The more that some people tell me not to talk about Obama’s false claim of Kenyan birth in his literary bio, the more I want to talk about it.
And clearly I’m not alone. Let’s take a look around the Internet to see what people are saying!
Who would have guessed that Barack Obama was the original birther, peddling the story that he was born in Kenya long before Donald Trump, Sheriff Joe and assorted nut jobs took it up as a crusade in fantasy and futility…
The convenience of a composite past is that it is a past made up almost entirely of “factoids,” a word coined by the novelist Norman Mailer to describe something that looks like a fact, sounds like a fact but is in fact not a fact… Mr. Obama’s biographical sketch describes Mr. Obama’s mother as “an anthropologist” and his father as “a Kenyan finance minister,” though his mother had only studied anthropology in university and his father was little more than a clerk in the Kenyan finance ministry. This was as fanciful as the factoid that Mr. Obama was “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”
But in the circles where young Obama moved when he was just out of Harvard, a birth in a place closer to the equator was more to be desired than birth in capitalist, imperialist and racist America…
And then, once it was no longer desired — once it became an impediment — it was discarded. The fact of Obama’s birth is no less malleable than any other fact he’s ever encountered.
The discovery of the president’s false book bio claiming Kenyan birth fits an increasingly disturbing pattern. We’ve long described Obama as radical, but he’s also deceitful.
The mix of these two traits in the Oval Office is toxic. But the Washington media are anything but alarmed, still believing as they do the mythical savior figure they created in 2008…
The latest fly in the ointment for Team Obama is a promotional bio Obama’s book agent put out in 1991. The old copy, dug up last week by Breitbart.com, says he was “born in Kenya.” Asked about the mistaken birthplace, the agent claimed it “was nothing more than a fact-checking error.”
But that’s not just any error. Getting a job title wrong is one thing. But screwing up a client’s place of birth is a major — and bizarre — boo-boo.
Hey, it was a good enough excuse for Jake Tapper.
Am assuming folks havent seen this > bit.ly/JOZSe5
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) May 17, 2012
All authors know that their book bios at some point are always sent from the publisher to be checked, are usually adapted from what the author initially writes on the publicity forms, and are periodically updated. That Barack Obama did not know that year in and year out his book bio was listing him as born in Kenya is absurd. Like Elizabeth Warren, he cynically gamed the system, convinced that in postmodern America identities are put on and taken off like clothes… How odd that the birthers might have been of some advantage to Obama earlier in his career.
Good point… Obama and his sycophants sure have been mean to the Birthers, considering they’ve just been saying the same thing Obama used to say.
Breitbart.com’s latest installment of “The Vetting” — its ongoing series of Obama stories that the lazy mainstream media never touched — was misunderstood right out of the gate. The misunderstanding was bipartisan, diverse. The story was about a 1991 brochure by the Acton & Dystel literary agency, then representing Barack Obama. In the brochure, Obama became a hot young proposition who was “born in Kenya…”
But this is the internet. People don’t like to read things. They like to react to things…
The point was that the “born in Kenya” bio lived in the brochure for decades and no one talked about it…
So who bungled the “Kenya” fact? The problem: No one will fess up. Miriam Goderich, who has taken credit for “fact-checking” the item, won’t say how she checked it. (I asked and have heard nothing.)
Me too. And me neither.
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) May 22, 2012
Who has time for Twitter when you’re checking facts (that you get wrong for 16 years)?
Even The Hollywood Gossip is getting in on the act:
A year after he put “birther” rumors to rest by releasing his birth certificate, President Obama’s background is back in the news again … with a twist.
An old bio of Obama from his former literary agent says he was born in Kenya, renewing debate over the authenticity of his own account(s) of his past.
You could essentially call this “reverse birtherism.”
Well, no. It’s plain old Birtherism, because it’s falsely saying Obama was born in Kenya. The twist is that Obama was the one saying it.
And finally, here’s good ol’ WaPo riding to Obama’s rescue. Rachel Weiner writes:
Discussion of President Obama’s place of birth died down significantly when he released his long-form birth certicate. But birtherism still lives, even if it no longer gets as much attention…
…on Thursday, the Drudge Report prominently featured a blog post about a 1991 literary agency pamphlet advertising Obama as “born in Kenya.” On Friday afternoon, the story is still close to the top of the page, though a former staffer at the agency has explained that it was her typo.
Hi, @FixRachel. When Obama falsely claimed to have been born in Kenya, you said it was a “typo.” Why don’t you know what a typo is?
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) May 22, 2012
Also, this story is “Birtherism,” even though its underlying assumption is that Obama was born in Hawaii, not Kenya. “Birther” means whatever you want it to mean.
Yet another news story that’s embarrassing to the Democrats is refusing to go away. If you wish it would, I ask of you just one thing:
Please complain about it.