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Breitbart’s Legacy: Vetting Obama Also Requires Confronting the Conspiracy Theories

Carrying on their founder's tradition of pursuing the truth even if it means irritating the crazies.

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

May 22, 2012 - 6:06 am

At Breitbart.com the Vetting continues: Editor-In-Chief Joel Pollak: “Exclusive Document Debunks Myth About Obamas Columbia Years”

**OBAMA COLUMBIA DOCUMENT RELEASED**

Breitbart News’ discovery of the 1991 biography distributed by Barack Obama’s then-literary agency, which stated (incorrectly) that Obama had been “born in Kenya,” confirmed what we have been saying for months as we pursued “The Vetting” project. Much of what the country ought to know about Obama, but does not, is hidden–often in plain sight–yet the mainstream media covers it up or spins it away to protect him.

The errant biography is only the most sensational example of a pattern of behavior in which Obama and his supporters manipulate or even fabricate his life story. And because Obama and his campaign have refused to provide other, relevant facts–and because the mainstream media shows such little interest in finding them–conspiracy theories flourish.

Some of these are easily debunked by conducting some very basic research.

The image above–never before released–is from public records at Columbia University that prove that Obama did, in fact, graduate in 1983 from the Ivy League school. Contrary to some conspiracy theories, Obama was a student within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences–not the less selective, “nontraditional” Columbia University School of General Studies (which only merged with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1990).

While he was alive Andrew Breitbart rarely got the credit he deserved for standing up to the conspiracy fringe. In 2010 he took a stand against two ghosts of Conservatism Past: Birtherism (the contemporary expression of John Birch Society paranoia) and homophobia.

Vetting Barack Obama means more than just unearthing new documents from the President’s lifelong journey through the hidden corners of American socialism. The task also requires carrying Breitbart’s legacy of diligence in confronting the narratives advanced by those with less sincere motives. (How come we’ve seen conspiracy theories gain so much traction in the age of the internet? Because it’s a great business model. Conspiracy theories are second only to sex on the list of subjects guaranteed to generate web traffic.)

And so in 2012 Pollak and Ben Shapiro, John Nolte, Dana Loesch, Mike Flynn, Larry O’Connor, and the rest of the Breitbart News team follow their founder’s lead and provide an example of what it means to be journalists first, activists second: Just telling the truth about your political opponent’s history, record of expressed views, and character of the men he proclaims his mentors is more effective than trying to drop a “gotcha” story (like about cutting a gay teen’s hair against his will 50 years ago…)

But the real challenge is getting people to care once the facts are staring them in the face about the nature of who this President has chosen to empower.

Barry Rubin in March:

President Barack Obama is continuing his love affair with Turkish Islamist leader Recep Erdogan. As Erdogan continues to undermine Turkish democracy, throw hundreds of moderates into jail, destroy the nation’s institutions, help Iran, throw hysterical tantrums about how much he hates Israel, promote Islamism in the region, and is fresh from still another meeting with Hamas leaders, Obama continues to use Erdogan as his guru.

When the two men met at the Seoul, South Korea, Nuclear Security Summit on March 25, Obama practically slobbered over the anti-American ruler, calling Erdogan his “friend and colleague….We find ourselves in frequent agreement upon a wide range of issues.”

When Erdogan goes to elections or is criticized by the opposition he uses statements like this to “prove” that his policies aren’t radical or anti-Western at all. Here’s a man whose regime can help terrorist groups organize a violent confrontation with Israel, preside over a virulently anti-American media, insist Iran isn’t seeking nuclear weapons and has a wonderful government, and then be lionized by the president of the United States.

Obama adds:

“I think it’s fair to say that over the last several years, the relationship between Turkey and the United States has continued to grow across every dimension.  And I find Prime Minister Erdogan to be an outstanding partner and an outstanding friend on a wide range of issues.”

David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media. He writes and edits articles and blog posts on politics, news, culture, religion, and entertainment. He edits the PJ Lifestyle section and the PJ columnists. Contact him at DaveSwindlePJM @ Gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He has worked full-time as a writer, editor, blogger, and New Media troublemaker since 2009, at PJ Media since 2011. He graduated with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) and political science from Ball State University in 2006. Previously he's also worked as a freelance writer for The Indianapolis Star and the film critic for WTHR.com. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their Siberian Husky puppy Maura.

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