Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman was on Fox pundit Neil Cavuto's show on Monday, talking trash about President Obama, when he made a very interesting claim: That he "helped write" one of Obama's speeches. Well, did he? No.
Do you know who Mort Zuckerman is? Mort Zuckerman is a Serious Person. He is rich. He owns the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report. He once dated Arianna Huffington. So, it is very important that you take Mort Zuckerman's opinions Seriously. Such as his well-considered opinions that Barack Obama is doing everything wrong (due to health care) and Barack Obama hates the economy (due to "hostility to business culture"). Mort Zuckerman is nominally a Democrat, and like many Serious Democrats in New York, he is actually a rich New York Republican, who mostly just believes in not raising taxes or messing with Wall Street.
(Another thing you should know about Mort Zuckerman is that there is a baby, in his apartment, and asking where the baby came from is "considered impolite.")
So, Mort Zuckerman brought some of his Serious Opinions to Fox News today, where he spoke with fellow pro-business anti-Communist freedom fighter Neil Cavuto. And while they were discussing the Marxist Jihad being waged against profits by President Red, Mort Zuckerman revealed that he, Serious Person Mort Zuckerman, had "helped write one of [Obama's] speeches." (He wouldn't say which one.)
You might imagine, if you are familiar with the strange and wondrous territory known as the Right Wing Blogosphere (Here There Be Opinions!), that this would inspire spirited commentary. And indeed it did! Real Clear Politics picked up the moment first, at which point it began to spread to people like blogger Dan Riehl, who categorizes it as "media bias." It is unclear, exactly, why right-wingers are bent out of shape about a rich conservative newspaper publisher claiming to have helped write the speeches of their least favorite black President ever, but it has to do with the Liberal Media, and other things that make us need to breathe into a paper bag.
So, before this becomes a "thing" that your uncle brings up every time you see him, let's just get it out of the way: Mort Zuckerman did not "help write" any of Barack Obama's speeches (Marc Ambinder writes that the Obama campaign doesn't remember "consulting with Zuckerman.") There are a lot of reasons why this is the case—for example Mort Zuckerman and Barack Obama do not hold, in particular, many political positions in common—but the chief reason you can tell that Mort Zuckerman has not helped write any of the President's speeches is that the President's speeches are really well-written, and Mort Zuckerman is not that smart.
We are not saying Mort Zuckerman is lying. Far be it from a Serious Person like Mort Zuckerman to lie! Probably, Mort Zuckerman, who donated money to the Obama campaign, made some kind of rambling phone call to whichever Obama campaign worker was assigned to milk him, and he said some kind of vaguely noncontroversial opinion like "Israel must be protected" or "the economy is terrible," and the poor Obama aide, desperate to get that last couple grand off of Mort Zuckerman, told Mort Zuckerman how Seriously Barack Obama took Mort Zuckerman's opinion, and how much Barack Obama was looking forward to having lunch with Mort Zuckerman, and then at some point later that week, lo and behold, candidate Obama said "Israel must be protected" or "the economy is terrible," and Mort Zuckerman felt his heart swell Seriously in his chest.
Update: Ben Smith writes that neither of Obama's speechwriters has "ever met or spoken to Mort Zuckerberg."