As Karoli explained to us here, billionaire Joe Ricketts' first attempt at smearing President Obama didn't go over so well once his plans where leaked to the press. Lawrence O'Donnell took him apart in his Rewrite segment this Thursday evening for his latest endeavor, where he's teaming up with wingnut Dinesh D’Souza and investing in a new "documentary" based on D'Souza's book The Roots of Obama’s Rage.
As O'Donnell reported, Joe Ricketts' son, who is a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, has tried to distance himself from his father's hatred of President Obama, but that apparently has not been enough to stop him from investing in this latest smear campaign.
O'DONNELL: Having been forced to give up on that project, Ricketts is now funding a movie that will insist on the basis of absolutely no evidence and in fact with actual proof to the contrary, that President Obama's mind is completely controlled, from the grave by his father, Barack Obama Sr., who President Obama met once, when he was ten years old. […]
The movie Ricketts is financing is based on a rage filled book entitled The Roots of Obama's Rage. All of the rage in the book belongs to its author, Dinesh D'Souza. The Economist called the book, “incomprehensible.” Even the conservative Weekly Standard said correctly that the book is full of “misstatements of fact, leaps in logic, and pointlessly elaborate argumentation.” And that's from D'Souza's friends at The Weekly Standard.
This is the book in a nutshell. D'Souza writes that Obama shares his father's anticolonial crusade. That would explain why he wants people who are already paying close to 50 percent of their income of overall taxes to pay even more. That's it. That's the book. But it does not explain why President Obama wants them to pay lower tax rates than they did under presidents Reagan, Nixon and Eisenhower, all Republicans.
We don't know the exact day on which Dinesh D'Souza lost his mind. Nor do we know if he's just pretending to be stark raving mad to collect the money of his clearly crazy patron, TD Ameritrade billionaire, Joe Ricketts.
O'Donnell also knocked D'Souza for his so-called “scholarship” as president of The King's College and called D'Souza “the Donald Trump of college presidents.” It seems D'Souza is as much of a “scholar” as anyone teaching at another institution that puts a right-wing agenda before facts, which is the better known Liberty University.
More on Ricketts' latest efforts from The New York Times here below the fold: Billionaire Finds New Role in Effort to Defeat Obama:
When news broke last week that the billionaire investor Joe Ricketts had considered financing a $10 million advertising effort linking President Obama with the fiery race-based rhetoric of his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Mr. Ricketts quickly distanced himself from the proposal and Mitt Romney’s campaign denounced it.
But Mr. Ricketts is continuing to play a provocative role in the effort to defeat Mr. Obama.
He is involved in another effort slated for this summer, a documentary film based on a widely criticized book, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” by Dinesh D’Souza, which asserts that Mr. Obama is carrying out the “anticolonial” agenda of his Kenyan father.
Mr. Ricketts’s aides said he was one of roughly two dozen investors, providing only 5 percent of the film’s budget. But his involvement shows how the more strident attacks against Mr. Obama, which Mr. Romney’s aides view as counterproductive, continue to find backing even as the Republican Party and the Romney campaign seek to keep the focus on the economy. [...]
A review of “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” in The Weekly Standard criticized it for “misstatements of fact, leaps in logic, and pointlessly elaborate argumentation.”
A spokesman for Mr. Ricketts said that he had supported the book and the movie only because of his friendship with Mr. D’Souza, whom he has known for several years. The two men became acquainted through the American Enterprise Institute, a spokesman said, when Mr. D’Souza, now president of the King’s College in New York, was a scholar there and Mr. Ricketts was on its board of trustees.
In response to questions about Mr. D’Souza, Mr. Ricketts said in a statement that he had long been a “proud supporter of his scholarship” and shared his fiscal conservatism, and that he was deeply inspired by his personal story. “As an immigrant from India who built a life for himself in the United States, becoming a respected scholar, a best-selling author, and the president of the King’s College in New York, he embodies to me what American opportunity is all about,” he said.