Fact Check

Washington Post Hits Obama

Matt Patterson wrote 'The Affirmative Action President,' an opinion piece critical of Barack Obama?

Published Dec 20, 2011

Claim:   Matt Patterson wrote "The Affirmative Action President," an opinion piece critical of Barack Obama, for the Washington Post.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, November 2011]

Amazing that the Wash. Post would actually print this. Amazing!

The Washington Post

August 18, 2011 Obama: The Affirmative Action President by Matt Patterson (columnist — Washington Post, New York Post, San Francisco Examiner)

Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, a baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the world's largest economy, direct the world's most powerful military, execute the world's most consequential job?

[Rest of article here.]


Origins:   The opinion piece referenced above was penned by Matt Patterson and was published (under the title "Obama: The Affirmative Action President") on the American Thinker web site on 18 August 2011. Although the important "who" of the attribution is correct, however, the "where" is incorrect: despite the mention of the Washington Post in the example cited above, this item was never published in either the print or online version of that newspaper (nor, as claimed in later versions, was it published in Newsweek magazine). A possible explanation for the confusion is that someone viewed the list of publications in which Matt Patterson's work has appeared and mistakenly assumed this piece was syndicated to all of them. (Mr. Patterson isn't a "columnist" for any of the newspapers mentioned, but rather an occasional contributor of opinion pieces.)

Last updated:   20 December 2011



    Griffin, Lance.   "Al Sharpton to Headline Banquet."

    NBC13.com.   28 April 2009.


David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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