Fox twists joke from 1985 into false claim that Chris Coons is a ‘self-described Marxist’
Fox News has repeatedly attacked Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons as “a self-described Marxist.” But this false claim is entirely based on what Coons referred to as a “joke” in an article he wrote for his college newspaper in 1985.
Hannity: Coons is “Delaware’s bearded Marxist.” From the September 16 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:
SEAN HANNITY: Now the latest Rasmussen poll shows O’Donnell trailing her Democratic challenger Chris Coons by 11 points. But when voters start to learn more about Coons, well, that lead may quickly evaporate.
During his undergraduate days Coons wrote about the development of his ideology in his college newspaper. Now the article was called, quote, “Chris Coons: The Making of A Bearded Marxist.”
And now some unpopular Democrats are coming out of the woodwork to support Delaware’s bearded Marxist, chief among them Senate majority leader Harry Reid.
Coons in 1985: “My friends now joke” that semester in Kenya turned him into a “bearded Marxist”
In 1985 article for college newspaper, Coons discussed process of questioning America before “reexamining my ideas” and “return[ing] to love America.” In the May 23, 1985, article for his college newspaper, The Amherst Student, Coons wrote (PDF) that he questioned his previously-held political beliefs and “America” during his time at Amherst, including a semester spent in Kenya. In the article, Coons noted that his “friends now joke” that students return from Kenya as “bearded Marxists”:
I spent the spring of my junior year in Africa on the St. Lawrence Kenya Study Program. Going to Kenya was one of the few real decisions I have made; my friends, family, and professors all advised against it, but I went anyway. My friends now joke that something about Kenya, maybe the strange diet, or the tropical sun, changed my personality; Africa to them seems a catalytic converter that takes in clean-shaven, clear-thinking Americans and sends back bearded Marxists.
When I returned last summer, I traveled all over the East Coast and saw in many ways a different America. Upon arriving at Amherst this fall, I felt like a freshman at an unfamiliar school all over again. Many of the questions raised by my experiences of the last year remain unanswered. I have spent my senior year reexamining my ideas and have returned to loving America, but in the way of one who has realized its faults and failures and still believes in its promise. The greatest value of Amherst for me, then, has been the role it played in allowing me to question, and to think. I had to see the slums of Nairobi before the slums of New York meant anything at all, but without the experiences of Amherst, I never would have seen either.
All of this of course is a complete fabrication, distortion and lie. The article can be found here: Chris Coons: The Making of a Bearded Marxist.