Forbes magazine’s cover story, “How Obama Thinks,” by Dinesh D’Souza, has been criticized by both the White House and Columbia Journalism Review’s “The Audit” blog. “How Obama Thinks,” published in the Sept. 27 issue of the magazine, quickly labels U.S. president Barack Obama as “the most antibusiness president in a generation, perhaps in American history.”
CJR’s The Audit blog’s Ryan Chittum spared no niceties, calling the story “the work kind of smear journalism,” a singularly disgusting work,” and “a gross piece of innuendo—a fact-twisting, error-laden piece of paranoia.”
Specifically, Chittum noted “D’Souza and Forbes go on to smear Obama with his father’s life and work,” even though “Obama met his father one time in his life.”
And, as Raw Story reported, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs wondered via Twitter “why didn’t Forbes hire a fact checker?”
Politico’s Ben Smith agreed with the criticism, describing the article as “weirdly sloppy in its details.”
“Its lead anecdote depends on a willful misunderstanding of the Ex-Im Bank, which was in any case under the control of Bush appointees at the time. Other anecdotes meant to be central are about utterly marginal policy items,” Smith blogged.
Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz noted that Forbes has said in a statement: “Dinesh D’Souza’s cover story was presented as an analysis of how the president thinks. No facts are in contention. Forbes stands by the story.”
Salon’s Scott Rosenberg wrote that it’s impossible to say “no facts are in contention” given the CJR’s reaction to the Forbes article. Rosenberg further noted, as did Kurtz, that D’Souza based much of his article from research for an upcoming book.