Sean Hannity “vetted” President Obama again last night – this time by trotting out Wayne Allyn Root, to regurgitate the completely discredited accusation that nobody at Columbia University ever saw or remembers Barack Obama during the years he was a student there. Root’s thesis is that Obama attended Columbia as some kind of black radical, foreign student. But Hannity – who has a long history of cozying up to bigots – whitewashed the racial aspects out of Root’s accusations during the broadcast. Hannity also feigned distance with his questions - yet left out any mention of the actual evidence that proves Root wrong.
Last year, the New York Times wrote about Phil Boerner, who roomed with the future president during his first year at Columbia. The article included excerpts from the Columbia student directory, showing Obama living during his junior year at 142 West 109th Street near Columbia’s campus in New York City, and during his senior year at 339 East 94th Street. Boerner recalled that Obama sometimes wrapped himself in a sleeping bag to keep warm in the chilly apartment they shared, and that some nights he would cook chicken curry for dinner.
FactCheck also noted that Obama published an article in a school magazine in 1983.
But somehow, “fair and balanced” Fox News allowed Hannity to omit that from his interview with Root.
Hannity also left out Root’s racial resentment toward Obama, and blacks in general, which was very clearly laid out in a 2008 interview in Reason.com:
(W)hen I went to Columbia, the black kids were all at like tables going "Black Power!" We used to walk by and go, "What the hell are they talking about." And they didn't associate with us and we didn't associate with them. So if you track down a couple of black students, they'll probably know him. But nobody white's ever heard of this guy. It's quite amazing. Nobody remembers him. They don't remember him sitting in class.
...Does anyone doubt that possibly Barack could have gotten into Harvard with a C average because he’s black, where as I, white, couldn’t get into the same school with a B-plus, A-minus average? And yet his wife says that America is a terrible nation unfair to minorities! I say, Au contraire!
I say the whole problem with America is we are racist against people because of the color of their skin. We’re helping people because they’re black. We’re helping people because they’re minority. We’re helping people because they’re poor. In reality only those who have the most skill and talent should get into Harvard, not because of the color of their skin.
Instead, Hannity announced that Root was there to “help unveil Obama’s college years.”
Check out how Hannity cagily worded his promotion of Root’s accusation:
“You’re saying everybody that you know from your years, same major, same year, same EXACT major, pre-law and I think it was poli-sci, whatever it was… Nobody, nobody knew him? Not one person saw him, heard of him?”
Root called it “strange” that neither he nor anyone he knew ever encountered Obama at Columbia. But, he added, “I’m sure he went there. I’m sure he was busy smoking pot and attending socialist meetings.”
“But you’re not doubting that he went there,” Hannity said, “and we’re not suggesting any such thing either.” This, of course, after both Hannity and Root had suggested exactly that.
But here’s what they were also suggesting:
Sounding a lot like Donald Trump – who went on to make the same accusation in the very next show on Fox – Root “wondered” why Obama wouldn’t release his college records.
He’s the President of the United States, so he got a ‘C’ once. Who cares? There’s something strange here. You know that I’m an odds-maker in Las Vegas. I’m a gut instinct guy and I’m telling you, when I put the pieces together, I felt queasy about this for four years. There’s something not right about Obama’s record at Columbia University.
…My hunch is, how did he get into Columbia with bad grades at Occidental… How did he get to Harvard Law School if he sealed his records? …How did he pay for expensive schools like Occidental, like Columbia, like Harvard – all very strange stories. And my gut instinct says there’s an easy track that gets you into an Ivy League school and you don’t have to compete like a guy like me. I was valedictorian in my high school, top one-half of one-percent SAT scores. You don’t have to do that if you’re a foreign exchange student. They’re looking for diversity, Sean… If they’re looking for a guy from Indonesia and you happen to have bad grades, but you’re a good talker and a good interviewer, and you’ve got a great exotic story…
Hannity interrupted this baseless speculation to say, “In the spirit of Harry Reid, you’re saying to Obama what Reid is saying to Romney! Prove you wrong.”
But Reid said he had information from someone who worked at Bain Capital that Romney paid no taxes, He wasn’t offering up his “gut instinct.”
Hannity closed the segment with another disingenuous feint: “I’ve never been a birther, I thought delaying the release of the birth certificate was interesting.” Yes, so interesting, he incessantly discussed the subject – even after Obama’s birth certificate had been thoroughly validated
Hannocchio is the last person to talk about records, given his shady past.
Not only is it all the birther and college records crap spouted by the likes of this Root guy, Trump on F&F and Greta (btw, BOR, I noticed that you were sitting with Trump at the ballgame the other night – do you like hanging out with folks who regularly spew birther/college record nonsense?!), etc. but it’s also the RNC’s own head, Reince Priebus. He calls Reid a liar who won’t offer up any proof of his accusation while, in the very next breath, Priebus is accusing the White House of being behind what Reid said — without offering up any evidence of HIS own that the White House did indeed have something to do with it. Bwaaah!
To FOX “news” and its right-wing mouthpieces – pot, kettle, black.
Root was completely humiliated and discredited back in 2008, and the years since then have not been kind to him in that regard. The only people giving him the time of day are outlets like Fox News or extreme right wing radio shock jocks.
I would be very interested to see Root’s college and high school records, if we’re going to go down this line of questioning. I strongly doubt his assertion that he was that good of a student in his school, and I wonder if he was even the valedictorian. He makes it sound like he was the star student who Harvard refused to admit in favor of an unworthy non-white person. He then tries to imply both that Obama was a bad student and that he wasn’t an American citizen. Since both of these assertions have been totally disproven, it’s strange that he keeps bringing it up.
But the proof is in the pudding. Barack Obama, a fairly smart man, straightened up his act after high school, attended Occidental and Columbia, and worked his way into Harvard Law. He distinguished himself in college, and in his later career both in his community and then as a politician, climbing the ladder all the way to the presidency. What has Root done with his life and career? Gone to Vegas to be a bookmaker? Complained that America isn’t libertarian enough? Which of these men has really made a difference for anyone’s lives? I strongly doubt that the answer is Root.
The fact that Hannity is putting disreputable people like this on the air only goes to show how desperate and how angry the right wing is getting about the direction of this presidential campaign. They don’t like their candidate, and they hate Obama. They hate the fact that he’s likely to be re-elected and that they can’t just run him out of town. So they throw angrier and more desperate slurs at him. And then Hannity has the nerve to wonder why the Obama White House doesn’t see fit to invite him to events.
And, like all of Hannity’s “gut instinct theories”, its substance winds up leaving his gut via the colon . . .
It is not the nature of the evidence but the seriousness of the charges that matter.