Journalists are tweeting about a YouTube video of Washington Post reporter David Maraniss speaking Monday at the University of Virginia's "nonpartisan" Miller Center. When asked if there were Obama books out there that he thinks were wrong, and he said to laughter, "Man oh man, are there." Maraniss began by listing all the Obama books by his fellow reporters in the WashPost/New York Times mob. Jodi Kantor is "a very earnest and smart reporter" and David Remnick's book is "very smart about race."
Then Maraniss turned to the "books I don't respect. He strongly denounced both Ed Klein for The Amateur as "basically a political diatribe," and all the Obama work by Dinesh D'Souza. He accused D'Souza of being "a professor who I think is violating every standard of serious history." (Video clip and transcript below)
MARANISS: The Amateur by Ed Klein. He did do some reporting. It’s basically a political diatribe. You start with a presupposition, then you set out to prove it, which is the antithesis of what I believe in as a historian.
Dinesh D’Souza’s incredibly popular right now, with his two books and one movie, all of which are claiming America will be utterly different in 2016 after, if Obama’s re-elected, and that he’s really a socialist and he has all these anti-colonial motivations, that he hates America and he wants to diminish America.
And Dinesh D’Souza is a professor who I think is violating every standard of serious history. I mean, I don’t know him personally, but I find his arguments tendentious and wrong. I think he doesn’t know Obama. He didn’t do the original research.
You know, in the documentary, he’s posing in Indonesia, and he interviews Obama’s stepbrother in Kenya, you know, the stepbrother is completely irrelevant and is a phony. And his take on Obama and anti-colonialism is at once wrong and wrong-headed at the same time. It’s wrong because Obama was not influenced by the anti-colonialism of his father. And secondly, what’s so great about colonialism?
The clip cuts off there. If the Miller Center were truly nonpartisan, they might have asked Maraniss if there were an anti-Obama critique from the conservative movement that he could respect, and included that in their clip.
Maraniss has been repeatedly harsh about conservative theories about Obama. In a July 29 Post op-ed, Maraniss denounced the “strange armies of pseudo-historians” who “disregard facts and common sense.” He then ruined that argument by guessing their opposition to Obama “arises out of fears of demographic changes in this country, and out of racism.”
This Postie's grasp of "facts and common sense" lose out to his liberal bias in this unintentionally hilarious passage from September 2 that neglects Obama's very partisan tenure:
The right wing has made a cottage industry out of portraying him as a shape-shifter, trained by socialists, whose true leftist ideology will come out in a second term. His history points in the opposite direction. As a young man negotiating the shoals of race in America, as president of the Harvard Law Review, as a lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Chicago and as a state senator in Springfield, his instincts were to search for common ground.