President Barack Obama’s chief spokesman on Tuesday evening lashed out at Forbes magazine for publishing a highly controversial cover story asserting that the president’s political views stem from a belief in Kenyan “anticolonialism.”
“Why didn’t Forbes hire a fact checker for their cover ‘story’?” wrote White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Twitter. “Or did they simply not care about the facts?”
The lengthy polemic, written by conservative Dinesh D’Souza, painted Obama as a quasi-foreigner who is unable to connect with American values. It received wide attention after its thesis was endorsed Sunday by Republican Newt Gingrich, who may run for president in 2012.
Gibbs’ post linked to an article in the Columbia Journalism Review that excoriates the Forbes story as “a gross piece of innuendo—a fact-twisting, error-laden piece of paranoia. This is the worst kind of smear journalism—a singularly disgusting work.” The CJR piece dug through its numerous factual inaccuracies.
Less than an hour later, the White House spokesman doubled down with another Tweet that read: “More of the fact checking that Forbes either failed to do or willfully ignored” — this one linked to a post on the Web site “The Fourth Branch,” which depicted the article, and Gingrich’s remarks about it, as blatant smears.
The Tweets mark what may be the White House’s most forceful attack on a news organization since it slammed Fox News as essentially a communications arm of the Republican Party.
The premises of the Forbes story, while permeating the national dialogue this week, have been roundly criticized by mainstream news organizations and conservative and liberal writers.
“I DON’T find it at all difficult to understand how Barack Obama thinks, because most of his beliefs are part of the broad consensus in America’s centre or centre-left,” wrote M.S. in The Economist, positing that D’Souza’s thesis “doesn’t make any sense on its own terms.”
“I didn’t find Dinesh D’Souza’s cover story in Forbes as ‘stunning’ or ‘profound’ in its insight into the president as Newt Gingrich did,” wrote Ramesh Ponnuru in the conservative National Review. He added: “I think that it is a mistake to imagine that Obama is a deeply mysterious figure, as opposed to a conventional liberal.”
Politico reporter Ben Smith called the Forbes story “weirdly sloppy in its details” and alleged that it “fell apart in its attempt to merge a kind of cultural case against Obama into the charge that he’s governed as a socialist in a grand unified theory of why to hate Obama.”
‘Not a pretty picture’: Second-ranking GOP senator inches closer to impeachment after Bill Taylor testimony
The second-ranking Republican senator sounded an alarm over testimony by the former Ukraine ambassador.
GOP Whip John Thune (R-SD) reacted to testimony Tuesday by veteran diplomat Bill Taylor, who told lawmakers that President Donald Trump directed efforts to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation of Joe Biden in exchange for congressionally approved military aid.
"The picture coming out based on the reporting we’ve seen is not a good one," Thune told reporters Wednesday, "but I would say until we have a process that allows to see this with full transparency it’s pretty hard to come to hard and fast conclusions."
‘Horde of clueless angry white men’: Internet mocks Matt Gaetz for leading a raid on a secure impeachment hearing
On Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) led a gang of two dozen conservative lawmakers as they barged into a classified evidence meeting in the impeachment proceeding against President Donald Trump.
Gaetz — who is not a member of the Intelligence Committee but has demanded the right to review sensitive evidence as if he is one — received scorn from commenters on social media for his stunt:
This is their plan? I’m so fucking relieved we’re up against Matt Gaetz.
BUSTED: Newly uncovered White House budget docs undercut one of Trump’s last defenses in Ukraine scandal
President Donald Trump's insistence that he only pushed Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden because he was concerned about "corruption" has been one of his primary defenses against House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
However, the Washington Post has uncovered some White House budget documents that directly undercut the president's defense.
According to the Post, the Trump administration "has sought repeatedly to cut foreign aid programs tasked with combating corruption in Ukraine and elsewhere overseas" even though the White House has insisted that it is laser-focused on promoting good governance in the country.