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Email: This Is Certainly Interesting...

September 28, 2009 5:00 pm ET

The following email has been widely forwarded.  Media Matters Action Network has written a response to the text below.  Please feel free to copy and paste it and send to your friends.

This Is Certainly Interesting...

[note - all mistakes below are original to text of email]


Hey, you don't believe this stuff, do you?  These conspiracy theories are just ridiculous and it is depressing to see that this sort of dishonesty has become mainstream among conservatives.  Note that the picture of President Obama's registration document in your email lists Honolulu as his place of birth.

Most of this email is taken from a purported Associated Press article.  According to the Associated Press, "The story purported to be from The Associated Press on April 1 is fake."   It seems as though the entire email was an April Fools joke. 

This is what the respected had to say about this email:

No Fulbright: Contrary to what this e-mail claims, Obama's scholarship wasn't a Fulbright. It's true that many foreign students come to the U.S. under the Fulbright program, sponsored by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. But Fulbrights for foreign students are primarily intended for graduate students studying for masters' degrees or Ph.D. degrees, not for college freshmen and sophomores.

No "Soetoro": Another false claim is that Obama attended and received financial aid "under the name Barry Soetoro," using the surname of his Indonesian stepfather Lolo Soetoro. The college's Director of Communications Jim Tranquada told us there's no record of that. He told us in an e-mail:  

Occidental spokesman Tranquada: Contemporary public documents, such as the 1979-80 freshman 'Lookbook' published at the beginning of President Obama's first year at Occidental, list him as Barack Obama. All of the Occidental alumni I have spoken to from that era (1979-81) who knew him, knew him as Barry Obama.

No Records: It's not even true that Occidental has released Obama's student records, as claimed in the message. Nor have courts ordered any such records to be made public. According to the college spokesman: 

Occidental spokesman Tranquada: To date, all of the litigation filed regarding President Obama's student records at Occidental has been rejected by the courts. Occidental has not released his transcripts or his student file.

Furthermore there's no trace of the supposed Daily Mail story headlined "Obama Eligibility Questioned," either on the newspaper's Web site or in the Nexis database of stories published by the paper. The claim that the Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case brought by Leo Donofrio is also false; the high court in fact refused to grant a hearing in that case back on Dec. 8, 2008.

There is a group called the "United States Justice Foundation," and it does list a Gary Kreep as its executive director. But we find no report of any study of Obama's legal spending on its Web site, or any mention of turning information over to Attorney General Eric Holder. We've asked Kreep about this in an e-mail message, and will update this item should we receive a reply.

Please, check into these things before forwarding them because even if you yourself do not believe it and just think that it is amusing, those that you send it to might actually believe it.

Hope to talk to you soon.


Posted in - Viral Email