Bill Steigerwald

Two weeks ago Cliff Kincaid, president of the conservative group America’s Survival Inc., called a press conference in Washington to challenge the mainstream media to look into the hard-core left-wingers who are known to have influenced Barack Obama -- first as a teenager in Hawaii and later in Chicago. Specifically, Kincaid’s group wants a major news organization to follow up on the investigative work it has done that documents that an elderly black man who mentored Sen. Obama in Hawaii was a lifelong member of the Communist Party USA. Kincaid also would like to see a serious journalistic vetting of Sen. Obama’s relationship with the left-wing radicals in Chicago -- Bill Ayers and others -- who helped Obama launch his political career. I called Kincaid -- whose challenge to the media has yet to be accepted -- on Wednesday, June 4, at his home in southern Maryland.

Q: Can you briefly sum up what you have discovered about Obama’s ideological influences that you say need to be checked out by Big Media?

A: We think all the major candidates should be examined for their ties to foreign and hostile elements. In the case of Obama, he has gotten a very, very favorable press. The media seem reluctant to dig into his background, even though he is relatively new on the political scene. What we discovered, in two different places -- first in Hawaii, where he went to high school, and in Chicago, where he started his political career -- is that he is right in the middle of communist networks. In Hawaii, he was mentored by a member of the Communist Party by the name of Frank Marshall Davis. In Chicago, his career was launched and he was close friends with a number of communists and socialists.

Q: What specifically did your investigation find out about Davis, who Obama calls only “Frank” in his memoir “Dreams from My Father”?

A: What was very disturbing to us was the fact that Barack Obama had covered up the true identity of this “Frank” who played such a role in his life just before he went off to college (in the late 1970s). There are several references in his book to this “Frank.” We discovered that “Frank” was indeed Frank Marshall Davis, who was a member of a Soviet-sponsored communist network on the island of Hawaii. We think Obama should be asked to explain why he didn’t reveal Frank’s true identity in his book. We looked into this and had confirmed by several sources that Frank was indeed Frank Marshall Davis, and that he had a considerable influence on Obama. But we cannot really get a rational explanation of why Obama would cover up the identity of this Stalinist agent.

Q: How do you know for sure Davis was a member of the Communist Party USA?


Bill Steigerwald

Bill Steigerwald, born and raised in Pittsburgh, is a former L.A. Times copy editor and free-lancer who also worked as a docudrama researcher for CBS-TV in Hollywood before becoming a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a columnist Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Bill Steigerwald recently retired from daily newspaper journalism..