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Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Newsmax Perpetuates Churchill Bust Falsehood
Topic: Newsmax

A March 2 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers perpetuates a falsehood about President Obama and a bust of Winston Churchill that was in the Oval Office of his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Discussing the controversy over Mike Huckabee's remarks on Steve Malzberg's radio show, Meyers writes:

Malzberg noted that Huckabee was referring to a bust of Winston Churchill, a gift to the White House from Britain, that Obama ordered returned after he took office.

“The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British,” Huckabee continued.

“But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.”

In fact, Obama did not order the Churchill bust to be returned. The British Embassy confirmed that the bust was "uniquely lent" to Bush, and was scheduled to be returned at the end of Bush's term. According to the Associated Press, the bust is now in the White House residence -- in other words, it hasn't been returned at all.

Why would Meyers embrace such an obvious falsehood? Perhaps because Newsmax is where the falsehood got started. As we detailed, a March 2009 Newsmax column by James Humes purported to quote Obama saying of the bust, "Get that goddam thing out of here." But there is no evidence whatsoever to back up Humes' claim that Obama said anything like this. Rather than retract the column and apologize, Humes merely edited his column to state that the claim "was never fully substantiated, despite frequent repetition on radio talk shows." But that's a lie too; Humes never identified any talk show host who made the claim, or where specifically he picked it up from.

Humes even concocted the Mau-Mau theory to back up his illegimate claim: "Perhaps Obama, who grew up in Kenya, took umbrage at Prime Minister Churchill’s actions in 1953 of wiping out the Mau-Mau, the Kenyan terrorists who made a specialty of slitting throats of sleeping white and Black Kenyans."

Humes, as far as we know, was never punished for his falsehood. To the contrary: Newsmax rewarded it by giving him a speaking slot on one of its cruises.

No wonder Meyers thinks the Churchill bust story is true -- his employer let the perpetrator of the falsehood get away with it.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:47 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 6:51 PM EST

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