I know, it’s 2017. Why do we care about something that was allegedly said by Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign? Well, it’s interesting how myths get started and how long they can persist. So bear with me to learn something interesting.
In examining our website traffic and search engine keywords that we rank highly for, I came across a particularly interesting phenomenon. Apparently there is a rumor that in 2008, Obama appeared on a Meet the Press broadcast, being interview by someone name General Bill Ginn, USAF (ret.), and proceeded to explain how he felt he couldn’t honor the National Anthem, and instead would prefer that it was replaced by another song that was less offensive to the world. This would, of course, be outrageous for a presidential candidate to insult the country he’s trying to lead by stating that our National Anthem is offensive to other parts of the world so he couldn’t personally honor it.
Here are some sample keywords that people are searching for:
- obama meet the press sept 7 2008 video
- meet the press sept 7 2008 interview of obama
- obama meet the press 2008
- september 7 2008 meet the press interview with obama
- it’s my intention, if elected, to disarm america to the level of acceptance to our middle east brethren
There’s only one problem: Barack Obama never said these words about the National Anthem or guns, and never appeared as a guest on the September 7, 2008, broadcast of Meet the Press. In fact, Obama wasn’t even on Meet the Press in the month of September in 2008. Furthermore, the alleged interviewer, someone name General Bill Gin, seems to be based on the name of a retired Air Force Lieutenant General who died in 2010, and never hosted any television shows or interviewed politicians. The myth also states that a Washington Post reporter, named Dale Lindsborg, sent an email around detailing the disparaging things Obama said on the nonexistent Meet the Press broadcast. Dale Lindsborg doesn’t exist and there’s no record of someone by that name ever working for the Washington Post. The original fake email content was posted in a comment on this very site.
Here is a snapshot of every episode of Meet the Press in September of 2008 with each guest listed:
The actual text listing of each episode from September 2008:
September 28, 2008: Fmr. President Bill Clinton, Steve Schmidt, David Axelrod, Rep. Mark Udall (D), Fmr. Rep. Bob Schaffer (R)
September 21, 2008: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, N.Y.C. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Steve Pearlstein, Steve Liesman, Erin Burnett
September 14, 2008: Fmr. NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bob Woodward, Chuck Todd
September 7, 2008: Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), Tom Friedman
As you can see, the only major guest on September 7, 2008, was Sen. Joe Biden appearing as the Vice Presidential candidate.
Barack Obama appeared three times on Meet the Press in 2008. Once in May, once in July, and once in December. All three of which have transcripts provided here by NBC News:
We posted video of the May 4, 2008, interview with Obama back during the campaign which is available here to watch in full. Our story on his May 4, 2008, appearance keeps popping up a result for searches related to the mythical September 7 broadcast. Tim Russert passed away in June of 2008, so the May 4 broadcast was one of the last major interviews Russert conducted.
None of the transcripts or videos of the Meet the Press broadcast show any discussion of the National Anthem or anything even remotely resembling what is alleged to have been said by Sen. Obama while running for president.
As everyone knows, I did not vote for Barack Obama nor did I ever support his policies. But I do support exposing lies and half-truths, so if I can lend another voice to sorting out a Presidential urban legend, then I’ll do it.