On March 7, I viewed a much-hyped video of remarks Barack Obama made in 1991 when he was a student at Harvard Law School.
I thought that’s 1.17 minutes I’ll never get back.
Later that evening, I turned on Fox News to watch Sean Hannity who promised an “Exclusive: Unedited Obama race video unveiled.” Part of the “exclusive” was a video excerpt featuring my friend, Harvard Law Prof. Charles “Tree” Ogletree.
Tree is a sought-after speaker so on any given day, he could be anywhere lecturing on a wide range of issues. As he told the Boston Herald, “It’s much to do about nothing. It’s not the breaking story that some who want to criticize the president claim it is.”
- UPDATE: On March 14, Tree again debunked Hannity's
bunkBig Lies during an appearance on MSNBC's "The Ed Show."
I'm still trying to find the alleged media cover-up.
To paraphrase Carl von Clausewitz, politics is war by other means. Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell famously said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
McConnell added that’s the goal of “every active Republican in the country.” So if it means alleging the cover-up of a video that’s been available on YouTube, the second largest search engine, since 2008, well, that’s politics.
While defeating President Obama is their goal, if they can destroy a Harvard Law professor who does more than talk, that would be the icing on the cake. Tree is one of the nation’s top trial lawyers and an indefatigable advocate for social justice.
Facts are stubborn things. One of the Big Lies spread by Glenn Beck (remember him?) is that “Ogletree also attended every single day of the trial of this woman. This woman is Angela Davis, OK? She was a Black Power activist.”
Now Tree is a smart as they come but he’s not that smart. You can’t skip classes at Stanford for a year and graduate Phi Beta Kappa.
According to Beck, Tree “edited the Black Panther newspaper. Here’s a copy of it, The Real News. OK? He was an editor.” Hey, Beck, get real. Then and now, “Real News” is a publication of the Stanford Black Student Union.
But facts don’t matter. The only thing that matters is defeating President Obama in November.
While it’s understandable Tree’s friends may not want to add fuel to the fire by responding to this nothingburger of a story, it's not going away. Hannity will scream about it (whatever it is) until Election Day.
- I’ve tangled with Hannity in the past. Given what’s at stake, bring it on.
I’m not speaking out simply because Tree is my friend. This baseless attack is part of a coordinated strategy to raise the specter of the
Big BlackNew Black Panthers -- Willie Horton 2.0 -- to peel away white voters and suppress voter turnout.
Since 2008, Hannity and Republicans, including former Justice Department lawyer Christian Adams, have flogged the specious allegation of voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers in the 2008 election.