A Special Report from the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism
The lack of coverage in 2008 of the embarrassing facts in Barack Obama’s background, especially his deep personal relationship with a Communist by the name of Frank Marshall Davis, stands as a sensational example of how dishonest the national media can be when they are determined to elect somebody. If Obama’s opponent, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), had been linked to a Nazi or a Klansman, the press would have jumped on the story, with endless follow-ups. But the story of Obama’s Communist mentor was suppressed by a journalist for The Washington Post who had all the essential details and could have broken the story wide open.
We now know why the potential blockbuster story about Obama’s Communist mentor was deliberately ignored by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist David Maraniss. He had personal and political conflicts that prevented him from telling the truth about Obama to the American people. Simply put, his parents were Communists, just like Davis.
Maraniss, in other words, was a red-diaper baby.
The shocking truth can finally be told. His parents, Elliott and Mary Maraniss, along with Davis, were members of the same international conspiracy which had groomed Obama for the presidency, in order to hasten the decline and destruction of the United States.
Looking back, we can now see how the truth about Obama’s communist ties could have led to embarrassing disclosures about the family of Maraniss. If Obama had a Communist mentor, and that was newsworthy, what about the fact that Maraniss had two Communist parents? Clearly, he didn’t want that to get out. We understand the motivation behind the cover-up. But having a father and mother involved in the Communist Party should not have stopped Maraniss from telling the truth about a presidential candidate’s Communist connections. He was supposed to be a journalist with ultimate loyalty to the truth.
One thing we do know: Maraniss, the author of biographies about two Democratic presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, didn’t want to talk about it then and doesn’t want to talk about it now.
The Cover-Up Begins
The controversial Communist connections help explain why, when Maraniss wrote a piece, “Though Obama Had to Leave to Find Himself, It Is Hawaii That Made His Rise Possible,” in the August 22, 2008, edition of the Post, the name of Frank Marshall Davis was completely left out.
Ironically, the story focused on Obama’s life and upbringing in Hawaii, where he met Davis, and where Davis exercised considerable influence over Obama’s growing-up years. By some accounts, Davis functioned as Obama’s mentor for seven or eight years. But Maraniss ignored Davis altogether. It seemed mystifying at the time.
Secret Reds and Fake Names
His father, Elliott Maraniss, was not only a Communist but an unprofessional and dishonest journalist. In addition to membership in a political party financed at the time by Moscow, the book, Dark Days in the Newsroom, reveals that Elliott Maraniss was accused of writing under a pseudonym for a newspaper published by the Communist Party and that this had led to his firing by the Detroit Times, one of several papers he would write for during his career. Eventually he would write for the Capital Times, a “progressive” voice in Wisconsin.
The explosive charges came from Bereniece Baldwin, a Detroit housewife who had infiltrated the Michigan Communist Party for nine years. Her testimony was given in February of 1952 when she discussed how the party operated in “underground cells” with secret leaders.
The evidence showed that Elliott Maraniss used the name “Oscar Williams” when writing for a publication called the Michigan Worker, described as a Michigan edition of the Communist Party’s Daily Worker. Testimony also showed that he was so secretive that he demanded to be known as “Ace,” rather than his real name, even by other Communists he worked with personally.
Edward Alwood, the journalism professor who wrote Dark Days in the Newsroom, told AIM that “I haven’t looked back in my notes but my memory is that I could not reach David Maraniss when I wrote the book. I recall sending emails. I am not aware that he has addressed his father’s past.” He said he was curious about what Maraniss remembered.
He added that when his book came out, he was interviewed on an NPR station and suggested that “they include David Maraniss as a guest with me.” But nothing came of it. “I vaguely recall the producer as saying that Maraniss declined,” he said.
It was a topic he may not have wanted to talk about. After all, his father had disgraced the family.
Elliott Maraniss was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities during a series of hearings in the 1950s, but refused to answer any questions about his Communist activities. It was a stand that led the local newspaper union, the Newspaper Guild, to withdraw support for him.
In short, Elliott Maraniss had embarrassed the journalism profession, just like his son did in 2008 when covering up for Obama.
Cover-ups seem to run in the family.
A Time for Truth
This issue may seem dated, but it is still newsworthy in 2016, not only because it’s important to set the record straight, but because Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s support in the media rivals that of Obama eight years ago. Indeed, many of the same media players who were determined to elect Obama now seem to want Hillary in the White House.
If they will cover up for Obama, to the extent of completely suppressing a damaging scandal and relationship, what will they do for Hillary? What are they suppressing? Does it have to do with her ideology, her associates, her sexuality, her health?
In Obama’s case, it was the communism.
Reds in the Bed
The eyewitness testimony against Maraniss and others from FBI informant Bereniece Baldwin was regarded as extremely reliable. The purpose of the hearings was to expose secret Communist Party penetration of labor unions such as the Newspaper Guild, which is still a major force in American journalism and represents 25,000 journalists and other media workers in digital and traditional news organizations. At the time, the Newspaper Guild was anti-communist and was trying to purge the union of members loyal to Moscow.
Elliott Maraniss refused to answer any questions about party membership, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. This was a standard technique used by members of the Communist Party to try to throw investigators off the trail of party members active in communist networks that could include Soviet spies and espionage agents.
His attorney was the notorious George W. Crockett, a future Democratic member of Congress from Michigan who never publicly admitted membership in the Communist Party USA. But he did associate with various CPUSA fronts and represented numerous members of the party in legal proceedings.
No Right to Know
Commenting on the new developments regarding Maraniss and his Communist parents—in connection with his whitewashing of Obama’s communist background just before the 2008 election—analyst Trevor Loudon told AIM that Maraniss “betrayed his duty to the American public.”
Loudon had played a major role, along with AIM, in bringing the story of the Obama-Davis relationship to the attention of the American people in 2008. However, the liberal media were determined to elect Obama, in the same way they are now determined to elect Hillary Clinton as president. So they would dismiss the work of Loudon and ourselves as “conspiracy theories.” We see the same kind of treatment accorded to those raising questions about the health of Hillary Clinton in the current campaign.
Maraniss was right in the middle of this journalistic cover-up and scandal. He ignored the Davis role in Obama’s life at a crucial time in the campaign, when the truth could have made a difference. The public had a right to know, a right to the truth. Maraniss disagreed.
The Obama campaign must have been appreciative. In 2015, former Obama campaign chief strategist David Axelrod would join David Maraniss for a friendly discussion of politics and public service, at an event co-sponsored by the Capital Times. Later, Maraniss would also agree to a podcast interview with Axelrod on his “Axe Files” show.
It turns out that Axelrod’s parents were also leftists with communist connections.