cliff-kincaid-small.jpgSeptember 2, 2008
By Cliff Kincaid
The Washington Post reported that John McCain’s vetting process for picking Governor Sarah Palin included an FBI background check. Other reports dispute this. But when did the FBI investigate Obama? Who vetted him?

We are living witnesses to an incredible media double standard, whereby a Republican vice-presidential candidate’s personal life is being torn apart, while the Democratic presidential candidate continues to get a free ride. Obama has a 30-year history of associating with unsavory characters, beginning with communist Frank Marshall Davis and continuing with Jeremiah Wright and communist terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, which should disqualify him from getting a security clearance in the government that he wants to run.

But the media would rather talk about Republicans and sex.

The leftist DailyKos website started digging into Palin’s past and claimed that her fifth child wasn’t really hers. The charge fell apart when pictures surfaced of the governor pregnant with the child.
Nevertheless, the media, which have been so quick to ignore questions about Obama’s background, joined in the inquiry into Palin’s private family matters and forced the governor to disclose that one of their daughters is pregnant out of wedlock. This is what passes for investigative reporting these days. 

A daughter’s pregnancy, of course, has nothing to do with whether Palin is fit for the job of vice-president or even president and is entitled to a security clearance. But one’s associations with communists who hate the United States might emerge as a cause for concern.

It is worth noting that the DailyKos site is the same site that a liberal blogger named Lee Stranahan says banned his comments about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards needing to answer reports that he had had an extramarital affair. Those reports, which came from the “tabloid” National Enquirer and not from any “respectable” major media outlet, turned out to be true.

It also turns out that the DailyKos got the leak from the Obama campaign of the candidate’s alleged birth certificate, an announcement intended to put to rest all of the questions about whether Obama is a natural-born citizen and passes the basic constitutional requirement to be president. Is the document real? I have not seen any investigative reporters from the major media assigned to this story. Instead, they’re sniffing around Palin’s family, which is something they had no desire to do while John Edwards was cheating on his cancer-stricken wife.

In contrast to the Palin story, which will probably continue for weeks, the Obama birth certificate controversy has been left alone by the major media. They have simply assumed-because they favor his candidacy-that Obama, with a history of being moved from country to country under different names, is a legitimate U.S. citizen. A lawsuit has been filed challenging Obama’s qualifications to be president and some bloggers say the birth certificate is a fraud. But it’s not an issue for the major media. They would rather examine photos of Bristol Palin’s tummy.

An FBI investigation of Obama might get at the truth about the Democratic candidate. But an FBI background check is something that the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party has not been forced to undergo. How many people even know that?

But whether the FBI investigated Palin is now becoming a controversy.

In contrast to the focus on Palin and her family, the Post on August 24 ran a 10,000-word piece about Barack Obama’s growing-up years in Hawaii that completely ignored the role of his acknowledged mentor, communist Frank Marshall Davis. There was not one word devoted to an identified communist, who also stands accused of drug use, alcohol abuse, and child molesting, being in intimate contact with the Democratic presidential nominee for about nine years of his young life.
The author of that Post story, David Maraniss, told us that he didn’t think Frank Marshall Davis was worth even one mention in that 10,000-word story. He even said that Obama’s own book was incorrect in ascribing a significant role to Davis in mentoring the candidate. As the facts show, Davis became Obama’s father-figure when his real father abandoned the family. The mystery is why Obama only referred to Davis as “Frank” in his book and concealed his true identity. But the Post doesn’t want its readers to know anything about it. But we do have a right to know that Bristol Palin is pregnant.

It will be coming out that Obama’s mentor, Davis, was the subject of an FBI investigation for 19 years and that his FBI file is 600 pages long. Davis was included in the FBI’s “security index,” meaning that he could be arrested and detained in the event of a national security emergency. But the young person he sent off to college, who would admittedly attend socialist conferences and pick Marxist professors as his friends, doesn’t have to undergo an FBI background check and will run the FBI should he become president.

In contrast to the coverage of Palin, the major media have not highlighted that, for all of his “experience” in foreign affairs, Senator Joseph Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, is an exposed and admitted plagiarist. I have watched countless hours of coverage of the campaign on the cable and broadcast networks and haven’t seen one detailed story about Biden’s history of plagiarism.
But can you imagine the outcry if it came out that Palin, who graduated from college in journalism and became a sportscaster, had been caught plagiarizing?

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign is already claiming to have found a skeleton in Palin’s closet. An Obama spokesman, Marak Bubriski, charged that Palin once supported Pat Buchanan for president because she was spotted years ago wearing a Pat Buchanan button. And since Buchanan has been charged by some with being a “Nazi sympathizer,” that means that Palin is tainted and has to explain herself. Buchanan, a commentator on MSNBC and columnist, has exposed this as nonsense. But he is not the main target, of course. It is Palin and McCain. It is a campaign dirty trick designed to smear the Republican ticket and hurt its chances with Jewish voters.

Assuming that this is a legitimate topic, when will Obama explain his association with a Moscow-line Communist for nine years of his life? And his failure to come clean about that relationship in his 1995 book, Dreams From My Father? This seems to be more serious than wearing a button.

For the record, it is reported that Palin actually supported Steve Forbes and wore the Buchanan button as a courtesy to the candidate when he visited Alaska. In a related development, pro-Israel bloggers claim to have seen photos and video of an Israeli flag on Palin’s left lapel and an Israeli flag in her office. So it would appear that she is a supporter of Israel, the exact opposite of what the Obama campaign was trying to imply. Now that this is out of the way, how will Obama explain Davis? Or will he ever be asked to?

For its part, the Washington Post has assigned at least two reporters to dig up dirt on Palin. One controversy is that Palin is under investigation for trying to fire a state trooper who threatened members of her family. On two straight days, August 30 and 31, Post reporters James V. Grimaldi and Kimberly Kindy authored articles about whether this trooper should have been fired or not, and what role Palin played in the controversy. 

Since trying to fire a trooper who threatened your family doesn’t strike most people as improper or illegal, the Post now seems to be taking a new direction. The Tuesday paper carries a page one story about how, when Palin was mayor of a town in Alaska, she sought federal grants.

Tomorrow it will be something else.

McCain has a blogger, Michael Goldfarb, who is supposed to be an attack dog when it comes to media misdeeds. He calls a report by Elisabeth Bumiller of the Times “fiction” and offers her a link to the McCain press line.

This is said to be tough stuff from the McCain campaign. They obviously don’t understand what they’re up against.

 Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at