WND Remains Obsessed With Obama: The Jack Cashill File
The WorldNetDaily columnist just can't stop pushing highly dubious sex and plagiarism claims regarding the former president, as well as freaking out over the (almost nonexistent) possibility that Michelle Obama might seek the presidency herself.
By Terry Krepel Posted 2/12/2024
WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill has long been obsessed with Barack Obama, peddling the disproven conspiracy theory that Bill Ayers ghost-wrote Obama's first book "Dreams From My Father" and writing a couple of Obama-bashing books -- an obsession that unsurprisingly continued into 2023. Cashill devoted his Aug. 30 column to gushing over a new book compiling essays by right-wing anti-Obama authors:
Having written four books about Barack Obama, I read Jamie Glazov's new book, "Barack Obama's True Legacy," not expecting any surprises. To my surprise, I was pleasantly surprised.
Glazov, the editor, assigned subject matter experts to review Obama's policy decisions as president, with a focus on foreign policy. This strategy provides a depth of reporting not found in other assessments of the Obama presidency, my own included.
It's unlikely that future Obama historians will know more about the Muslim Brotherhood than Robert Spencer, more about communism than Trevor Loudon, more about Benghazi than Clair Lopez, more about Israel than Daniel Greenfield or Dov Lipman, or more about Russia than J.R. Nyquist, just to name a few.
Cashill then quoted from the opening essay:
The opening chapter by John Drew sets the tone for what follows. Drew first met the future president when Obama was a student at Occidental College in Los Angeles.
The Obama Drew meets is a closeted homosexual and an uncloseted anti-colonialist and wannabe communist revolutionary. "There's going to be a revolution," Drew remembers Obama saying. "We need to be organized and grow the movement."
ConWebWatch has previouslynoted that Drew was never as close to Obama as he has suggested, having actually met him only twice -- at least one of which was a social occasion -- and he had graduated from Occidental before Obama even started school there. So maybe he's not the reliable critic Glazov and Cashill want us to think he is.
The fact that Glazov's book starts out with a guy who spent the Obama years exaggerating his alleged closeness to the guy for right-wing gain doesn't bode well for the book as a whole. Or for Cashill's credibility as well; he eagerly swallowed arguments by the book's writers that Obama was "groomed by a communist-Islamist alliance" to be president and touted in the headline of his column that the book portrays Obama as a "real-life Manchurian candidate."
Cashill concluded with a wannabe book blurb: "Future historians would do well to ignore the reporting of the legacy media altogether. For those interested in the real story, 'Barack Obama's True Legacy' would be a much better place to start." He doesn't explain why his fellow obsessive Obama-haters should be trusted on anything.
In his Sept. 27 column, headlined "Barack Obama: Pied Piper of smiley-face fascism," Cashill lashed out at Obama for wanting to fight online hate and lies, which caused him to rage again:
As Obama sees things, this disinformation inevitably comes from the right. Using social media, the Putin-Bannon crowd "flood a country's public square with enough raw sewage," "spread enough dirt" and "plant enough conspiracy theories" to weaken democratic institutions.
Although Obama, of course, believes in free speech he is very nearly an "absolutist" on the subject he thinks that some "level of public oversight and regulation" is needed to clean up the sewage.
Of note, while Obama was speaking theoretically about "disinformation" control, his proxy, President Joe Biden, was implementing it.
Thanks to the media induced hysteria about COVID-19, Biden had all the pretext he needed to offer the kind of public oversight that Obama could only dream about.
The 5th Circuit judges summed up Biden's efforts. "On multiple occasions [White House] officials coerced the [social media] platforms into direct action via urgent, uncompromising demands to moderate content."
The judges added specifics: "Privately, the officials were not shy in their requests they asked the platforms to remove posts 'ASAP' and accounts 'immediately,' and to 'slow down' or 'demote' content. In doing so, the officials were persistent and angry."
Said the judges in summary, "The Supreme Court has rarely been faced with a coordinated campaign of this magnitude orchestrated by federal officials that jeopardized a fundamental aspect of American life."
Cashill didn't explain why lies and misinformation should be allowed to spread unfettered. Instead, he leaned into COVID vaccine conspiracy theories:
Obama gave his Stanford talk while this coordinated censorship campaign was in full flower. He pretended not to notice. He had, after all, a problem to solve.
"So inside our personal information bubbles," he said of his political enemies, "our assumptions, our blind spots, our prejudices aren't challenged, they're reinforced."
As the Gallup survey shows, however, it was his people who were living and dying inside the bubble. "And naturally," said Obama, "we're more likely to react negatively to those consuming different facts and opinions." Yes, precisely. We call them "Karens," Democrats almost to a person.
By April 2022, Americans, on the right at least, had caught on to the dangers posed by the various COVID vaccines. If Obama had, he kept that information to himself.
"And yet despite the fact that we've now, essentially clinically tested the vaccine on billions of people worldwide," he told the Stanford crowd, "around 1 in 5 Americans is still willing to put themselves at risk and put their families at risk rather than get vaccinated."
As we know now, virtually everything the Biden White House said about vaccines was false.
Cashill pushed the fringe narrative that because COVID vaccines don't offer 100 percent protection with zero side effects -- something no other vaccine has ever achieved -- they are worthless and dangerous, insisting without evidence that "young people who were at close to zero risk of dying from COVID were suffering and sometimes dying from the vaccine itself."
In other words, Cashill is invoking one conspiracy theory to bolster another. No wonder he opposes anyone calling out his hate and lies -- it might jeopardize his business model.
Resurfacing Larry Sinclair
When the 2008 stunt accusation by Larry Sinclair that he had a drugs-and-sex encounter with Obama got new life when he resurfaced to do an interview with Tucker Carlson -- something the rest of WND heavily touted -- Cashill started his Sept. 5 column by gushing over it:
In watching it years later, I am impressed by how well Sinclair understood Obama's hold on the media.
If you asked a question about a black man who chose to run for president, Sinclair observed, "All of a sudden you're called a racist, a bigot."
A genuine character, Sinclair acknowledged up front the various crimes he had committed in years past. He wanted to take that cudgel away from the media.
Sinclair then explained in exquisite detail the nature of his alleged 1999 interaction with then state senator Obama.
He provided dates, the name of the hotel, the name of the Muslim limo driver who arranged the assignation, the specifics of their sexual interlude, as well as insights into his more recent phone conversations with Donald Young, a member of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church and an alleged lover of Obama's.
More than once during the question and answer period, reporters asked Sinclair, given his "tremendous credibility problem," why they should take him seriously.
In turn, Sinclair asked the reporters "to do your jobs and find facts." He provided them several useful leads and challenged them to follow up.
Cashill offered no evidence that he himself ever investigated any of that. He then built a conspiracy theory around Sinclair getting arrested following his press conference on an outstanding warrant:
Wired, meanwhile, ran an article celebrating those leftist bloggers who succeeded in getting Sinclair arrested on an on an "out-of-state warrant" just as he was leaving the Press Club.
The state in question is Delaware. The attorney general of the state in 2008 was Beau Biden. The media saw nothing suspicious about the arrangement.
Sinclair also had an outstanding warrant in Colorado at the time, but Cashill didn't mention that. He also didn't mention that Sinclair claimed in a 2004 affidavit to be "terminally ill," an assertion that clearly didn't age well even as Sinclair himself continued to age. Nevertheless, Cashill continued to vouch for Sinclair's credibility:
The messenger in this case had to be attacked, exposed, eliminated as a threat, and that he was. Until this week, few have ever heard of Sinclair. Fewer still have heard of the late Donald Young.
Thanks to Elon Musk and Tucker Carlson, that is about to change. Here's hoping Carlson gets into the really treacherous stuff.
Cashill spent his Sept. 13 column recounting the tale of one Susan Daniels, who promoted an Obama conspiracy theory about his Social Security number:
In 2009, a client asked Daniels to run a background check on Barack Obama. Daniels had run checks on thousands of individuals without anxiety or incident. This was different.
What Daniels planned to do was perfectly legal. That said, she had a generalized fear of retaliation. Had any of her seven children still depended on her, she probably would have punted. But with her 67th birthday looming, she figured, if not now, when?
The Social Security Number (SSN) she found attached to Obama immediately struck her as fishy. She knew the prefix "042" had to have an East Coast provenance. Inquiring further, she traced its issuance to Connecticut somewhere in the years between 1977 and 1979.
In March 1977, however, Obama was a 15-year-old living in Hawaii. Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro, was about that age when she received her SSN in 1985 or 1986 with a standard Hawaiian prefix of "576."
There was no getting around the obvious: President Barack Obama had been using an anomalous and possibly fraudulent SSN for more than 20 years.
This is one charge the media did not even try to refute. When WND reporter Les Kinsolving raised the question at a White House press briefing"Do you know of any record that the president ever had a mailing address in Connecticut?"Press Secretary Gibbs mockingly linked the question to the birth certificate issue and dropped it quick.
Like others in alternative media, I was intrigued. When passing through the Cleveland area some summers ago, I grabbed a lunch with Susan to get her take on things.
Like any good (or bad) conspiracy theorist, Cashill ignored the most logical explanation: a typographical error. As Snopes explained:
The most likely explanation for the discrepancy is a simple clerical or typographical error: the ZIP code in the area of Honolulu where Barack Obama lived at the time he applied for his Social Security number in 1977 is 96814, while the ZIP code for Danbury, Connecticut, is 06814. Since '0' and '9' are similarly shaped numbers and are adjacent on typewriter keyboards, it's not uncommon for handwritten examples to be mistaken for each other, or for one to be mistyped as the other (thereby potentially resulting in a Hawaiian resident's application mistakenly being routed as if it had originated from Connecticut).
Oddly, Cashill made a point of adding that Daniels is, overall, too crazy even for him: "I cannot vouch for any of Susan's theories about Obama other than the SSN."
Melting down over Michelle
Cashill used a December 2022 column to advance the conspiracy theory that Democrats were pushing to make South Carolina the first election in the 2024 Democratic presidential primary to benefit a possible campaign by Michelle, with a little help from his favorite discredited charlatan filmmaker:
The New York Times and just about everyone else in the media think that the Democratic National Committee's plan "to radically reorder" the traditional primary process was done at the behest of Joe Biden.
Los Angeles filmmaker and author Joel Gilbert thinks otherwise. Earlier this year, Gilbert released a compelling documentary and companion book, "Michelle Obama 2024, Her Real Life Story and Plan for Power." In it, he makes a much stronger case than the Times does for the Dems' power play.
Gilbert makes the case that South Carolina is Michelle's for the asking. "If Biden was running," Gilbert tells me, "no one would run against him, so there is no need to move the first primary out of Iowa."
While the GOP beats up on Biden, the exquisitely sensitive Michelle Obama waits in the wings for the call to save her party and her country. As Gilbert points out in "Michelle 2024," Michelle's family hails from South Carolina.
In 2008, dressing down in both fashion and language, Michelle worked the state hard on behalf of her husband. "My people are from South Carolina," she said at one tour stop. "I don't know if y'all knew that. In fact, my brother and I came down last week for a mini family reunion at my grandparents' church."
In 2024, Gilbert argues, it's Michelle's turn. Like Barack, Michelle positioned herself with an autobiography, the wildly popular "Becoming." Like Barack, too, she gave the keynote speech at a Democratic National Convention in the prior convention, Barack's in 2004, Michelle's in 2020.
Cashill failed to tell his readers that Gilbert pushed numerous false claims about Barack Obama, the most pernicious lie being that his mother posed for nude photos taken by Frank Marshall Davis -- something he seemed to know was false, given how he kept editing his film promos as those discredited claims were exposed. Cashill will never tell his readers about any of this, of course -- he has worked with Gilbert on later dubious films, so he has no incentive to disrupt that relationship, no matter how steeped in lies it is.
Cashill's July 19 column began by plugging his new book "Untenable" -- which appears to be little more than an exercise in absolving white people of racism in fleeing cities in the 1960s, a framing the white nationalists at VDARE love -- then invoking his favorite charlatan filmmaker to accuse her family of hypocrisy in doing something similar:
Thanks to the meticulous research of Los Angeles filmmaker Joel Gilbert for his film and book "Michelle Obama 2024," we know a good deal about the ways in which Michelle's family dealt with the collapse of inner-city Chicago.
Actually, given the conspiratorial rantings and false claims in his films, "meticulous research" is pretty much the last thing Gilbert is known for. Cashill continued:
Given her family's own history of flight, one would think Michelle would have had some sympathy for whites who had made similar moves. But to think that is to misunderstand the real Michelle.
At an Obama Foundation forum in 2019, Michelle showed her true colors.
"As families like ours, upstanding families like ours, who were doing everything we were supposed to do and better, as we moved in," said Michelle, "white folks moved out."
Added Michelle, "They were afraid of what our families represented." In truth, almost all the white families had moved out before she moved in. They moved not because of families like Michelle's but because of families whose children were terrorizing families like Michelle's.
Cashill then complained that someone asked him after giving a book presentation why he hated Michelle so much:
After the C-SPAN event, one female attendee asked why I had to be so hard on Michelle. As she explained nicely, the references to skin color and hair texture by Michelle may have reflected "her truth."
The problem, I explained, is that "her truth" and "the truth" are frequently at odds in ways that inevitably insult white people. If Michelle steps up and runs for president, as many people anticipate, those insults will be increasingly hard to conceal.
As the rest of WND was freaking out at the idea of a Michelle Obama candidacy, Cashill spent his July 26 column again touting that dubious Michelle-bashing video by Gilbert:
Working through their allies in the news media, the Democrats have of late been stupefying their voters with a barrage of racial nonsense.
There may be a method to their madness. If Los Angeles filmmaker Joel Gilbert is right, the Democrats may be softening the ground for Michelle Obama’s triumphant return to the White House.
The producer of "Michelle Obama: 2024," Gilbert argues that Democratic operatives have been grooming Michelle for a presidential run for the last five years: the memoir, the keynote speech at the 2020 election, the voting rights operationall proven steps on her husband’s path to power.
The move by the DNC to make South Carolina the first primary state suggests Gilbert may well be right. Michelle’s family hails from South Carolina. In 2008, kingmaker Rep. Jim Clyburn abandoned Hillary and threw his support behind Barack Obama. The state is Michelle’s for the taking.
Cashill then hyped anti-vaxxer conspiracy-mongering presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. as a disrupter:
At the House hearing on government weaponization, Schultz accused presidential aspirant Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of making “despicable anti-Semitic and anti-Asian comments.”
To give African Americans a rooting interest, Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands jumped in, grotesquely misrepresenting Kennedy’s comments and accusing him, by inference, of “hateful, abusive rhetoric.”
White though he may be, Kennedy is a classic “Black Swan,” the totally unanticipated phenomenon that, in this case, threatens all of the Democrats’ carefully laid plans.
As president, Biden could duck a debate with Kennedy, but as mere candidate, Michelle Obama could not. Nor could she hope to prevail in a debate with Kennedy. He has to be neutralized before Biden steps out of the raceas Biden inevitably will.
Cashill concluded by huffing that Michelle is all about racial animosity, while also vaguely hinting that she may have had a role in the drowning death of her family chef (another WND obsession):
If Michelle declares, count on her to ratchet up the fear. Her target is Lavern Spicer’s cousin. Women like her control South Carolina’s destiny and Michelle’s future.
In the meantime, don’t expect to hear much about the drowning of her “personal chef.” Even Michelle would have a hard time selling a paddle boarding death as a sign of systemic racism.
Vague hints are an essential tool in the conspiracy theorist's toolbox.
Cashill's Obama derangement continued in a Dec. 27 column, in which he (and a friend) accused Barack Obama of plagiarizing another book for his memoir, then demanded that his fellow right-wingers give him credit for manufacturing the accusation:
Two weeks ago in this space I documented the good company in which Harvard President Claudine Gay finds herself as an aspiring plagiarist.
Harvard worthies Doris Kearns Goodwin, Laurence Tribe, Charles Ogletree and Fareed Zakaria have all been forced to wear the Scarlet P just in the last 20 or so years.
One Harvard plagiarist, however, has managed to escape scrutiny, at least from the mainstream media. But then again, former President Barack Obama escaped scrutiny on all fronts in his miraculously "scandal free" White House years.
Although I have documented Obama's perfidy in the past, I raise the issue again, not only because the subject is in the air, but also because others on the right have been raising it without attribution.
If I might offer friendly advice to my allies and imitators, it is wise to avoid even the appearance of plagiarism when scolding others as being plagiarists.
I worry less about credit for myself than for my informal research associate, Shawn Glasco. It was Shawn who first alerted me to Obama's pillaging of Kuki Gallman's 1994 memoir, "African Nights," for his 1995 memoir, "Dreams from My Father."
Cashill's alleged proof of this is merely circumstantial, of course, based on words that allegedly appear in both works:
Shawn Glasco, who has no Pulitzer Prize and no access to the president, figured out on his own how Obama likely got the Kenya chapter finished.
Instead of going to Africa, Obama may have spent his six-week leave from his law firm copying passages from "African Nights"
Glasco found scores of phrases and words in Obama's"Dreams" that also show up in "African Nights": Baobab (a tree), bhang (cannabis), boma (an enclosure), samosa (a fried snack), shamba (a farm field), liana (a vine), tilapia (a fish), kanga (a sheet of fabric), shuka (decorative sashes).
Both books feature women "wrapped" in their kangas and "dressed" in "rags." The women in both books wear shukas, head shawls, head scarves and goatskins, and they balance baskets on heads graced with "laughing" smiles.
Men in both books spearfish in "ink-black" waters and hunt by torchlight. Elephants are seen "fanning" themselves, birds "trill," insects "buzz," weaver birds "nest," and monkeys "mesmerize."
The books share a veritable Noah's ark of additional fauna: crickets, crocodiles, starlings, dragonflies, cattle, lions, sand crabs, vultures, hyenas, "herds of gazelle," and leopards that can hold small animals "in their jaws."
Cashill doesn't seem to realize that Pulitzer Prizes aren't given out for partisan speculation.
In his Jan. 3 column, Cashill tried to claim that Obama was "guilty of insurrection" by allegedly making sure Donald Trump's Russian ties were investigated:
According to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, no person shall be eligible to hold federal office who "shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion."
Although all parties know the "insurrection or rebellion" clause refers specifically to recently completed Civil War, the Department of Justice argues for a much more elastic definition, all the better to hang Donald Trump with.
Yet if there were one president guilty of insurrection in recent years, that president would have to be Barack Obama. In late 2016 and early 2017, Obama knowingly conspired with others to subvert the presidency of Donald Trump.
Thanks to the zealous note taking of his once and future factotum, Susan Rice, we have documentation of this flagrant act of sedition.
"President Obama began the conversation," wrote Rice, "by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities 'by the book.'"
The "issue" in question was the framing of Donald Trump for collusion with Russia. Obama had to know by this time that the collusion accusation was spawned by the Clinton campaign.
Cashill conveniently omits that no "framing" was actually needed, given that the 2016 Trump campaign met dozens of times with Russian operatives and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort gave internal polling data to another Russian operative. But Cashill would rather rant about the Steele dossier:
In 1974, Nixon campaign aide Donald Segretti made "dirty tricks" a household phrase. The nation was scandalized that Segretti would send fake letters using the letterhead of presidential candidate Edmund Muskie. For his dirty tricks, Segretti served four months in prison.
For hers, the mother of all dirty tricks, Hillary Clinton walked away without even a scolding. The Steele dossier proved to be the most consequential dirty trick in American political history.
There is no "book" that justifies what Comey and pals did in the weeks immediately following this meeting while Obama was still president.
In fact, an internal watchdog in the Trump-led Justice Department found in 2019 that the Russia investigation was justified and did not act with political bias, and that the Steele dossier as not a factor. But who cares about facts when there is a conspiracy theory to peddle?