waking up in an alley with a chicken pecking at him. FOX News managed to use it to connect Obama to the drug world with a claim from a New York City detective that the alley was located in a rough neighborhood run by Dominican drug lords.It's doubtful that they were trying to stress that Obama's poverty had put him in danger. The article about Obama and Saddiqi on the website is far more positive and objective than last night's coverage.

The smears about being Muslim as a child were debunked and the confusion about his early childhood made a little clearer. However, his time in Indonesia was given a strange spin making his early childhood seem somehow threatening to an unspoken notion of American normalcy. After reporting that his mother sent him away, alone, to live with his grandparents there was no recognition of the obvious emotional pain he experienced. Instead there was an emphasis on the posh private school he attended and the idea that he felt uncomfortable in an all white school.

Although Bill Hemmer offered ample reasons, other than Jeremiah Wright, to explain Obama's connection to his church in Chicago, the FOX addendum provided four sermons from Wright to make up for it. Tonight's look at John McCain should provide an interesting comparison.

comment: If FOX viewers are able to resist reacting to FOX's efforts to paint Barack Obama as shadowy, foreign, and somehow risky, Obama's amazing strength, courage and determination was evident. For the FOX viewers who already made up their minds about Obama, last night's "examination" easily confirmed their opinions.