Earlier this week and after much hype, Big Government’s Editor at Large Ben Shapiro unveiled a video of a young Barack Obama praising and hugging late Harvard Law Professor Derrick Bell. Shapiro claimed the video was purposefully hidden by supporters of Obama in 2008, citing a few seconds of video they released from a lecture given by Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree, in which he joked, “we hid this during the 2008 election.”
Shapiro and other conservative media figures like Fox News’ Sean Hannity took Ogletree’s obfuscation claims seriously, even though Ogletree laughed as he said it, as did the rest of the audience. This can be seen in the video posted on Breitbart TV, and even more so in the full lecture.
Indeed, today, Ogletree told the Boston Herald that the line was clearly meant as a joke:
Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree told the Herald he was just kidding when he suggested that a decades-old clip of a young Barack Obama praising and embracing controversial Professor Derrick Bell was kept hidden from voters during the 2008 campaign.
“It was a big joke,” Ogletree said. “If you watch the tape, the audience is laughing when I’m laughing.”
Breitbart.com wasted no time in attacking Ogletree’s response by saying that Ogletree made a similar joke in regards to Reverend Jeremiah Wright. If Ogletree was being serious, however, the Obama cabal didn’t do a very good job of hiding the tape, since the footage aired nationwide on PBS’ Frontline just days before the 2008 election.
Meanwhile, the Heritage Foundation reported a new potential bombshell in the saga today, which Breitbart and other conservative media outlets quickly seized on — Professor Bell visited President Obama twice in 2010. However, ABC News’ Jake Tapper looked into the claim, and found that it was a different Derrick A. Bell listed in the White House visitor logs, and that the visits were merely a White House tour.