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Fake Obama Thesis Story Goes Viral, Because Of Stupidity

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Okay, let's get you up to speed on the incredibly true story about how a bunch of right-wingers got taken in by some satiric blog post on Barack Obama's college thesis, written ages ago, and frantically presented it as real.

Months ago, some blogger crafted a fake news story about how Time Magazine's Joe Klein had obtained ten pages of a thesis written by Barack Obama, in which he wrote about how the Constitution was "inherently flawed."

In the paper, in which only the first ten pages were given to the general media, Obama decries the plight of the poor: "I see poverty in every place I walk. In Los Angeles and New York, the poor reach to me with bleary eyes and all I can do is sigh."

In part, the future President blames this on the current economic system: "There are many who will defend the 'free market.' But who will defend the single mother of four working three jobs. When a system is allowed to be free at the expense of its citizens, then it is tyranny."

However, the President also singled out the American Constitution: "... the Constitution allows for many things, but what it does not allow is the most revealing. The so-called Founders did not allow for economic freedom. While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the distribution of wealth is not even mentioned. While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy."

Now, I don't see a whole lot in there about the "the evolution of the arms reduction negotiations between the Soviet Union and the United States," which is what he actually wrote about for Columbia, which should have been the first clue that this was a satire. ALSO HELPFUL: the tag on the satiric blog post, which reads, and I quote, "SATIRE."

Did you hear the one about Kanye West attributing his outburst at the VMAs to a gluten overdose? No, because apparently that critical news story was vetted by professionals, not Rush Limbaugh and Michael Ledeen, who beef-farted this false Obama thesis story all over the radio and the blogosphere today.

Eventually, Joe Klein caught wind of the thesis that people were saying he had read and penned a post at Swampland, saying that it was "nonsense."

A report is circulating among the wingnuts that I had a peek at Barack Obama's senior thesis. It is completely false. I've never seen Obama's thesis. I have no idea where this report comes from--but I can assure you that it's complete nonsense.

Ledeen had to eventually apologize for the misinformation, telling his readers, "Joe Klein has said that he never read any part of an Obama 'thesis' from his Columbia days, and that's conclusive, as far as I'm concerned." Charitable! The Washington Independent's Dave Weigel says that Limbaugh "discovered the hoax midway through the show, and used what used to be known as the "fake but accurate" defense.

So, hey, that right-wing reportage infrastructure is in great shape, I guess!

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