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Fox News Battering Obama Over Book's Admissions

Reported by Judy - January 3, 2007 -

The mainstream media finally got around to reading Barack Obama's 11-year-old autobiography which includes an admission of drug use as a teen-ager, so Fox News Wednesday (January 3, 2007) took the opportunity to go overboard and suggest Obama was a drug addict. Updated with video.

While portraying Obama in the most negative light possible, Fox News downplayed comparisons between Obama's candor over his youthful mistakes and allegations of cocaine use by George Bush.

The smearing of Obama started on "Fox and Friends First" with co-hosts Kiran Chetry, Steve Doocy, and Andrew Napolitano discussing the Washington Post article about the impact of the drug use admissions in Obama's book, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Just to make sure no one missed the point, Fox News displayed a banner that read, "Obama Cocaine Confession."

Chetry got off message, however, by noting that Obama admitted to cocaine use "as did our current president, who admited to cocaine use, correct?" After Doocy and Napolitano interrupted, Chetry backpedaled, saying, "Who was it that said they witnessed him doing cocaine?" Still not getting any support from her co-hosts, Chetry gave up and the trio went on to paint Obama in as negative a light as possible.

"We don't know that he did it once," Doocy said.

Then Doocy went on to suggest that Obama had tried to hide the book, claiming that, "something like only 20,000 copies exist, but somebody at the Washington Post found a copy, read it."

As the Post article points out, only 20,000 copies were printed when the book was first published, but the book was recently reissued, with a run of 800,000. So getting a copy is not all that hard. In fact, I uncovered one at Barnes and Noble last spring, read it, and reviewed it recently for News Hounds. Would you like my copy, Steve?

Fox News was just getting warmed up. In the next hour, on "Fox and Friends," Doocy and Napolitano reprised their discussion, this time with co-host Gretchen Carlson. Carlson did not make Chetry's mistake of trying to compare Bush and Obama. This time, everyone stayed on message, criticizing Democrats only, such as Bill Clinton, for marijuana use.

Napolitano went so far as to suggest that Obama had been a drug addict, saying voters will ask themselves, "Do we want somebody like that in the White House, who was addicted to drugs in his teen-aged years?" Doocy corrected him that it was unclear whether Obama was "addicted," but the damage was done.

Doocy himself then insisted that Obama was "kind of boasting" about not having used heroin, although it's not clear how Doocy would know that since he hasn't read the book.

While taking every opportunity to smear Obama, Doocy suggested that it really was Democrats who would be doing it, saying "remember it'll be on the Democratic side first." And Napolitano claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton's will take advantage saying, "So this is good news for Hillary."

And the three brought up the topic in another segment about presidential contenders in general, with Napolitano calling Obama, "Mr. Personality and no substance."

Missing from the Fox News discussion was the fact that Obama knew when the book was reissued that the incidents he discussed would cause him problems. In his introduction, Obama wrote that he probably would not tell the story "must differently today than I did ten years ago, even if certain passages have proven to be inconvenient politically, the grist for pundict commentary and opposition research."

It won't be the last time we hear it on Fox News, you can bet your bottom dollar on that.

(A tip of the hat to reader Don for the "Fox and Friends First" tip.)