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Challenge: Find Fox News Report on 400 Columbia Students and Obama

I’d appreciate your help. In fact checking an Obama conspiracy e-mail making the rounds, I’ve been trying to verify one of its claims:


Looking for evidence of Obama’s past, Fox News contacted 400 Columbia University students from the period when Obama claims to have been there, but none remembered him.

The claim that Barack Obama didn’t attend Columbia is substantively untrue; a small bit of searching has uncovered five students and one professor who specifically recall Obama’s attendance there.

To nail down more detail, I’m trying to find this supposed report from Fox News in which it is said to have contacted 400 Columbia University students from the time when Barack Obama was there. If it exists, I’d like to find out more about Fox News’ methods. Does “contacting 400 Columbia University students” mean sending out 400 e-mails, 300 of which ended up in a spam filter and 10 of which generated responses? Or did Fox News really ask and get answers from 400 Columbia University students?

The latter would have been a huge effort, and surely this report from as recently as the 2008 election campaign would have been preserved somewhere: crossposted on a blog, an excerpt shared on YouTube, a usenet group post, some sharing on Free Republic, or directly on Fox News itself.

Oddly enough, though, I cannot find a trace of the original document itself. Oh, I can find hundreds to thousands of posts in which someone declares indirectly that Fox News carried out such an investigation and issued such a report. Indeed, an unsigned Wall Street Journal editorial from September 2008 repeats the claim that Fox News carried out such a report. But consarn it, I just can’t find the original report itself. I can’t find the report despite searching through news banks and Google and the Fox News website and YouTube and other sources.

Can you find this mysteriously missing “Fox News report?” If you can, please share a link to it in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Challenge: Find Fox News Report on 400 Columbia Students and Obama”

  1. Jon says:

    Do you go out of you way to find nut jobs and conspiracy theories. The truth about Obama is very plain and isn’t hidden. WITH JUST THE SMALLEST AMOUNT OF INTELLENGE, which I assume you have, because you are able to type, it is clear that the current administration is clearly the most radical in the history of the Nation. You may find that to be a positive change. I don’t I am old enough to remember the Soviet Union (aka workers paradise) where show trial were held to account for the dismal performance of the Marxist utopia. Even then there were Idiots that believed that Trotskyites were sabotaging the fledgling regime. There the concept didn’t work and it doesn’t work now, or are you claiming that a radical change in human nature is at hand?
    Let’s face it, the European Union is falling to the massive debt, Mao and Stalin, and Castro and Che Guevara were and continue to be examples of the worst of human nature. Whether he (Obama) really went to Columbia or not is irrelevant…he really is destroying this country, through debt and Socialist practices. You may find that a positve change…then Move to Venesuela.

  2. Mark says:

    The massive debt destroying our country started long before Obama became president. George Bush inherited a budget surplus and quickly turned it into a deficit. Bush insisted that we could go to war (make that 2 wars) without having to pay for them. He cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and continued to add spending programs. Congress is giving us, the American people, exactly what we are asking for: low taxes and lots of entitlements. If you want to start having a balanced budget then you’ll have to do something about the top 3 expenses: Military, Social Security, and Medicare/Medicaid. These 3 areas make up over 60% of the budget. Next you’ll have to start raising taxes to cover what’s left.

    So what do you propose cutting?

    How about all of those military programs that the Pentagon neither wants nor requested, but Congressmen keep insisting we pay for because they bring jobs to their districts? How about we get out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and several other dozen countries where we have troops?

    Are you willing to see an increase in the retirement age? Are you willing to have the 6.2% Social Security deduction from your paycheck raised to 8.4%?. Are you willing to forgo annual cost of living adjustments once you get Social Security?

    Do you want to have to pay for private health care when you are 75? Can you imagine what the premiums will be? If you don’t like the Obama Health Care plan then you must also be against Medicare which is socialized medicine to the fullest.

  3. Tom says:

    There’s enough blame to go around for BOTH parties to be implicated in our demise.
    Now, with the corporate take-over of “our” government complete, we can expect a lot worse to come. Voting is a sham and politics clearly doesn’t work to change anything for the better for us citizens (the health care bill SUCKS, and they’ll be arguing over the details for years). Who is lobbying for us ordinary citizens? Our Congress is bought and paid for, and they owe a lot of favors to their corporate backers, whose lobbyists write legislation for Congress to pass (without reading, more often than not). We’ve ignored our environment and infrastructure for decades, and now it’s coming back to haunt us in a big way.

    The system is broken and can’t fix itself. This is NOT democracy.

  4. Jim says:

    These tangential remarks are all very well and good (or all very well and bad, depending on how you see it).

    But to return to the specific matter at hand, can anyone find an actual Fox News report regarding these 400 Columbia students?

  5. Mark says:

    I looked and couldn’t find it either.

  6. Bruce says:

    So, in short, nobody can find any evidence of the alleged Fox survey that was first referenced in an anonymous editorial opinion published in the Wall Street Journal.

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