The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

The Obama ‘Thesis’ Hoax

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | October 23, 2009 | Kenzo Norman
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If you didn’t listen to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show today, you missed the news that an obscure blogger had gotten his hands on ten pages of Barack Obama’s college thesis, thanks to Joe Klein of Time magazine. Michael Ledeen had jumped on the news, publishing an excerpt that revealed how the president had “doubts” about the “so-called founders.” And Limbaugh ran with it.

The problem: It was a hoax, actually marked as a satire, as Klein blogged earlier today. Ledeen apologized.

[H]e got me, and lots of others. It worked because it’s plausible.

Here’s some of what Ledeen and Limbaugh considered plausible:

The subject of this paper, which totaled 44 pages, was American government. Entitled , this paper chronicled the long struggle of the working class against, as Obama put it, “plutocratic thugs with one hand on the money and the other on the government.”

In the paper, in which only the first ten pages were given to the general media, Obama decries the plight of the poor: “I see poverty in every place I walk. In Los Angeles and New York, the poor reach to me with bleary eyes and all I can do is sigh.”

Without spending too much more time on this, it seems a piece of the persistent rumors that, surely, the young Barack Obama must have relied on smarter white radicals to write his first memoir.

UPDATE: Via Media Matters, I see that Limbaugh discovered the hoax midway through the show, and used what used to be known as the “fake but accurate” defense.

Kenzo Norman | Kenzo is a journalist-turned-marketer who is fascinated by how storytelling and targeted marketing can result in content that changes businesses. He is responsible for implementing inbound marketing strategies that help his clients raise brand awareness, generate leads, and gain new customers as an Account Executive. Jason enjoys reading on the beach, tracking down mono records, and playing guitar when he is not working.

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