Thursday, July 27, 2017
Blog
May 18

Written by: Diana West
Friday, May 18, 2012 8:05 AM 

Again -- as in the case of yesterday's breaking news from Breitbart News that Obama's literary agency bio described him as "born in Kenya" -- the equally fascinating story is the media relationship with this new piece of evidence.

To be sure, the appearance of the "born in Kenya" bio raises more questions than it answers. Who provided the original information? Was it all a "simple mistake," as the agency's booklet editor Miriam Goderich now claims? Was it even a mistake?

We have no idea -- yet. With Breitbart following the story today, however, we now know from a fellow client of the agency, Steve Boman, that he was asked to provide his own bio; we also now know through Internet archives that this Obama "born in Kenya" bio stood in the agency website and client list for 16 years -- until two months after Obama declared himself a candidate for president in in 2007. Suddenly, "born in Kenya" changed to "born in Hawaii."   

Again, these reports leave multiple questions unanswered -- questions the media have long proven themselves unwilling to ask or even entertain. Since Barack Obama himself has failed to be forthcoming in any way with bona fide paper documents attesting to his basic identity -- sorry, the manipulated computer imagery he has posted at the White House website is evidence only of fraud -- what is required is a Congressional committee with the necessary subpoena power to prove the President's origins and eligibility once and for all.

Brietbart News, meanwhile, needs to allow its better news judgment, which drove it to publish the report in the first place, to steady itself. Breitbart has released a report on a piece of evidence -- a report on a physical 1991 document which came into their hands -- that only bolsters the claims that this president's eligibility is in doubt. Breitbart is simply not responsible for protecting this president's eligibility; News organizations are responsible only to pursue the facts. This should be obvious; but our media, Left and Right, have for so long become captive to ideology that they no longer see their overriding professional responsibility.

Which is why Breitbart editors are still attaching disclaimers to their own news reports, rather than simply presenting the story only and simply so far as it is supported by the facts.

The real mystery is not where Obama was born--which has long been settled--but why Goddard failed to ask her agent a single relevant follow-up question about how the 'fact checking error' occurred in the first place.

Settled by what? Unelected websites? By whom? A selected reporter who tweeted that she ran her finger over the seal? Frankly, we still may not even know what the "real mystery" is. I think it's safe to say, however, there remains a "real mystery." It doesn't behoove any journalist to cling to the Narrative of Authority even as facts emerge which seem to undermine it.  

Meanwhile, there seems to be some dire human need for a happy outcome, for a good alibi, for a perfectly rational explanation, otherwise we wouldn't see such exertions to make the few facts we know fit all best or at least better case scenarios. We seem to want more than anything else that this president be no more than a Barnum-esque exaggerator, an image manipulator, a liar, even -- but not, please-oh-Lord, ineligible. Across the pond at the Telegraph Blogs, the mindset is expressed by Tim Stanley, who is described as a "historian of the United States." Taking on the "born in Kenya" bio, Stanley writes:

Today, the President has satisfied all right-minded folk that he was in fact born in Hawaii.

For support, he actually links to the "right-minded folk" at CNN! He continues:

Breitbart.com itself has always rejected the absurd cult of birtherism.

Pat on head for Breitbart. Now, pivot:

In fact, this story is really the opposite of birtherism – Breitbart infers that in the past Obama encouraged people to think that he was born abroad in order to establish an identity as an authentic, exotic voice in the debate on racial politics.

Given that the "born in Kenya" bio raises more questions than it answers, given that it substantiates the distress of those of us who are not satisfied by dodgy computer imagery to establish the i.d. of the POTUS  (especially when it is so ridiculously easy for him to produce the physical documents for verification and be done with it) Breitbart isn't just "inferring" (and with Stanley's approval), Breitbart is choosing. It is choosing a narrative into which to plug this new fact. This isn't journalism. It's politics.

And what of "Birtherism"? It is a purposefully nasty-sounding term that functions, as "McCarthyism" does, to shut down not just debate but thought itself. I think we should open our eyes and realize "Birtherism" describes curiosity, undergirded by a genuine concern for rule of law, for the Constitution, for the republic itself. As a society, we have permitted such curiosity and concern to be caricatured and, in effect, taken from us by the use of a bad, bad word.

Not a good sign for liberty's future.

Tags:
Archive
<July 2017>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
Monthly
July, 2017
June, 2017
May, 2017
April, 2017
March, 2017
February, 2017
January, 2017
December, 2016
November, 2016
October, 2016
September, 2016
August, 2016
July, 2016
June, 2016
May, 2016
April, 2016
March, 2016
February, 2016
January, 2016
December, 2015
November, 2015
October, 2015
September, 2015
August, 2015
July, 2015
June, 2015
May, 2015
April, 2015
March, 2015
February, 2015
January, 2015
December, 2014
November, 2014
October, 2014
September, 2014
August, 2014
July, 2014
June, 2014
May, 2014
April, 2014
March, 2014
February, 2014
January, 2014
December, 2013
November, 2013
October, 2013
September, 2013
August, 2013
July, 2013
June, 2013
May, 2013
April, 2013
March, 2013
February, 2013
January, 2013
December, 2012
November, 2012
October, 2012
September, 2012
August, 2012
July, 2012
June, 2012
May, 2012
April, 2012
March, 2012
February, 2012
January, 2012
December, 2011
November, 2011
October, 2011
September, 2011
August, 2011
July, 2011
June, 2011
May, 2011
April, 2011
March, 2011
February, 2011
January, 2011
December, 2010
November, 2010
October, 2010
September, 2010
August, 2010
July, 2010
June, 2010
May, 2010
April, 2010
March, 2010
February, 2010
January, 2010
December, 2009
November, 2009
October, 2009
September, 2009
August, 2009
July, 2009
June, 2009
May, 2009
April, 2009
March, 2009
February, 2009
January, 2009
December, 2008
November, 2008
October, 2008
September, 2008
August, 2008
July, 2008
June, 2008
May, 2008
April, 2008
March, 2008
February, 2008
January, 2008
December, 2007
November, 2007
October, 2007
September, 2007
August, 2007
Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use
Copyright 2012 by Diana West