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By Tim Graham | February 12, 2015 | 5:02 PM EST

The Washington Post published a 2,223-word story on Thursday's front page on the college career of Scott Walker -- it ended abruptly without a graduation. One obvious question: when did the Post publish a long story on candidate Barack Obama’s undergraduate college years before he was elected in 2008? The answer: They didn’t.

Obama attended Occidental College in California for two years and earned his degree in the Ivy League at Columbia University in New York City. But that apparently wasn't considered newsworthy.

A Nexis search of Obama and “Occidental” found one mention in a Sunday Outlook piece in 2007 and one mention in 2008. On February 11, 2007, it came up in a Sunday Outlook section piece titled “A Rusty Toyota, a Mean Jump Shot, Good Ears.” Occidental’s basketball coach Mike Zinn was quoted as saying “Barry was the same in victory or defeat -- even-tempered. You could sense that the sport and competition were important, but once the season was over, it was time to focus again on academic issues.”

In 2008, it was a gushy story by Post reporter Kevin Merida on August 25, the first day of the Democratic convention. The headline was “A Place in Between; In a Nation Where Race Has Long Carried Polarizing Implications, the Mixed Parentage Of Barack Obama Opens a Bridge to Changes in Our Language -- and Thinking.”

But Merida – now the paper’s managing editor – didn’t do any reporting on Obama’s college years.  He merely quoted from Obama’s memoir.

In "Dreams From My Father," Obama poses the question that would hover over his post-adolescent life: "Where did I belong?" He was two years from graduation at Columbia University and felt "like a drunk coming out of a long, painful binge," he writes, with no idea what he was going to do with his future or even where he would live. He had put Hawaii in the rear-view mirror and could no longer imagine settling there. Africa? It was too late to claim his father's native land as his own.

"And if I had come to understand myself as a black American, and was understood as such, that understanding remained unanchored to place," Obama writes. "What I needed was a community, I realized, a community that cut deeper than the common despair that black friends and I shared when reading the latest crime statistics, or the high fives I might exchange on the a basketball court. A place where I could put down stakes and test my commitments."

In searching for a place to anchor, Obama transferred from Occidental College in Los Angeles to Columbia in New York, a period of his life that has not been well-examined. "I figured that if there weren't any more black students at Columbia than there were at Oxy, I'd at least be in the heart of a true city, with black neighborhoods in close proximity."

Obama writes that he was more like black students who had grown up in the suburbs, "kids whose parents had already paid the price of escape." Except he had not grown up in Compton or Watts, he points out, and had nothing to escape "except my own inner doubt."

The same thing happens when you search for Obama within 20 words of “Columbia University.”

On December 27, 2007, Merida glossed over it in a Jesse Jackson passage: “Obama was a recent graduate of Columbia University when Jackson launched his first campaign, and once told Jackson that he was inspired watching him on television debating Walter Mondale and Gary Hart. Now, Obama is trying to carve out a legacy of his own.”

There’s Merida in August of 2008, and then on October 17, 2008, there was a fleeting mention of Columbia, in an Eli Saslow story on Obama’s taste for solitude: “He had always guarded his space, once living in such seclusion as a student at Columbia University that when his mother visited his barren New York apartment, she chastised him for being ‘monklike.’”

 

 
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After the election, there was more of the same on the editorial page on December 14, 2008 in a David Ignatius column:

Barack Obama wrote in "Dreams From My Father" of his days as a student at Occidental College, groping for his political identity: "We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Frantz Fanon, Eurocentrism and patriarchy."

Don’t you think the voters would have liked to know if young Obama was into terrorist-inspiring thinkers like Frantz Fanon and had a radical anti-Western problem with “Eurocentrism and patriarchy?” Ignatius thought exploring that passage is "silly." No one needs to know what Obama thought in 1981! (But the Post thinks you need to know Romney cut a kid's hair on the quad in 1965.)

PS: The Post had a little more interest in the “Harvard Law School” part of his resume, mostly as a sign of Obama’s belonging in the elite. Post political reporter Chris Cillizza explained an ad on June 26, 2007:

The longer ad is more strictly biographical, detailing Obama's work as a community organizer, his standout years at Harvard Law School and his eventual return to community organizing. Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor, says in the ad that Obama's decision to bypass wealth on Wall Street for a job organizing at the community level was "absolutely inspiring."

A Post reader could have found an account of Obama’s election as president of the Harvard Law Review in The Washington Post Magazine on August 12, 2007. Liza Mundy wrote about 1,000 words on this narrowly-focused event to explain how “it was at Harvard Law School that Obama's political skills -- and aspirations -- would emerge rather dramatically.” That's the only attempt at a view of Obama at law school.

More commonly, it's thrown around like currency. On December 14, 2007, there is Obama booster Kevin Merida, quoting from the memoir, as usual:

But it is also true that Obama, after his election as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review, wrote a 442-page memoir, published in 1995, that deeply explores his father's absence. It is rich with dialogue, precise recollections and emotion-laden self-analysis. It concludes with several chapters about his visit to Kenya, where he meets siblings, aunts, uncles, his grandmother and his father's ex-wives, and he finally understands the turmoil that consumed his father's life. At the end of the book, Obama is sitting between the graves of his father and paternal grandfather, weeping.

Or Obama’s credential was used as a club. See Post columnist Steven Pearlstein on February 22, 2008:

We're talking here about a former president of the Harvard Law Review. Have you ever met the people who get into Harvard Law School? You might not choose them as friends or lovers or godparents to your children, but -- trust me on this -- there aren't many lightweights there. And Obama was chosen by all the other overachievers as top dog. Compared with the current leader of the free world, this guy is Albert Einstein.

Or Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby on May 5, 2008:

After Harvard Law School, Obama could have pursued a career that involved contact only with hypereducated brainiacs like him. But by working as a community organizer and in state politics, he chose a life that put him among ordinary folk. The elitist label is ridiculous.

- See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2015/02/12/his-election-washpost-never-probed-candidate-obamas-college-years-scott#sthash.VYrNKOu8.dpuf

The Washington Post published a 2,223-word story on Thursday's front page on the college career of Scott Walker -- it ended abruptly without a graduation. One obvious question: when did the Post publish a long story on candidate Barack Obama’s undergraduate college years before he was elected in 2008? The answer: They didn’t.

Obama attended Occidental College in California for two years and earned his degree in the Ivy League at Columbia University in New York City. But that apparently wasn't considered newsworthy.

A Nexis search of Obama and “Occidental” found one mention in a Sunday Outlook piece in 2007 and one mention in 2008. On February 11, 2007, it came up in a Sunday Outlook section piece titled “A Rusty Toyota, a Mean Jump Shot, Good Ears.” Occidental’s basketball coach Mike Zinn was quoted as saying “Barry was the same in victory or defeat -- even-tempered. You could sense that the sport and competition were important, but once the season was over, it was time to focus again on academic issues.”

In 2008, it was a gushy story by Post reporter Kevin Merida on August 25, the first day of the Democratic convention. The headline was “A Place in Between; In a Nation Where Race Has Long Carried Polarizing Implications, the Mixed Parentage Of Barack Obama Opens a Bridge to Changes in Our Language -- and Thinking.”

But Merida – now the paper’s managing editor – didn’t do any reporting on Obama’s college years.  He merely quoted from Obama’s memoir.

In "Dreams From My Father," Obama poses the question that would hover over his post-adolescent life: "Where did I belong?" He was two years from graduation at Columbia University and felt "like a drunk coming out of a long, painful binge," he writes, with no idea what he was going to do with his future or even where he would live. He had put Hawaii in the rear-view mirror and could no longer imagine settling there. Africa? It was too late to claim his father's native land as his own.

"And if I had come to understand myself as a black American, and was understood as such, that understanding remained unanchored to place," Obama writes. "What I needed was a community, I realized, a community that cut deeper than the common despair that black friends and I shared when reading the latest crime statistics, or the high fives I might exchange on the a basketball court. A place where I could put down stakes and test my commitments."

In searching for a place to anchor, Obama transferred from Occidental College in Los Angeles to Columbia in New York, a period of his life that has not been well-examined. "I figured that if there weren't any more black students at Columbia than there were at Oxy, I'd at least be in the heart of a true city, with black neighborhoods in close proximity."

Obama writes that he was more like black students who had grown up in the suburbs, "kids whose parents had already paid the price of escape." Except he had not grown up in Compton or Watts, he points out, and had nothing to escape "except my own inner doubt."

The same thing happens when you search for Obama within 20 words of “Columbia University.”

On December 27, 2007, Merida glossed over it in a Jesse Jackson passage: “Obama was a recent graduate of Columbia University when Jackson launched his first campaign, and once told Jackson that he was inspired watching him on television debating Walter Mondale and Gary Hart. Now, Obama is trying to carve out a legacy of his own.”

There’s Merida in August of 2008, and then on October 17, 2008, there was a fleeting mention of Columbia, in an Eli Saslow story on Obama’s taste for solitude: “He had always guarded his space, once living in such seclusion as a student at Columbia University that when his mother visited his barren New York apartment, she chastised him for being ‘monklike.’”

 

 
AD FEEDBACK
 
 

 

After the election, there was more of the same on the editorial page on December 14, 2008 in a David Ignatius column:

Barack Obama wrote in "Dreams From My Father" of his days as a student at Occidental College, groping for his political identity: "We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Frantz Fanon, Eurocentrism and patriarchy."

Don’t you think the voters would have liked to know if young Obama was into terrorist-inspiring thinkers like Frantz Fanon and had a radical anti-Western problem with “Eurocentrism and patriarchy?” Ignatius thought exploring that passage is "silly." No one needs to know what Obama thought in 1981! (But the Post thinks you need to know Romney cut a kid's hair on the quad in 1965.)

PS: The Post had a little more interest in the “Harvard Law School” part of his resume, mostly as a sign of Obama’s belonging in the elite. Post political reporter Chris Cillizza explained an ad on June 26, 2007:

The longer ad is more strictly biographical, detailing Obama's work as a community organizer, his standout years at Harvard Law School and his eventual return to community organizing. Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor, says in the ad that Obama's decision to bypass wealth on Wall Street for a job organizing at the community level was "absolutely inspiring."

A Post reader could have found an account of Obama’s election as president of the Harvard Law Review in The Washington Post Magazine on August 12, 2007. Liza Mundy wrote about 1,000 words on this narrowly-focused event to explain how “it was at Harvard Law School that Obama's political skills -- and aspirations -- would emerge rather dramatically.” That's the only attempt at a view of Obama at law school.

More commonly, it's thrown around like currency. On December 14, 2007, there is Obama booster Kevin Merida, quoting from the memoir, as usual:

But it is also true that Obama, after his election as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review, wrote a 442-page memoir, published in 1995, that deeply explores his father's absence. It is rich with dialogue, precise recollections and emotion-laden self-analysis. It concludes with several chapters about his visit to Kenya, where he meets siblings, aunts, uncles, his grandmother and his father's ex-wives, and he finally understands the turmoil that consumed his father's life. At the end of the book, Obama is sitting between the graves of his father and paternal grandfather, weeping.

Or Obama’s credential was used as a club. See Post columnist Steven Pearlstein on February 22, 2008:

We're talking here about a former president of the Harvard Law Review. Have you ever met the people who get into Harvard Law School? You might not choose them as friends or lovers or godparents to your children, but -- trust me on this -- there aren't many lightweights there. And Obama was chosen by all the other overachievers as top dog. Compared with the current leader of the free world, this guy is Albert Einstein.

Or Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby on May 5, 2008:

After Harvard Law School, Obama could have pursued a career that involved contact only with hypereducated brainiacs like him. But by working as a community organizer and in state politics, he chose a life that put him among ordinary folk. The elitist label is ridiculous.

- See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2015/02/12/his-election-washpost-never-probed-candidate-obamas-college-years-scott#sthash.VYrNKOu8.dpuf

The Washington Post published a 2,223-word story on Thursday's front page on the college career of Scott Walker -- it ended abruptly without a graduation. One obvious question: when did the Post publish a long story on candidate Barack Obama’s undergraduate college years before he was elected in 2008? The answer: They didn’t.

Obama attended Occidental College in California for two years and earned his degree in the Ivy League at Columbia University in New York City. But that apparently wasn't considered newsworthy.

By Scott Whitlock | February 12, 2015 | 4:55 PM EST

The Washington Post on Thursday conducted another of its obsessive investigations into the younger life of a Republican presidential candidate. This time, it was 2,223 words probing Scott Walker, his activities while at Marquette University and why the future governor did not graduate. Writer David A. Fahrenthold focused on allegations that Walker didn't work hard in French class and that his supporters in a student election stole copies of the campus newspaper. 

By Tim Graham | February 12, 2015 | 4:50 PM EST

Entertainment Weekly is all aglow at the prospect of "another milestone role in broadcast TV diversity." They reported CBS has cast transgender actor (Charles) Laverne Cox in its legal procedural pilot Doubt

The Orange is the New Black cast member will play a transgender Ivy League-educated attorney, described as “competitive as she is compassionate. She’s fierce, funny and the fact that she’s experienced injustice first hand makes her fight all the harder for her clients.”

By Kristine Marsh | February 12, 2015 | 4:11 PM EST

You remember last July, when the media gushed about an Australian study which showed children of gay parents were healthier and happier than children of opposite sex parents? It was all over the internet and newspapers, from NBC  to CBS to The Washington PostThe Huffington Post, and Salon all hyping the findings. 

But what the media neglected to report was the huge holes in the study. As the FRC’s Tony Perkins pointed out, the study’s biggest flaw was that it studied single, “same-sex attracted” moms or dads, not exclusively same-sex couples. That small, inconvenient fact was ignored. So was the fact that the data sample was gathered from an ad put out in gay media by researchers and answers were self-reported by the gay parents. 

By Geoffrey Dickens | February 12, 2015 | 3:42 PM EST

Over the years Jon Stewart has used his Daily Show perch to mock Dick Cheney’s “torture boner,” called conservative columnist Robert Novak a “vampire demon,” and yelled “Go f*** yourself!” at Bernie Goldberg, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions and Fox News. He also told conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh to “get the f*** out of” New York.

By Kyle Drennen | February 12, 2015 | 2:49 PM EST

In an interview with BuzzFeed on Tuesday, President Obama attacked office supply chain Staples over accusations that the company was cutting back on worker hours to avoid the ObamaCare health insurance coverage mandate for their employees: "...when I hear large corporations that make billions of dollars in profits trying to blame our interest in providing health insurance as an excuse for cutting back workers' wages, shame on them."

By Jeffrey Meyer | February 12, 2015 | 2:48 PM EST

On Tuesday night, liberal comedian Jon Stewart announced that he would be departing The Daily Show later this year to pursue other professional endeavors. Following Stewart’s decision to end his 16 year run at Comedy Central, many in the media have wondered what his next move would be, including former Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn who argued that he would pay Stewart $100 million per year for a new television distribution model. Speaking on CNBC’s Fast Money Halftime Report on Thursday, Levinsohn called Stewart “the franchise... Jon Stewart is authentic to the core and I think the millennial generation certainly knows that.”

By Kyle Drennen | February 12, 2015 | 1:33 PM EST

Adding to the myriad of problems for Brian Williams, actor Charlie Sheen has voiced his support for the embattled NBC Nightly News anchor. In an open letter released on Wednesday, the famously erratic celebrity praised Williams [grammar as written]: "First off, THANK YOU, for 24 years of inimitable professionalism and top shelf brilliance, as a stone cold passion driven and (PERFECTLY) fact based journalist....Now and forever you are a true Patriot and a Hero of mine until the day i leave this star crossed imperfect Rock we call Earth…"

By Tom Blumer | February 12, 2015 | 1:27 PM EST

The establishment press has obsessed over Republican Governor Chris Christie's non-scandals in New Jersey for 18 months. Anything appearing to be problematic during the past four years for Wisconsin GOP Governor Scott Walker, including a "John Doe" fishing expedition driven by a power-abusing Democratic prosecutor, has been national news.

Meanwhile, the press appears to have lost interest in Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's possible connections with arrested State Speaker Sheldon Silver. In a far more glaring omission, the vast majority of the country outside of the Pacific Northwest, even those who closely follow the news, barely recognize the name of John Kitzhaber, Oregon's Democratic Governor. Kitzhaber is embroiled in an ethics scandal so serious that he was apparently on the verge of resigning on Tuesday before he changed his mind.

By Matthew Balan | February 12, 2015 | 1:26 PM EST

Liberal author Douglas Brinkley did his best on Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360 to excuse Brian Williams's "embellishment" regarding his reporting of the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina – mere moments after the CNN program spotlighted examples of the NBC anchor's questionable claims. Despite this reporting, host Anderson Cooper never confronted his guest over his own role in boosting Williams's statements in his Hurricane Katrina book.

By Scott Whitlock | February 12, 2015 | 1:08 PM EST

NBC's Today on Thursday ignored the militant atheism and liberalism of a North Carolina man accused of executing three Muslims on Tuesday night. ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning at least mentioned Craig Stephen Hicks's hatred of faith, but none of the networks highlighted the individual's affinity for programs such as the Rachel Maddow show. 

By Claire Chretien | February 12, 2015 | 12:48 PM EST

It hasn’t been a good week for NBC’s PR team.  Their top anchor has humiliated the network and been suspended for six months after being outed as a liar.  And one of their foreign correspondents continues to take heat for making offensive comments about a celebrated American hero, American Sniper Chris Kyle. Two retired generals appeared on Hannity Tuesday evening to disucss the letter they sent along with MRC President Brent Bozell to the Comcast Board of Directors demanding an on-air apology from NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin. 

By Kristine Marsh | February 12, 2015 | 12:12 PM EST

Not only was the murder suspect in the shooting of three young Muslim students in Chapel Hill, N.C., Feb.10 a vehement atheist, he was also a fan of the Southern Poverty Law Center, as The Weekly Standard  pointed out Feb. 11. 

A quick trip to the suspect’s Facebook page reveals that not only was Hicks a fan of the SPLC, he was a self-described “militant atheist”- with numerous photos, memes and posts mocking Christianity. Some posts call God a sociopath and call Christianity a “pyramid scheme.” 

By Kyle Drennen | February 12, 2015 | 12:05 PM EST

As CBS mourned the loss of veteran 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon after he was killed in a car accident on Wednesday, Thursday's CBS This Morning invited CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley to share his thoughts on the late journalist. While eulogizing his longtime friend and colleague, Pelley took an odd turn when he praised Simon's advocacy, not objectivity: "Bob had a sharp intolerance for injustice and he had equal-opportunity rage for every injustice committed in every corner of this Earth."

By Jeffrey Meyer | February 12, 2015 | 10:41 AM EST

On Thursday, CBS This Morning offered yet another glowing profile of liberal comedian Jon Stewart following his announcement that he will be leaving The Daily Show later this year. After the “big three” (ABC, CBS, and NBC) morning shows heaped praise on Stewart on Wednesday, CBS’s Anthony Mason beamed at how the Comedy Central show “became a game-changing broadcast, a comedy show that has in many ways managed to shift the narrative in pop culture and politics.”