USA Today has distributed to the vast nationwide network of its corporate media owner, Gannett, a report by a Denver TV station on the controversial documentary “Dreams from My Real Father,” calling it an “anti-Obama film full of false claims.”
The reporter, KUSA-TV’s Matt Flener, however, presents no evidence to back his assertions.
Gilbert’s film argues the late Communist Party USA activist Frank Marshall Davis was Obama’s biological as well as ideological father, not Barack Obama, the Kenyan, who came to Hawaii as a student in 1959.
Flener, in his “Truth Test” segment on KUSA last Friday, concluded “the bottom line” is that “there is no proven relationship between Frank Marshall Davis and President Obama.”
In an email exchange with Flener, however, Gilbert pointed out that Obama makes 22 references to “Frank” in his 1995 autobiography “Dreams from My Father,” describing Davis as an influential, mentor figure over three decades of his life.
The identity of “Frank” as Frank Marshall Davis has been confirmed by Obama’s half sister, Maya Soetoro Ng.
Curiously, all references to Davis are omitted in the audio version of Obama’s autobiography, which was published in 2005, as Obama was launching his run for the White House.
Gilbert told WND that in his exchange with Flener, the reporter didn’t ask anything about the content of the film.
“Therefore, I emphasized to him that he needed to watch the DVD and also read Obama’s book, ‘Dreams from My Father,” to understand the content of the film, and when he compared the two, it would be obvious that my film is factual.”
Gilbert said Flener “chose to mislead rather than inform.”
In his two-minute, KUSA report, Flener said: “It’s clear in the film the narrator is imagining what President Obama is thinking. It’s important to point out, there’s no evidence to support the claim President Obama has ever said this.”
Gilbert acknowledged – and the DVD of the film states it on the jacket – that he had a voice actor depict Obama reading a narrative in the style of the autobiography “Dreams from My Father.”
But he emphasizes the content was derived largely from Obama’s own published words.
Retired Associated Press foreign correspondent and newspaper executive Frank Hawkins, an enthusiastic advocate of Gilbert’s film, took Flener to task in an email exchange he shared with WND.
“I felt embarrassed for you,” Hawkins told Flener. “It was clear you did virtually no serious investigation or work at all to create a report that would factually explain to your viewers what the film is really about and why it is so important in understanding Obama’s Marxist agenda.”
The son of a newspaper editor, Hawkins also was a newspaper reporter and a senior executive at Knight-Ridder.
He pointed out Flener stated only that Davis was investigated for ties to the Communist Party, failing to inform his viewers that Davis’s membership in the party is documented.
“Your report makes it sound as though Gilbert more or less somehow dreamed up the fact that Davis was a communist,” Hawkins wrote. “That is purposely misleading.”
The KUSA report also made no mention of Davis’s relationship with Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, and the photographic evidence that she posed nude for him about the time she became pregnant.
Hawkins pulled no punches.
“Like so many of the left wing media, you are part of the cover up for Obama,” he wrote. “You are not a true journalist. You are an entertainer who will disregard the facts for ratings or to defend your own political leanings.”
Flener responded” “We stand by the words in our Truth Test. Have a good evening.”
In a subsequent email, Flener said he watched the entire film.
“There are many more claims we did not have time to test with the deadline I was given,” he told Hawkins. “9News felt it was vital to let people know the quotes in the film are not Obama’s voice. Again, there is no proven link between President Obama and Frank Marshall Davis. Have a good evening.”
As WND reported, in an effort to influence swing states in the presidential election, Gilbert mailed 2.7 million DVD copies of “Dreams from My Real Father” to households in Florida, Colorado and Iowa in early October. He previously mailed 1.4 million DVDs to households in Ohio, Nevada and New Hampshire.
An additional 3 million are on the way to Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, Gilbert told WND.
“Dreams from My Real Father” is currently the No. 1-selling documentary on Amazon.com and is also available on Netflix streaming.
In his report, Flener said Gilbert has never said where he’s getting the money to distribute the DVDs to swing states.
Gilbert explained to WND he doesn’t take political donation. His distribution effort through his company, Highway 61 Entertainment, is governed by the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which barred government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions.
“Our DVD mailers are part of a publicity campaign to force and embarrass the mainstream media into covering the substance of the film, which if they did, would expose them as not having done their jobs,” Gilbert told WND.
The KUSA report prompted an invitation to both Gilbert and Flener from Denver talk-radio host Peter Boyles of KHOW. Flener declined, but Gabriel joined Boyles for an interview Tuesday morning.
Among the Gannett newspaper and TV stations that posted the KUSA report online are The Clarion Ledger of Jackson, Miss., WGRZ-TV, Buffalo, The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., The Pensacola News Journal, KTHV-TV, Little Rock, Ark., The Coloradoan of Fort Collins, Colo., The Advertiser of Lafayette, La., and The Hattiesburg American of Mississippi.
There’s been other recent resistance to the film.
Gilbert said he recently was at a “Dreams” screening in Kingston, Tenn., sponsored by the Roane County Tea Party. The event was covered by Roane County News newspaper reporter Cindy Simpson.
“She took many photos and stayed the entire event and also interviewed me at length,” he said.
However, the story never was published.
“They told Gary Johnston, the organizer who spoke to the editors, that publishing their own reporter’s article ‘would not be in their interest,'” Gilbert said.
Also, when a screening was set up by County Commissioner Ken Clark in La Marque, Texas, in a county park, several others, including a county constable, called it inappropriate, Gilbert said.
The screening, which Clark was funding, is scheduled in the Texas AgriLife Center in Carbide Park in La Marque on Nov. 1. The Agrilife Center is a building next door to the county’s Wayne Johnson Center building, which is named for the late county commissioner who was a Democratic Party and civil rights activist.
Constable Derreck Rose said he was infuriated when he got a flier promoting the event, Gilbert reported.