Even before Inauguration Day, it was painfully obvious that the Right-Wing Fantasyland seriously misrepresented Barack Obama. While some right-wing critics of Barack Obama suffered under serious delusions themselves, other critics deliberately misrepresented Obama’s values in order to portray him as a threat to the United States of America. Guilt-by-association smears linked him to the radical background of family friend Frank Marshall Davis, Reverend Wright, and William Ayers.
The smears were produced through a three-stage disinformation campaign. First, the radical background of Obama’s associate was exaggerated. Second, the association with Obama was exaggerated. Third, the associate’s effect on Obama was exaggerated. This deception was epitomized by Accuracy In Media’s (AIM) campaign against Frank Marshall Davis, in which AIM claimed that “his values, passed on to Obama, were those of a communist agent who claimed allegiance to Stalin” 
While the smears concerning William Ayers can be debunked by examining the Obama-Ayers association in Chicago’s Annenberg educational board, the smears regarding Davis and Wright were more ominous because they also insinuated a radical racial agenda. Since the Davis-Obama disinformation campaign is more closely examined in other posts on this blog, the Rev. Wright misrepresentation deserves a closer look at this time.
REVEREND WRIGHT MISREPRESENTATION: RACE BAITING
Misrepresenting a person’s position is a common form of deception. Intentional or not, the person then becomes an easier target as a “straw man.” While the redbaiting aspects of the Obama story are obvious, race baiting is also apparent on two levels when examining the Reverend Wright issue.
Rev. Wright has been widely accused of being a “racist,” but the available evidence does NOT support this accusation. This unsubstantiated accusation produced a straw man who became an easier target for Obama critics. Rev. Wright’s controversial statements may have been race baiting, but they do NOT meet the definition of “racist.”
Wikipedia defines “race baiting”:
“Race baiting is an act of using racially derisive language, actions or other forms of communication, to anger, intimidate or incite a person or groups of people, or to make those persons behave in ways that are inimical to their personal or group interests. This can also be accomplished by implying that there is an underlying race based motive in the actions of others towards the group baited, where none in fact exists. The term "race" in this context can be construed very broadly to include the social constructs which define race or racial difference, as well as ethnic, religious, gender and economic differences. Thus the use of any language or actions perceived to be for the purpose of exploiting weaknesses in persons who can be identified as members of certain groups, or to reinforce a group's perceived victimhood, can be contained within the concept of "race baiting." Many people who practice race baiting often believe in racism, or have an interest in making the group believe that racism is what motivates the actions of others.”
The definition of “racism,” per se, has significantly expanded since the 1970’s. It originally meant a belief in genetic superiority. Self-serving radicals attempted to redefine it as possible only within a dominant ethnic group. It now includes all racial prejudice, which involves making value judgments based on race, and is usually a precursor to racial discrimination. It also now includes the entire realm of racial discrimination, regardless of motivation, and involves treating people differently depending on race. Thus far, however, “racism” is a distinct phenomenon from race baiting.
There can be little doubt that the tirades of Rev. Wright constitute race baiting, and constitute the first of the aforementioned two levels regarding the Rev. Wright issue. His most infamous statement may be "The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied." This clearly indicates he believes that racism motivated the American government is this regard. Race baiting, however uninformed, is NOT racism!
Obama critics, however, misrepresent these race baiting statements as being “racist” themselves instead of being race baiting. By misrepresenting Rev. Wright as being motivated by racism, instead of recognizing his race baiting as a distinct phenomenon, Obama critics are themselves race baiting. They have an interest in making a group (mainstream America) believe that racism is what motivates Rev. Wright. Thus, the second level of race baiting occurs. When this triggers another race baiting reaction from Wright supporters, the cycle may repeat indefinitely:
Race baiting 1: Rev Wright accuses government of racism by inventing HIV against people of color.
Race baiting 2: Obama critics accuse Wright of racism in making HIV accusation.
Race baiting 3: Wright supporters accuse Obama critics of racism in attacking Wright.
REVEREND WRIGHT: “HATING AMERICA”?
Rev. Wright has also been accused of “hating America,” mostly based upon his 2003 tirade, “God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."
Such hyperbole does NOT logically represent hatred of America. People often say “God damn you” to loved ones for specific offenses as an expression of anger. Temporary anger does not mean hate. A thought provoking comparison of Wright’s tirade with similar outbursts by conservative figures is posted at the Varderbilt Orbis website 
JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS
Jumping to conclusions seems to be quite common in the fantasyland of the right-wing blogosphere. Such conclusions are drawn despite other likely explanations for the evidence presented. In the world of disinformation, speculation is misrepresented as fact.
When asked to substantiate their conclusions, we may encounter bluster, red herrings, and ad hominem attacks more often than rational, focused answers. Military Intelligence students are quickly disabused of such behavior, and learn the value of supporting every conclusion they proffer. Researchers at the Rand Corporation and other highly regarded research institutions often come from such rigorous backgrounds, where conclusions are based on empirical evidence, rather than wishful thinking. It's a pity that blogosphere researchers and commentators are not held to similar high standards of accuracy.
It's a pity that their fans consider clearly documented misrepresentation to be insignificant as long as it confirms their biases. It's a pity that such predisposition to believing disinformation can be exploited just as easily by Accuracy In Media (AIM) editor Cliff Kincaid as it was by the Bush administration in selling the Iraqi threat. Even today, when all of the false evidence supporting Iraqi WMD stockpiles has been clearly debunked, Bush loyalists may insist their conclusions were true despite the lack of evidence.
Sure, Saddam used WMD in the 1980s, but the claim that he was an actual threat to the United States in the 21st century was based on false evidence. It was a deliberate misrepresentation (i.e., a lie). Sure, Edgar Tidwell provided credible evidence that Frank Marshall Davis joined the CPUSA during WWII, but the claim that "his values, passed on to Obama, were those of a Soviet agent who pledged allegiance to Stalin" is based on false evidence. It is deliberate misrepresentation (i.e., a lie). It is clearly repudiated by Edgar Tidwell, whom AIM's Cliff Kincaid cited as "an expert on the life and writings of Davis."
Tidwell demolishes right-wing misrepresentation of Davis's radical influence in one simple paragraph : "Although my research indicates that Davis joined the CPUSA as a "closet member" during World War II, there is no evidence that he was a Stalinist, or even a Party member before WWII. Further, to those attempting to make the specious stand for the concrete, there is no evidence that he instructed Barack Obama in communist ideology. Frank Marshall Davis did NOT believe in overthrowing the USA. He was committed to what the nation professed to be. For him, communism was primarily an intellectual vehicle to achieve a political end-a possible tool for gaining the constitutional freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for ALL Americans."
Even without the post-election evidence of Obama’s moderate values, the redbaiting disinformation campaign exaggerating Davis’s “communist mentor” influence has been thoroughly debunked. Case closed for any rational person. Edgar Tidwell provides the only empirical evidence of Davis even joining the CPUSA. He is even cited as "an expert on the life and writings of Davis" by the Master of Disinformation, Cliff Kincaid. Both sides agree on his expertise. Edgar Tidwell is THE authority regarding Frank Marshall Davis. But when Tidwell concluded that Davis did NOT instruct Obama in communist ideology, the truth did not sit well with the apparent AIM agenda, which is to derail Obama regardless of the truth.
There is no evidence that Davis instructed Obama, because the avalanche of false evidence suggests the absence of real evidence. This avalanche is outlined in my "Red-Baiting Barack Obama” post . He was a nominal member of the CPUSA who did NOT believe in overthrowing our government or replacing it with a communist economy. He, and other prominent African-American writers at the time, associated with the CPUSA because it provided the ONLY institutional support for their writing. Membership had its privileges.
MEMBERSHIP WAS NORMAL!
According to "The New Red Negro" , ONLY the Communist left had any significant institutional impact on African-American writing during the 1930s and 1940s. This support was crucial as the institutions that had maintained the New Negro Renaissance faded. And for better or for worse, the leading CPUSA functionaries involved in "Negro work" took a direct interest in African-American cultural production in a manner that was unusual, if not unique. Vilifying a writer for continuing to publish in CPUSA-supported publications, when they provided his only available institutional support, is completely unfair. Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, and Frank Marshall Davis all took advantage of this institutional support.
Further, as The New Red Negro makes clear, there was no monolithic Stalinist doctrine within the CPUSA: "This is not to say that the impact of the Communist Left on African-American writers in the 1930's and 1940's flowed from absolute unity of ideology and practical application of that ideology. As mentioned before, the CPUSA itself, despite the claims of both the party leadership and its most ardent detractors, contained various, often conflicting tendencies. This conflict appeared within top leadership, where Earl Browder and William Z. Foster and their supporters were frequently at odds. They also surfaced in the regional leadership of important districts that were occasionally, and in the case of southern California frequently, in opposition to the national leadership. Finally, at the rank-and-file level, when leadership debates broke out into the open (as they did in 1929, 1956-1946, and 1956), the were replayed in almost every CPUSA unit, often serving as the vehicle for the expression of a wide range of "unorthodox" political beliefs (ranging from social democratic to anarcho-syndicalist."
A huge proportion of African-American poets (and writers and intellectuals generally) remained engaged with the Communist Left and cultural institutions from at least the early 1930's until at least the early 1950's. With the partial exception of the period from the German invasion of the Soviet Union to the end of the Second World War, the CPUSA placed the issue of race and the fight against Jim Crow near the center of all its work.
The bottom line is that communist ties were normal for African American poets and civil right activists during that period. Such ties did not mean that they internalized Marxist values, much less Stalinist values, even if they were aware of the distinction. To them, the CPUSA provided safe harbor from the ravages of Jim Crow America. Many right-wingers persist in the fantasy of Davis corrupting Obama despite the debunking of Kincaid's deliberate misrepresentation, just as many right-wingers persist in the fantasy of the Iraqi threat despite the debunking of Bush administration deliberate misrepresentation. Rational conclusions depend on evidence. This is fantasy.
Such unsubstantiated poppycock, especially when submitted with demonstrably false evidence, would be summarily dismissed by any serious research organization, and would merit a failing grade for even an undergraduate journalist. Cliff Kincaid would do well to heed the lessons of Stephen Glass's journalistic career at The New Republic magazine during the mid-1990s when his serial journalistic fraud was exposed. But then again, Accuracy In Media is not TRULY dedicated to accuracy in media, is it?
“GOOD GERMAN” SYNDROME
The continuing reluctance of otherwise intelligent people to critically evaluate their leader's "evidence" suggests a "Good German Syndrome," where the devious lead the blind. Such blind faith is critical to the success of dictators of all stripes. It promoted acceptance of the fraudulent "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in the early 1900's, acceptance of the fraudulent Iraqi threat disinformation campaign a few years ago, and acceptance of the fraudulent AIM disinformation campaign today. It is especially ironic that those whose ostensible priorities are accuracy and freedom are so willing to suspend their critical thinking, and call for the banishment of naysayers. Some of them have their minds made up and don't want to be bothered with "evidence schmevidence."
Wake up, ladies and gentlemen! Is your name "Nifong"? Smell the coffee! Examine the evidence! Stop being led like lemmings over the Cliff of Deception. The Emperor's New Clothes, the layers of false evidence that Davis corrupted Obama, are obviously nothing but deceptive illusion. Victims of deception go to great lengths to avoid admitting their gullibility, which is one reason that catching scam artists is so difficult.
The first step is to examine the evidence with an open mind. Once again, I invite you to examine the remnants of shattered "evidence" in the "specific misrepresentation"  section of my blog. Take my challenge. Show me where I am wrong. You will find that it is 100% misrepresentation. Don't be lemmings. Don't be sheep. Show some critical thinking. Show some courage! Don't avoid the challenge. Avoid the Good German Syndrome.