August 13, 2008

John Kerry swiftboater Jerome Corsi is at it again. After writing a book back in 2004 which sought to sink John Kerry's Presidential hopes by calling into question his heroic Vietnam service, Corsi has now set hs sights on Barack Obama. With all the secret-Muslim/unpatriotic/radical-black-liberation-theologist smears already circulating, you might think his job would be easier this time around.Well, if every news outlet is as "fair and balanced" as CNN was last night in covering the book, Corsi and his ilk might be in a bit of trouble. Watch while MediaMatters' Paul Waldman, author of the book Free Ride: John McCain and the Media, dismantles every single one of Corsi's lies in rather humiliating fashion. In this clip,Corsi gets slammed for claiming "700 footnotes" while refusing to acknowledge that one of his sources is a widely discredited anti-semitic right-wing blogger.

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WALDMAN: He talks about how many footnotes he has and how many sources he has. Well, if you actually look at them, there are dozens and dozens of citations to right-wing Web sites and blogs. One of the people that he cites as a quote/unquote source is a man named Andy Martin, who is an anti- Semitic right-wing blogger who once called a judge a dirty Jew and filed so many frivolous lawsuits that he's now no longer allowed to file lawsuits.

So my question to Mr. Corsi is, since you cite Andy Martin multiple times as a source, are there any other anti-Semitic right- wing bloggers that you also use as sources or is he the only one?

CORSI: All right. This is what Media Matters does. They frame questions that you...

WALDMAN: This is what we do. We look at what you wrote.

CORSI: [...] If you'd like to talk, I can just sit here. The book has close to 700 footnotes in it. The footnotes are of primary sources. There must be 100 books cited in that. I did interviews. The interviews are cited. There's newspapers included...

KING: Well, respond to the question about Mr. Martin.

CORSI: Well, I quote -- I can remember one quip I quote from him -- and it's just a quip, which is -- where he basically is saying if Obama will lie about his background and his family, he'll lie about anything. And this was in reference to the way Obama presents his father in the autobiography, which I write about extension extensively."

MediaMatters has the entire segment here as well as a thorough debunking of Corsi's book here.

The Dems have an email campaign going called: Get the Truth Out About Jerome Corsi. Please sign up and help us to expose this fraud.

UPDATE: The Obama campaign has released an exhaustive 41 page rebuttal to "fringe bigot" Corsi titled "Unfit for Publication." Read it and learn it here.

Full transcript below the fold.

Controversy heads the list tonight.

In New York, Jerome R. Corsi, author of the new book, ""The Obama Nation": Leftist Politics and The Cult of Personality." The book debuts number one on "The New York Times" best-seller list. There you see its cover. He's also author of the 2004 best-seller "Unfit For Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry."

In Washington is Paul Waldman, senior fellow at Media Matters for America. Media Matters describes itself as: "A progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing and correcting conservative misinformation in the United States media."

Mr. Corsi, did you say -- did you tell "The New York Times" the purpose of the book is to defeat Obama?

JEROME R. CORSI, AUTHOR, "THE OBAMA NATION: LEFTIST POLITICS AND THE CULT OF PERSONALITY": Well, Larry, I make that very clear in the book. The book is designed to say that I oppose the candidacy of Barack Obama and I explain why. I've got 360 pages and nearly 700 footnotes explaining my argumentation about Obama, complete examination of his life, his positions, his background.

I'm an investigative reporter with "World Net Daily." I have academic credentials. I've studied and worked in universities.

KING: Did you -- as a good investigative reporter, did you approach this objectively or not?

CORSI: I did, but, Larry, "World Net Daily," one thing we do clearly is we also have a policy that we write in editorials and state our political views, as well. So I'm out front, just as I was with co- authoring "Unfit For Command" with John O'Neill. Here I'm saying clearly I oppose Barack Obama. And the book is designed to lay this information out and let the American public decide.

KING: Paul, you denounced the book as unfit for publication.


PAUL WALDMAN, SENIOR FELLOW & DIRECTOR SPECIAL PRODUCTS AT MEDIA MATTERS: Well, let's put in some historical context, Larry.

Four years ago, Mr. Corsi wrote -- co-wrote a book called "Unfit For Command" that was part of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign against John Kerry. Every single objective observer that looked at that came to the conclusion that it was just riddled with falsehoods and distortions and unbelievable claims.

Now, four years later, he has come out with another book that is also riddled with distortions and falsehoods. So the question is, why on earth would anyone listen to what he has to say about Barack Obama?

KING: All right, the...

CORSI: Larry...

KING: Yes. Go ahead.

CORSI: Could I get to respond to that?

KING: Sure.

CORSI: Well, the -- you know, this a common tactic of Media Matters and others. They broad brush, say it's discredited, it's full of falsehoods. When you get down to what they can actually prove, it's nitpicking little objections.

And I mean "Unfit for Command," we -- John O'Neill and I have not had to withdraw or rescind one single sentence of that book. We continue to stand by it. And I do remind people that John Kerry lost the 2004 election.

KING: All right, the...

WALDMAN: Well, you know, you can call.

KING: Let me -- hold it, Paul.

"The Obama Nation" depicts Barack Obama as a radical liberal who has tried to hide what Jerome Corsi describes as "extensive connections to Islam."

There is a segment of the population that believes Obama is a Muslim. I asked the senator about this perception in mid- July.

Here's what he said.


KING: A "Newsweek" poll shows that 12 percent of America believes that you're a Muslim and 26 believe -- 26 percent believe you were raised in a Muslim home. A lot of misinformation.

How do you fight that?

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE: Well, you know, by getting on LARRY KING and telling everybody I'm a Christian and I wasn't raised in a Muslim home. And I pledge allegiance to the flag. And all the things that have been reported in these e-mails are completely untrue and have been debunked again and again and again.


KING: Jerome, if a man says he is a Christian, why doubt that?

CORSI: Well, I don't. I say in the book I can't read Barack Obama's soul. I can't look into his mind. If he says he's a Christian, he's a Christian. What I say is...


CORSI: Well, but what I document Barack Obama just there said he was not raised as a Muslim. I very clearly document in Indonesia, when he was six to 10 years old, living with his mother and his Islamic stepfather, he did attend a public school where he received Muslim education. And he...

KING: But...

CORSI: was the type of Islamic education that was for a person registered as a Muslim in that school, which Barack Obama had also been when he attended Catholic school in (INAUDIBLE).

KING: But Jerome, you know that Jewish kids go to Catholic schools. It doesn't make them Catholic.

CORSI: Well, he was registered as a Muslim. The documentation -- I thoroughly researched it from the Indonesian newspapers and Indonesian television. He attended mosque with his stepfather. The friends who were in school with him attest that he was then considered a Muslim. And that's the testimony of the people in Indonesia who grew up in those six years (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: But he says...

CORSI: ...with him.

KING: But he says he's Christian.

Paul, why do you think this closet Muslim thing hangs around?

WALDMAN: Well, Larry, partly because what Mr. Corsi is doing is of a piece with this kind of innuendo that's floating around in e- mails and on right-wing Web sites, all meant to convince people that Barack Obama isn't really one of you.

But I do want to respond to some -- to a couple of things he said before. He said that the people who criticize him for getting the facts wrong are nitpicking. Well, knit -- the truth is not nitpicking. Either it's true or it's false. And much of what Mr. Corsi has written is just plain false.

There's something else that's important, too. He talks about how many footnotes he has and how many sources he has. Well, if you actually look at them, there are dozens and dozens of citations to right-wing Web sites and blogs. One of the people that he cites as a quote/unquote source is a man named Andy Martin, who is an anti- Semitic right-wing blogger who once called a judge a dirty Jew and filed so many frivolous lawsuits that he's now no longer allowed to file lawsuits.

So my question to Mr. Corsi is, since you cite Andy Martin multiple times as a source, are there any other anti-Semitic right- wing bloggers that you also use as sources or is he the only one?

CORSI: All right. This is what Media Matters does. They frame questions that you...

WALDMAN: This is what we do. We look at what you wrote.

CORSI: Sir, if you'd like me to answer your question, I would.

WALDMAN: Go ahead.

CORSI: If you'd like to talk, I can just sit here. The book has close to 700 footnotes in it. The footnotes are of primary sources. There must be 100 books cited in that. I did interviews. The interviews are cited. There's newspapers included...

KING: Well, respond to the question about Mr. Martin.

CORSI: Well, I quote -- I can remember one quip I quote from him -- and it's just a quip, which is -- where he basically is saying if Obama will lie about his background and his family, he'll lie about anything. And this was in reference to the way Obama presents his father in the autobiography, which I write about extension extensively.

KING: All right, let me -- I've got to get a break.

Next, more on the sensational accusations, including some about Michelle Obama.

Don't go away.



OBAMA: If you get one of these e-mails that says I'm a Muslim, not true. I've never been a Muslim. This is just stuff that is designed to make people suspicious.


KING: Concerning the use of drugs, Mr. Corsi writes about it. Mr. Waldman will criticize it. But Barack Obama does not deny that he's used illegal drugs. He addressed the issue in his memoir. He's spoken about it publicly a number of time, including these remarks in New Hampshire last November.



OBAMA: You know, there were times when I, you know, got into drinking and I experimented with drugs. There was really a whole stretch of time when I didn't really apply myself a lot. And it wasn't until I got out of college -- or got out of high school and went to college -- that I start realizing man, I've wasted a lot of time.


KING: Jerome, you write in your book that Senator Obama has "yet to answer whether he stopped using marijuana and cocaine completely in college or whether his drug use extended to his law school days or beyond."


KING: But Obama wrote in his memoir "Dreams from My Father" -- which you repeatedly cite in your book -- that when he moved to New York in the early '80s: "I stopped getting high. I ran three miles a day and I fasted on Sundays."

So are you saying he's lying?

CORSI: What I'm saying in the book is that people who admit that they've used drugs -- and Obama -- Obama says he used drugs through Occidental. And it was a lot of drugs. He said it was -- it had become virtually habitual with marijuana and cocaine.

My argument is that the self-reporting of people who use drugs as to when they quit is not reliable. That's the argument I was making. So I was making...

WALDMAN: No. That -- first of all, that's not what Mr. Corsi says in his book. He's not telling the truth about that.

But think about what kind of (INAUDIBLE)...

CORSI: The context of that is...

WALDMAN: But think about what kind of malicious innuendo this is. What he says in his book is raising the possibility that oh, maybe Barack Obama was doing drugs in the Senate. I mean let me -- let's think about what this really means.

Let me ask you a question, Mr. Corsi.

Are you...

CORSI: Well, can I answer that?

WALDMAN: Hold on. Well, let me ask...


WALDMAN: Let me ask you this one you had -- you put up...

CORSI: Well, I know you like to...

WALDMAN: You had...

CORSI: You like to talk.

WALDMAN: You put up on right-wing Web sites a whole series of bigoted and hateful posts in 2002 and 2003 that you later had to admit to when you got found out -- all kinds of really vile and malicious stuff.

CORSI: OK. If you...

WALDMAN: Now, you say that you've stopped that. You say that you've stopped that and you don't put up those kinds of vile, bigoted, malicious, hateful posts on right-wing Web sites. But all we have is your word.

I mean, do -- can we really trust you?

People who do that kind of thing, well, you know, they're not really very trustworthy.

CORSI: We have...

WALDMAN: So can we trust you?

Are you still doing that?

CORSI: You have more than my word. You've got the record of everything I've written since then.

WALDMAN: Can you prove that you're not doing it anonymously?

Can you prove it?

CORSI: I don't post anything anonymously.

WALDMAN: But all...


WALDMAN: But you just said -- well, all we have is your word.

CORSI: These... WALDMAN: You see what I'm doing here?

CORSI: No, no.

WALDMAN: This is the...

CORSI: I wanted to go...

WALDMAN: I'm doing exactly the same thing to you, Mr. Corsi, that you're doing to Barack Obama.

CORSI: No, you're...

WALDMAN: You're spreading this incredibly vicious innuendo...

CORSI: What you're doing...

WALDMAN: ...with zero evidence whatsoever.


KING: Wait. Hold it. Hold it.

WALDMAN: And that's why people look at what you do...

KING: Paul, let him respond.

WALDMAN: ...and they say this is not someone who can be believed.

CORSI: This is typical Media Matters. They bring you on the show and they bait you up, don't give you a chance even to respond. You hasn't mentioned...

WALDMAN: Go ahead. Respond.

CORSI: Oh, you haven't mentioned all my apologies for those statements. I've written eight books since 2004. I'm writing constantly on "World Net Daily," now even doing a newsletter on economics called "Red Alert." I'm not posting anything anonymously.

Why don't you criticize the things that I have written?

And one last point. You know, these ad hominem attacks, to me, I hope Media Matters keeps it going right up until the election, because it doesn't refute what I wrote in the book.

WALDMAN: There's nothing ad hominem...

KING: Jerome, have you...

WALDMAN: There's nothing ad hominem about it. And if you...

KING: Jerome, have you criticized other politicians -- major politicians who've used drugs or alcohol?

CORSI: Yes. Who've used drugs or -- I don't think that's been a theme that I've written about with others. I've criticized other politicians.

KING: Republican and Democrat?

CORSI: Yes. The -- I've written against John McCain very strongly for the last four years on his immigration policy. I wrote a series of articles in "World Net Daily" of John McCain's connections with George Soros.

The book is not written to support John McCain. I am Constitution Party. I make it very clear in the introduction I'll be voting for Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party. The book is written...

KING: Michelle Obama comes under fire in "The Obama Nation" a number of times. Jerome Corsi describes her as "the angry Obama" and says she has a campaign liability.

Here's Michelle Obama defending herself, in particular her patriotism, in an interview last month on CNN.


MICHELLE OBAMA, WIFE OF BARACK OBAMA: To the extent that people don't think I love my country, I don't think there could be anything further from the truth. You know, I care deeply about my country. And as Barack has said, you know, only in this country would our stories, both he and mine, be possible.


KING: Jerome, what's your beef with her?

CORSI: Well, again, I want to get on the record what is the facts. I want the truth out. So I went back to Michelle's thesis at Princeton and showed how she based it on Stokely Carmichael's "Black Power," arguing that African-Americans at a white university like Princeton could not have an authentic experience because they were feeling alienation.

WALDMAN: You know, this is...

CORSI: And I met...

WALDMAN: We've heard this here before.

KING: Why is that wrong?

WALDMAN: We've heard this before...

CORSI: No, it's not wrong.

WALDMAN: ...about Michelle Obama.

CORSI: It's not a...

WALDMAN: People have gone back...

CORSI: It's the truth.

WALDMAN: ...and looked at her thesis to try to argue that her relating the experiences of African-Americans who were at Princeton, that that was somehow her opinion. And I have to -- I have to go back to something that Mr....

CORSI: She based the book on...

WALDMAN: I have to go back to something that Mr. Corsi said before. You know, he said he's written eight books since 2004. Well, you can put slime in the covers of a book and it's still slime. And I think that anyone who looks at Mr. Corsi's track record should be approaching this...

KING: Wait a minute.

WALDMAN: ...with a critical eye.

KING: All right. Now, hold it.

WALDMAN: And that's why, if you go to our Web site...

KING: Before you start...


KING: Hold it, Paul.

WALDMAN: ...we're not just...


WALDMAN: ...throwing out insults.


WALDMAN: What we do...

KING: Jerome, are you saying that...

WALDMAN: I'm sorry. What we do is we have gone through the book and we have documented the falsehoods one after another after another.

And if you go to, you can see it all laid out there.

KING: All right. Jerome, you're not saying, are you, that a black should not feel alienated at Princeton early on?

CORSI: No, I -- Larry, I didn't comment on it in terms of -- you know, I said, first of all, it was part of the arguments I was making about how much both writers like Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael -- these extreme black rage writers that affected, in their development, both Barack Obama and Michelle. It was part of their emotional development.


CORSI: That was the point I was making and I wanted it on the record because it's part of the facts.

KING: Wasn't Martin Luther King also part of their development?

CORSI: Yes. But, you know, Martin Luther King was not nearly as influential. Very clearly, Barack Obama says in the autobiography that what resonated with his soul was the writings of Malcolm X.

KING: We have a current...

CORSI: And there are very long passages...

KING: All right, I've got to take a break.

CORSI: I'm sorry. Go ahead.

KING: And we're going to continue with another segment.

I have a comment from the Obama campaign. The Obama campaign has not made public comment on "The Obama Nation" book. A spokesman, Tommy Vietor, did have this to say to "The New York Times": "This book is nothing but a series of lies that were long ago discredited, written by an individual who was discredited after he wrote a similar book to help George Bush and Dick Cheney get reelected four years ago."

More on the controversial book and what's in it after the break.


KING: By the way, point of information. John Kerry, whom Corsi attacked in 2004, has launched a Web site, Truth Fights Back, to counter charges against Obama. Kerry says: "You have to fight back against those who try to smear you."

Now, Jerome, in your books, you frequently make points about people using their own words. You, in the past -- in 2003, you blogged that "boy-buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is OK with the pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press."

In 2004, you described Muslim...

CORSI: And, Larry, these are all...

KING: "worthless, dangerous, satanic."

You called Pope John Paul II senile.

Now you can say you're OK, now, but if you meant that then, we have a right to question you then, as you question Mrs. Obama at Princeton.

CORSI: Well, Larry, you should also report all the apologies for those comments. And I've clearly stated...

KING: Yes, but you still -- I mean...

CORSI: I stated they were not written to express my true views. They were intentionally written to be antagonistic or aggressive or provocative. The Catholic Church, I'm a good member. I was born and raised in the Catholic Church.

I'm a member in good standing of the Catholic Church. I have supported Islam. After I wrote "Atomic Iran," I walked 200 miles with the Islamic Iranian expatriates for freedom in their country, created two mutual funds for the state of Israel, went -- with the blessing of B'Nai Brith and my 25 years in financial services.

You can't take a few quips that I've wrote that I've apologized for -- that should not have been written -- and I have not done again -- to be representative of my beliefs and writing.

WALDMAN: I don't know...

KING: Paul, are you...

WALDMAN: I don't know what Mr. Corsi...

KING: Paul, are you disappointed, the fact that Simon and Shuster, a division of Simon and Shuster publishes this book, and that Mary Matalin, the former chief aide to Dick Cheney, is the -- it's her imprint?

WALDMAN: Right. Well, that's how we have to understand this. That imprint is run by Mary Matalin, who was Dick Cheney's aide, a longtime GOP operative. And once Mr. Corsi's book came out, of course, it fit right into the conservative promotion machine.

So that means he gets to go on Fox News as many times as he wants. It gets bought in bulk by conservative donors. It gets sent out and promoted on conservative mailing lists.

This is something they've done very well before. And the merit of the book in question is never even a question. You know, one of the other best-sellers that they managed...

CORSI: Could I answer this?

WALDMAN: push on the best-seller list...

CORSI: Is this...

WALDMAN: Well, I'm not done.

CORSI: If this your statement?

WALDMAN: When I'm done, you can answer.


KING: Let him finish.

WALDMAN: One of the other...

KING: Paul...

WALDMAN: One of the other best-sellers that they pushed on best- seller list was something that alleged that Hillary Clinton put crack pipes on the White House Christmas tree. This is the kind of books that they push up by buying them in bulk, by having this promotion machine. And it's one smear job after another. And I think that it's incumbent upon all of us who believe that whatever our political positions are, that the discourse around the campaign ought to be conducted with some kind of eye toward what the truth is.

KING: All right, Jerome...

WALDMAN: ...that we have to look very, very skeptically at this whole thing.

KING: All right. Jerome, Senator McCain -- he did it on this program -- promised that he -- this would be an issue-oriented campaign, no personalities driven, there will be open discussions among both.

Are you going against that concept?

CORSI: Larry, I'm coming to the conclusion the Barack Obama campaign is afraid for people to read this book. This book is a legitimately published book. It's published with the investigative research in this book that is not being touched here. All that's happening is I'm getting called names. I'm not allowed to talk. It's an ad hominem attack. And anybody who knows ad hominem attacks know that it's -- the people making them have already lost.

If they could beat this book on argument, logic and reason, they would do so. Otherwise, they've lost and they're just calling me names.

WALDMAN: Well, what I would encourage people to do then is to go to And you can see point by point...

CORSI: How about read the book?

WALDMAN: Sure. Go ahead. Read the book. And then go to

CORSI: Good idea.

WALDMAN: ...and see point by point our refutation of all of the falsehoods, all of the distortions that are in there...

CORSI: You know...

WALDMAN: ...because it is one after another...

CORSI: I wish tonight we had discussed those. I mean you didn't discuss the points. You called me names about them.


KING: All right, give me a point...

CORSI: I would love to have debated those.

KING: Then give me a point in the book, Paul, that's wrong.

WALDMAN: Well, just to give you an idea of what...

KING: Go ahead.

WALDMAN: ...what Mr. Corsi's methods are. So he talks about at one point -- at one point about -- in his attempt to try to convince people subtlety that there's something too Islamic about Barack Obama that his father divorced his mother in accordance with Sharia law.

Now, Mr. Corsi's evidence for this is some Canadian blogger who said it. That's the kind of evidence that he has from his sources. When they're not right-wing blogs, they're right-wing -- other kinds of right-wing Web sites. And...

CORSI: That section I presented three alternative explanations of it. And I did not support the version of the Sharia law in the (INAUDIBLE).

WALDMAN: Then why did you include it in your book?

So why are you including baseless innuendo...

CORSI: I was debating the...

WALDMAN: I don't understand.

CORSI: I was debating the evidence on it.

WALDMAN: Why are you including baseless innuendoes in the book...

KING: Let him answer.

WALDMAN: ...if you don't think that it's true?

CORSI: I was looking at a variety of explanations for it and I was weighing them and I did not support that one. So, again, you're distorting the book.

WALDMAN: Yes. Well, that -- that's the technique that Mr. Corsi uses to pass on innuendo.


WALDMAN: To say...

CORSI: It's legitimate to look at different arguments...

WALDMAN: stick a question mark...

CORSI: I'm sorry.

WALDMAN: put a question mark at the end of something and say -- and say, oh, is he really a Muslim?

I don't know.

CORSI: No, I...

WALDMAN: Is he a drug dealer?

CORSI: Now you're...

WALDMAN: Because putting a question mark...

CORSI: You're acting like...

WALDMAN: the end of a sentence...

CORSI: No, I'm sorry...

WALDMAN: ...doesn't mean that you get excused for passing on that innuendo.

KING: All right. Let's get one thing clear, though. I want to clear up one thing.

Jerome, you are not supporting John McCain, right?

CORSI: I'm not.

KING: You're voting for someone else. So you want neither McCain or...

CORSI: No. I'm voting for the Constitution Party.

KING: You want neither McCain or Obama to be president?

CORSI: Chuck Baldwin.

KING: You want neither of the two frontrunners to be president?

CORSI: I'm voting for Chuck Baldwin. And Chuck Baldwin is where I'm going to vote. I'm a Constitution Party member and I support Chuck Baldwin.

If John McCain wins, I suspect I'll be writing against John McCain on "World Net Daily," where I'm a staff reporter, for the next four years, opposing very many of his positions.

KING: OK. We have not heard the last of these gentlemen or this book.

Jerome Corsi's book is "The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and The Cult of Personality."

Paul Waldman, a senior fellow, Media Matters for America. Will "The Obama Nation" have an effect on the election, next.

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