I think it is important to get on to the public record my response to Mark's efforts to undermine my credibility by suggesting that I called myself a "close friend" of young Obama, which I have not, and then using this lie as a leverage point for attacking my overall credibility. Strictly speaking, I have written that "I certainly considered him a friend, a confidant and a political ally in the larger struggle against poverty and oppressive social systems."
Here's my response to Mark, a response that he did not allow to be published on his website. I've cleaned it up to catch the typos, but it is substantially the way I wrote it yesterday:
Let’s get real here. First, you are lying when you write that I claimed Obama was a “close friend.” I never used those words. You use them, however, to make it look like the reality of the situation was in conflict with my own stated story. You are actually making up a statement from me…which I consider to be dishonest journalism. It is shocking to me that you accuse Fox News with promoting make believe and yet you make up the concept that I once said Obama was a “close friend.” What you do in your article is make a false claim about what I’ve said and then turn around to make it look like I have exaggerrated my contacts with young Obama – which I have not.
Chandoo is not a reliable source to attack my testimony – something you leave out of your report drawn from Ron Kessler’s article. Even worse, you left off the first part of the Chandoo quote which verifies I was in the room and that Chandoo considers me a credible source.
“If that’s what John Drew said, that’s what he said,” Chandoo commented.
I don’t see how you can leave out that quote. What is amazing is that Chandoo verified that he knew me and that we met together that evening. The smart thing would have been for Chandoo to claim he never knew me at all. He failed to do that. In this sense, I see my story collaborated. You, however, suggest my story is uncollaborated and dubious. If I had simply made up a story of arguing with young Obama, then don’t you think Chandoo would have said that?
You also lie when you write that Chandoo is a “former” Obama associate. You know from the article itself that Chandoo still sees Obama fairly frequently…at least at White House events. Mark, I can’t make these things up. You are really out and out distorting the historical record by making up a strawman comment from me and not telling your readers the whole story about what Chandoo has said in that Kessler article.
Next, my story isn’t “ancient.” My article describing meeting and debating young Obama came out in American Thinker in February 2011. I was only interviewed on the Michael Savage show last week. Fox News has only last week even acknowledged that I exist and that my story is available to scholars and opposition researchers.
Finally, you go out of your way to make it look like I’ve been inappropriately pushing my story when, in truth, what is shocking about my story is that it was not immediately picked up in 2008 when I first went public with it. Since then, however, my story has been covered in books by Michael Savage, Paul Kengor, Stanley Kurtz and Jack Cashill.
For you to suggest that my story has only been featured in “radical right-wing rags and Internet backwater rabble” strikes me as extremely odd when it has also been featured in major books produced by big name publishers.
All in all, the gap between your take on my story and the reality of the story is pretty stark.
I really think you owe me and your readers an apology and you ought to correct your story to reflect the reality of the situation. To claim, as you do, that I ever said I was a “close friend” of Obama is an obvious falsehood, a falsehood that you use to embarrass me in front of my family and my business clients – many of who are liberals or independents.
I respectfully request that you change your story to make it clear that I have never said what you are claiming I said in your article above. In addition, I want to ask that you add the full comment from Chandoo so your readers can see how it collaborated my story enough for Kessler to write it and for Newsmax to publish it. My business is dependent on my reputation for honesty and integrity. For you to make up and print obviously false information about me strikes me as deeply unfair.
MARK'S REBUTTAL IS BELOW:
John, this is getting tedious. You cannot continue to use my web site as your platform, particularly when you keep repeating the same arguments that have already been hashed over to death. Get your own blog.
As for your complaint about whether you said Obama was a “close friend,” here is what you said about it:
“I certainly considered him a friend, a confidant…”
So you may not have used the word “close” but “confidant” implies the same thing. At least to me. I don’t have any confidants who are not also close friends (and that’s as close as you’re gonna get to a correction).
I also find it curious that you’ve spent so much time and energy bitching about the word “close” on an obscure blog, but have ignored the far more misleading assertion that you and Obama were “college mates” that appeared on a far more read web site, Fox News.
As to your complaint about the age of your story, it did not begin in February 2011, as you state above. It goes back to 2008. You have acknowledged that yourself. So this story, in news terms, is ancient.
You are welcome to comment on anything else I write so long as your comment is civil, relevant, and reasonably concise. But this topic is closed due to boredom.
MY RESPONSE TO MARK:
What?! How is “confidant” the same thing as “close.? I can’t take you seriously any more. In your article above, you say I claimed to be both a “close friend” and a “confidant.” Right? You can be a confidant with someone you just met in an elevator in Las Vegas. The larger issue is that you made up a false claim from me – on purpose – to discredit me. You dehumanized me and didn’t even consider the damage you might be doing to me, my family and my business. For you to lie about what I said, in my view, totally destroys your credibility regarding everything else you write on this blog including your attacks on Fox Nation. I’ve demonstrated that your readers cannot trust you to provide honest, trustworthy information. I NEVER claimed I was a “close friend” of young Obama. NEVER.
ANOTHER RESPONSE TO MARK AND SLARTBARTFEST:
Come on. The dictionary definition shows I was on the mark using the world confidant in the sense that I considered young Obama a political associate in the larger political fight.
I think the public agrees that I’ve proven both Slartibartfast and Mark to be liars, liars who are willing to make up quotes and claims that I have supposedly asserted through my own language.
Frankly, I think that is libelous. Even as a public figure, I know that you are not supposed to knowingly lie about me in a highly visible public form.
Making up false quotes or claims strikes me as a violation of law. Whatever the faults of Fox News, they have never made up a quote and claimed I said it. Fox News has never asserted that I claimed something which I did not.
Fox News does not assert that I ever said or claimed I was a "close friend" of young Obama. Mark does. That is why Mark is a hypocrit. Slartibartfest, a Ph.D. in math from Duke University, has also been caught asserting I said I was "the best graduate student in the nation," but now he cannot prove I ever said either. (If you want to check out Kevin Kesseler "Slartibartfest" Kesseler's one page website, then you can see it here at Bespoke Modeling.) This is typical for the left. You don’t care how much you lie or who you hurt as long as you are protecting President Obama.
John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.