Fox Nation vs. Reality: Obama’s Marxist College Mate

Once again Fox Nation has ventured into the realm of make-believe in order to slander President Obama. In this episode the Fox Nationalists posted as their featured headline story an article with the title: College Mate: Obama Was an ‘Ardent’ ‘Marxist-Leninist’

Fox Nation

In order to fabricate this wholly dishonest smear, Fox sunk to re-posting a column written by conservative bomb-thrower Selwyn Duke. Duke’s article was originally published by The New American, the periodical of the extremist and notoriously fascistic John Birch Society.

In the article, Duke relied entirely on the testimony of John Drew, a man who has been pushing his dubious and uncorroborated account of a college relationship with Obama for years. He claims that Obama was a close friend and confidant. The truth is he only met Obama casually a handful of times at gatherings with many others present. He never attended college with Obama because the future President didn’t enter Occidental College until after Drew had graduated.

It’s painfully clear to anyone paying attention that Drew is attempting to exploit his brief encounters with Obama to exalt himself, disseminate his rightist propaganda, and earn a few bucks in the process. The only person Drew references in his tales who has spoken publicly about them is a former Obama associate named Hasan Chandoo. Two years ago, when asked about Drew’s assertions that Obama was an ardent Marxist, Chandoo, who is now a financial consultant, told the conservative magazine NewsMax that…

“I can’t remember Obama ever talking like that. It sounds a bit absurd to me, but that’s my opinion. I can’t remember him ever expressing an interest in being a Marxist.”

Nevertheless, Drew and his Bircher enablers continue to press this ancient story with no factual basis. And now, after years of plodding through radical right-wing rags and Internet backwater rabble, Drew and Duke have succeeded in getting Fox News to sling their stale mud.

When Fox has to resort to acquiring material from the John Birch Society that is several years old, you might conclude that they are getting desperate. They have apparently recognized that the comically weak field of Republican presidential aspirants is doomed to defeat next year and they are ramping up any random disparagement they can find.


28 thoughts on “Fox Nation vs. Reality: Obama’s Marxist College Mate

  1. Conservative Mantra… When the evidence does not fit your beliefs, simply make it up!

    And why not? Conservatives have bee so conditioned by the likes of Newt Gingrich and R. Limbaugh that they are willing to believe anything…

  2. Just what you would expect from that exemplary organization of truth. No one takes them seriously except for the politically retarded, aka, republican teabaggers.

  3. My story is credible enough that it was featured in Stanley Kurtz’s book, Radical-In-Chief. It has been in at least four other books too.

    Here’s a recent article on how hard I tried to get this information out in 2008 and my response to critics who suggest I’m not really qualified to determine young Obama’s ideological point of view. See,

    [Admin Note: This comment was retrieved from the spam filter. I’m not sure what flagged it as spam but as a precaution I edited the links.]

    • Claiming that you were featured in a book by the rightist hack Stanley Kurtz is not exactly proof of credibility. Nor is linking to the disreputable AmericanThinker. Nor is being published by Birchers.

      And I noticed that you didn’t bother to refute any of the facts I enumerated above.

  4. Mark,

    I think you are missing the main point here. I’ve been saying that young Obama was a Marxist socialist since 2008. My take on Obama was confirmed by a liberal writer, David Remnick, in his book, The Bridge. This publication came out after Ron Kessler published my story in February 2010. Kessler is an exceptional journalist. He followed up with Caroline Boss, Hasan Chandoo and the White House. I don’t think it is fair for you to suggest I’m some sort of kook when a writer like Remnick interviewed Boss and Chandoo and basically verifies my take on young Obama’s extremist ideology. In addition, the quote you use above comes from an article in which Kessler catches Chandoo lying about when he last saw President Obama. 🙂 In the world of credibility, I think my statements have stood the test of time and have been verified as consistent with other research conducted by Kurtz, Cashill, Kengor and others.

    • Missing the point?

      The point is that you have deliberately lied about having attended college with Obama. You have misrepresented his views without any reputable corroboration. You have aligned yourself with disreputable people (Stanley Kurtz, David Horowitz) and organizations (John Birch Society) to advance your smears.

      Now you claim that Remnick’s book confirms what you say. I’d like to see specifically what you regard as confirmation. It certainly isn’t the part where he quotes Chandoo as saying explicitly that…

      We were not Marxists. We were idealistic and believed in the betterment of the lot of the masses and not just the few.” Page 104.

      And it certainly could not have been the part where he quoted Eileen Hershenov who said explicitly that Obama was not advocating Marxism and that…

      “Barack was getting people involved in bread-and-butter community issues and he was very good at it. And while Barack himself was not a radical, he had read, he could speak that language if need be.” Page 121.

      Seriously, this is your idea of confirmation? I never called you a kook, but your veracity is, to say the least, suspect. No wonder you haven’t been able to get anyone to validate this tripe.

      • Mark. You shouldn’t argue issues of scholarship with a scholar. I have The Bridge right here on my desk. Your “We are not Marxists” quote on p. 104 of David Remnick’s book is not from Chandoo as you assert above, it is from Wahid Hamid. 🙂

        On this same page, Hasan Chandoo’s ex-girlfried – Margot Mifflin – explicitly states Chandoo was a socialist, Marxist. I can tell you that I knew Hasan Chandoo was a socialist and a Marxist too. Both Margo Mifflin and I are trained as academics and scholars. Are you suggesting BOTH of us are lying about Hasan Chandoo’s socialist Marxist beliefs?

        Please, before you attack me again, get your page nubmers and quotes correct. I don’t see how a serious thinker could mistake Wahid Hamid for Hasan Chandoo after reading this text. Your comments above show the ugly side of leftist thought…the willingness to smear honest, scholarly people just to protect President Obama.

        • Oh, I forgot something. I have NEVER claimed I attended college with Obama. That is just silly of you. My article in American Thinker makes it perfectly clear that I was visiting my Occidental College girlfriend while I was a graduate student at Cornell. I mean really, do you think I would be so stupid to assert such an obviously false idea simply to get media attention? That’s ridiculous and you know it. Also, I have NEVER aligned myself with the John Birch Society. You are out of your mind crazy if you think I have. I have met both Kurtz and Horowitz and I can report they are meticulously honest academics. There is a good reason why they have published so many successful books. I just did an interview with David J. Garrow, a presidential historian. Is he disreputable in your eyes?

          • Actually you’re right about the quote being Hamid, not Chandoo. But it was in a paragraph that referenced them both and was making the same point about both of them – that they were NOT Marxists. Remnick wrote that…

            “To slap an ideological tag on Chandoo and Hamid, let alone Obama, is not only unfair; it also credits them with thinking far more programatically than they did.”

            And you also misrepresent Mifflin, who may have said that Chandoo (not Obama) was a socialist, but she qualified it saying that…

            “…he was a socialist in the way we were back then – an idealist that believed in economic equality, that’s all.”

            The claim that you attended college with Obama came directly from the articles in Fox Nation and The New American (published by the John Birch Society) that identified you as his “college mate.” Did you ever bother to demand a retraction of that since you are now claiming that it’s false? If not, that’s a tacit affirmation – and a lie.

            And get off your high horse, you arrogant huckster. No matter how many times you flaunt yourself as a scholar it doesn’t change the fact that you are disseminating rubbish that is unconfirmed by any other person. You stated that Remnick confirmed your take on Obama, but even after I asked you for proof, you failed to offer any. At least I provided actual references to back up what I’ve said. Your phony scholarship apparently doesn’t believe in that.

            You are right about one thing though: There is a good reason why Kurtz and Horowitz have published so many successful books. The reason is that there are a lot of ignorant, right-wing, dupes who will buy anything that validates their warped world view. And if you think that my comments “show the ugly side of leftist thought,” it’s only because you regard the truth as ugly.

            • It really isn’t my job to correct people on their factual errors. It’s not so easy to do and very few people – in my experience – are as willing to admit their mistakes as you and to make efforts to set things straight.

              The larger issue is that Mifflin says Obama was a socialist and that Chandoo was a Marxist.

              My story, which appears to be a better fit with the historical record, is that both Chandoo and Obama were Marxists. Since I was a fellow Marxist at the time (and Mifflin was more of a liberal feminist), I suspect I’m a better judge of Chandoo and Obama’s ideological commitments than her.

              I think any reasonable person understands that Mifflin and Remnick are trying to shield Obama from the damage that would be done to his reelection by getting out the word that young Obama was a Marxist socialist.

              They cannot simply deny or lie about his beliefs, so they are trying to minimize them and make them seem less dangerous. The reality, of course, is that Obama and Chandoo where preparing their lives in anticipation of a coming Communist style revolution.

              By the time I met young Obama, I thought the whole idea of a Communist style revolution in the U.S. was unlikely and we got into a big debate because Obama was surprised to hear such an idea coming from me.

              My assertion that Obama was a Marxist-Leninist is based on my face-to-face observation that he believed revolutions were caused by clashing economic forces and that such a revolution was inevitable – this is Marxism not European style socialism.

              I say he was a Leninist because he believed it was important to have a revolutionary elite – including people like him and Chandoo – to speed up this inevitable historical process.

              Remember, this happened over 30 years ago. Also, please remember, my comments are being made in a world where people like James T. Kloppenberg are arguing that Obama has never been a Marxist or a socialist at all. My comments are made in a world where Obama suggests that the only reason people call him a socialist is because he shared his toys in Kindergarten. Remnick, at least, asserts Obama and his friends considered themselves socialists while they were at Oxy.

              Finally, I’d ask you to look at this objectively. If young Obama was a centrist pragmatic thinker, as Kloppenberg suggests, why don’t any of Obama’s Oxy friends report how he criticized their Marxist socialist ideas? Instead of assuming that Obama has never been a socialist or a Marxist, it seems safer to trust my account, Wahid Hamid’s story, and Margot Mifflin’s account.

              Remnick, by the way, is a liberal, not a conservative. What is amazing to me is that I was the only one reporting on Obama’s Marxism in 2008 and now even liberals like Remnick are providing evidence that supports my contention. If the American people want to vote for a guy who has never been a socialist, they can read Remnick’s book to see that Obama is not their guy.

            • First of all, it IS your job to correct factual errors published when they are about you. If someone reported that I attended college with Obama I would beat their doors down until they retracted it. And if they refused I’d make it known as widely as possible that they were lying about me.

              Secondly, you have confirmed everything I wrote previously. You obviously have no evidence of your claims so now you resort to purely subjective arguments like you think that you’re “a better judge” and that it’s “safer to trust [your] account.” Well, I don’t agree and you’ve given me no reason to. You have notably ignored my requests to cite what you alleged were Remnick’s confirmations of your story. And your idea that an objective look at this is one that would conclude that Obama was a Marxist because his friends haven’t written that he criticized them for being Marxists is ludicrous. I knew Marxists in college and have never criticized them. My friends, therefore, have never written that I criticized them. Therefore, according to your logic, I’m a Marxist. Seriously? And you call yourself a scholar?

            • And by the way, it’s obvious that your claim that you don’t think it’s your job to correct people is another falsehood on your part. Otherwise, why have you been spending so much time and verbiage here trying to “correct” me? And why is it more important to respond to what I wrote about you than to what Fox News wrote with their much bigger audience?

  5. Mark:

    Think about it. 🙂 I’m a business man with a successful grant writing consulting business. I don’t have the time to correct the people who think I was Obama’s roommate or that I’m African-American.

    I’ll tell you what. I’m happy to deputize you to handle that chore. Anyone who wants the unvarnished truth about me and my take on young Obama’s extremist ideology can visit my website or Google one of my articles in American Thinker. You, on the other hand, have sought to smear my name with untruthful information. I think it is important for guys like you to realize that the people you attack are real human beings – with feelings, marriages, businesses and normal lives. Saying untruthful things about my character should be against the law even though I’m technically a public figure at this point.

    One of the ironies of this whole episode is that no one has interviewed and ex-Obama girlfriend while the the girlfriends and boyfriends of those closest to young Obama – including Chandoo and Boss – have emerged as some of the most honest and accurate reporters on the real Barack Obama. (That is me and Margot Mifflin.)

    • Gee, I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. But if you’re that sensitive you may be in the wrong line of work (you should see some of the email I get).

      However, I think it is far more important to correct grave misstatements of fact that appear on major “news” web sites (i.e. Fox) than differences of opinion on random blogs. And I find it sublimely disingenuous for you to suggest that I “handle that chore” for you. I don’t care much what some guy at says about me, but I would be very concerned about misrepresentations published by CBS or the New York Times. But maybe that’s just me.

      And I maintain that nothing I’ve said is untruthful, though it is highly opinionated (which is what I do). And I have diligently backed up my opinions with relevant references, which you continue to avoid doing.

  6. [Admin: This comment edited for length and relevance and redundancy]


    Let’s get real here. First, you are lying when you write that I claimed Obama was a “close friend.” I never used those words. You use them, however, to make it look like the reality of the situation was in conflict with my own state story. You are actually making up a statement from me…which I consider to be dishonest journalism.


    Next, my story isn’t “ancient.” My article describing meeting and debating young Obama came out in American Thinker in February 2011. I was only interviewed on the Michael Savage show last week. Fox News has only last week even acknowledged that I exist and that my story is available to scholars and opposition researchers.

    • Oh please… Mark, your readers can view my full, unedited response at my own Anonymous Political Scientist website.

      FYI: I allow others to print their rebuttals without editing from me. Who is the real courageous journalist…you or me?

      They will see that you are a cheater who did not properly quote Hasan Chandoo and that you minimized the number of books my comments appeared in.

      If you are willing to lie to your reader about what I said regarding my link to young Obama, then what else are you lying about?

      • See my comment below.

        p.s. Your comments already exceeded 1,400 words. That’s 1,000 more words than my original article. I think I’ve given you more than enough space to express yourself, but now you are just being redundant. I have a responsibility to maintain an environment here that is interesting to all visitiers, and engaging in endless food fights does not serve that purpose.

        Thanks for posting your blog name. Now people can go there if they want to continue this.

    • John, this is getting tedious. You cannot continue to use my web site as your platform, particularly when you keep repeating the same arguments that have already been hashed over to death. Get your own blog.

      As for your complaint about whether you said Obama was a “close friend,” here is what you said about it:

      “I certainly considered him a friend, a confidant…”

      So you may not have used the word “close” but “confidant” implies the same thing. At least to me. I don’t have any confidants who are not also close friends (and that’s as close as you’re gonna get to a correction).

      I also find it curious that you’ve spent so much time and energy bitching about the word “close” on an obscure blog, but have ignored the far more misleading assertion that you and Obama were “college mates” that appeared on a far more read web site, Fox News.

      As to your complaint about the age of your story, it did not begin in February 2011, as you state above. It goes back to 2008. You have acknowledged that yourself. So this story, in news terms, is ancient.

      You are welcome to comment on anything else I write so long as your comment is civil, relevant, and reasonably concise. But this topic is closed due to boredom.

  7. The appropriate response to dear Johhnie is and was posted at The Fogbow…..

    Drew, once upon a time, went to one of the universities that the President (God that must stick in your craw Drew) went to.

    Drew was not ACTUALLY there at the same time as the President

    Drew ACTUALLY only met the President for (at best) a handful of hours a couple of decades ago in a few social venues where he (Drew) was simply one of MANY other people

    Drew never ACTUALLY talked to the President beyond a few vacuous social mutterings

    Drew never ACTUALLY attended classes, participated in educational, social, political or personal endeavours with either the President or colleagues or friends of the President

    Based upon the fleeting, random, nay Brownian motion social equivalent of a couple of hand shakes, Drew has somehow managed to build a massive wealth of knowledge about the President, his background, intellect, education, political thought processes, educational, social and political evolution.

    This leads to the inevitable conclusion that he is a fabulist with at best a tenuous grasp of facts and a particularly bad case of passive-aggresive entitlement.

    • I just finished watching “The Front,” a film starring Woody Allen where he played a cashier who pretends to be writer to help out a friend who was blacklisted in the 1950’s.

      I couldn’t help but see the irony in the wild accusations of Drew and the fixation on branding people as communists or other manifestations of what they regard as evil.

  8. “Mark. You shouldn’t argue issues of scholarship with a scholar”

    John, John, John,

    Didn’t you learn *anything* from your latest foray over to The Fogbow?

    A newbie professor who does almost zero scholarly work in three years, and who is subsequently denied tenure track and told that his contract wouldn’t be renewed, might want to think twice before calling himself a “scholar.” It might be a tad embarrassing for you if folks who know a bit about academia and your academic record decide to discuss this openly.

  9. Somerset,

    I think that John proved on the Fogbow that he is incapable of feeling embarrassment (and highly skilled at writing things that most people would be embarrassed of). It’s very clear that John was neary destroyed by his exile from the ivory tower–and that he’s not planning on getting over it anytime soon. If he admits that that his tenure decision was reasonable (or even not motivated by affirmative action–an assertion he has no evidence to support, by the way…) then he has to deal with the fact that he’s not the “best grad student in the country” anymore. It’s sad really.


    The amount of cognitive dissonance that John is carrying around is truly amazing.

    Nice article–you must be a very accomplished scholar to run circles around someone who is as much of a legend in his own mind as Johnny…

  10. – Slaribartfast

    What is it with you leftists? I never said, as you have in quotes, that I was the “best grad student in the country.” This is just like Mark saying I was a “close friend” of Obama. I can’t believe that this is the best response you guys have to my take on young Obama’s ideological extremism. You create false information about me and then argue that there is something silly in my story. This is ridiculous. For the record, I have NEVER said I was a “close friend” of Obama and I have NEVER said I was the “best grad student in the country.” Give me a break.

    • You DID say that you “considered [Obama] a friend, a confidant…”

      con·fi·dant [kon-fi-dant, -dahnt, -duhnt, kon-fi-dant, -dahnt] noun

      A close friend or associate to whom secrets are confided or with whom private matters and problems are discussed.

      This is pathetic and pointless. You are obsessed with trivialities, perhaps as a tactic to evade larger issues that you can’t defend. You repeat yourself interminably. Your comprehension skills are seemingly nonexistent. You have failed to respond to direct questions. You’re preoccupied with tangential quotes that you assert are “the best response” I have, while ignoring all of the substance. And then you whine that your feelings got hurt. What does your Ph.D. stand for – Phony Doctorate?

      Worst of all, you apparently have nothing but time on your hands to annoy bloggers with whom you disagree (but no time to request corrections from news media that millions consume).

      Well, I’ve got more important things to do than babysit tantrum-throwing pseudo-scholars.

    • Well, Mark just schooled you regarding “close friend” below (how does it feel to have your argument eviscerated by a mere blogger?), so I don’t need to address that. As for my “best grad student in the country” remark, apparently we need to add “hyperbole” to the list of things you fail to comprehend (a surprisingly long and basic list). I started to wade through your posts on your thread on the Fogbow to find exactly what you claimed (IIRC you said that you were the best poli sci grad student in the country on the basis of some award you won for your thesis), but I quickly got bored of reading your self-aggrandizing, repetitive propaganda. Did I mention that it was repetitive? Meaning that you repeated the same things over and over without addressing any of the criticisms actually raised by others? (You know, like you’re doing with Mark here…) What I’m trying to say is that you have a tendency to say the same thing again and again–it’s as if you’re trying to get nominated for an award for redundancy…

      It’s not that there is something silly in your story, it’s just that your story as a whole (and your naive and egotistical interpretation of it) is foolish and pathetic–not to mention written as if Fox news propaganda points (like “Obama is a socialist”) were objective, scholarly assessments. For someone who claims to be a political scientist, that seems neither scholarly nor scientific to me…

  11. So what is so hard to believe about Obama being a Marxist? He hired self proclaimed communist Van jones as one of his czars? Anyone who wants a communist advisor is playing with the same ideals.

    • Well first of all, you would have to buy the notion that Van Jones is a communist, which would make you an idiot who believes the nonsense spewed by delusional characters like Glenn Beck. But you lunatics who make these claims can never even cite a single thing that Obama has done that is remotely Marxist. I don’t think you even know what the word means.

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