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Top Fox News Editor Pushed Staff to Smear Obama as "Socialist"

During the 2008 race, Bill Sammon used his position as a top Fox News editor to engage in a campaign to link Obama to "Marxists" and "socialism."

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The next morning, October 28, 2008, Sammon appeared on  Fox & Friends to discuss, in co-host Gretchen Carlson's words, how Obama "might agree" with claims that he's linked to Marxism. Sammon again quoted Obama's writing to claim he "may be a little bit more liberal than he presents himself."

Internal show notes compiled by Fox News producer Jennifer Cunningham in preparation for the program show that the segment was built around Sammon's email.

----- Original Message -----
From: Cunningham, Jennifer
To: 044 -Web Show Producers; 064 -Desk Assignment; 069 -Politics; 081- Radio; 085 - DC Booking; 100 -Media Relations; 162 -Promos; Brown, David; Glick, Alexis; Magee, Kevin; Moody, John; Scott, Suzanne; Shine, Bill; Tammero, Michael; Wallace, Jay
Sent: Mon Oct 27 18:17:41 2008
Subject:  FOX & FRIENDS GUESTS FOR TUESDAY OCTOBER. 28 - EXACTLY 1 WEEK BEFORE ELECTION DAY

FOX & FRIENDS GUESTS FOR TUESDAY OCTOBER. 28 - EXACTLY 1 WEEK BEFORE ELECTION DAY

5:59 (A-BLOCK) COLD OPEN // QUICK TEASE

// News HEADLINES // TALKING POINTS 

WX BUMP OUT TO TEASE

----------------------
6:15 (B-BLOCK) - 2 STORIES

AMANDA CARPENTER - DEMS PLAYBOOK SHOWS DIRTY TACTICS  ((DC BUREAU))

----------------------
6:22 (C-BLOCK) - 2 STORIES ((ANCHOR))

& BILL SAMMON - FYI: OBAMA'S REFERENCES TO SOCIALISM, LIBERALISM, MARXISM AND MARXISTS IN HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY, "DREAMS FROM MY FATHER." PLUS A COUPLE OF HIS MANY SELF-DESCRIBED "RACIAL OBSESSIONS"... (( FOX DC ))

>> BDAY IN TEASE

----------------------

 

"Joe Biden calls links to Obama and Marxism ridiculous, but there's somebody that might agree with those statements: Barack Obama," Carlson began. "He writes in his book  Dreams From My Father that in college, he chose his friends carefully so as not to appear a sellout. Among his friends, Marxist professors; among his activities, attending socialist conferences."

Carlson asked Sammon to respond to the Obama campaign's statement that attempts to link Obama to socialism were, in Carlson's words, "a fake news story and that Fox is to blame for it."

"Well I say that it's interesting to go back and look at what this young guy's political leanings were when he was in college and shortly after college, and it is interesting," Sammon replied. "I mean, now that the words Marxist and socialist are being thrown around out there in the news cycle I thought it was interesting to go back and revisit what Barack himself said about Marxists and socialists in his book and it turns out he was drawn to Marxists and socialists as a young man."

Sammon added, "Now, let's be clear, I mean people had political ideologies in college that they don't necessarily have later in life. But I do think it indicates that he may be a little bit more liberal than he presents himself." Sammon went on to cite Obama's  National Journal ranking. (For criticism of the  National Journal ranking, see  here.) 

Sammon's attempts to link Obama to radicalism were reflected in Fox News' graphics. While Sammon spoke, on-air text read: "The Real Barack Obama; Aligned W/ Marxists, Socialists"; "Obama's Radical Past; Chose Friends W/ Marxist"; "Obama's Chosen Friends; Marxist Profs & Structural Feminists"; and "Obama's Racial Divide; 'Emotion B/W Races Never Be Pure.'"

That same day, October 28, 2008, FoxNews.com posted a piece by Sammon under the  headline: "Obama Affinity to Marxists Dates Back to College Days."

Sammon wrote: "Obama laughs off charges of socialism. ... But Obama himself acknowledges that he was drawn to socialists and even Marxists as a college student. He continued to associate with Marxists later in life, even choosing to launch his political career in the living room of a self-described Marxist, William Ayers, in 1995, when Obama was 34. Obama's affinity for Marxists began when he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles."

 
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