Fox News flatly denies it is engaged in any negotiations with African Press International, the Norway-based website that claims to have embarrassing recordings of Michelle Obama and which has announced to the world that it is working with the popular cable news channel.
API has promised on its website that tapes of Michelle Obama’s alleged conversation with the agency will be released by the Nov. 4 election.
In a statement to WND after Fox’s denial, API said, “We cannot force anyone to believe us. We have put the notice out there, and we do not put out things we do not know to be true, and if you need to know more talk to our attorney in the U.S.”
The attorney, Philip J. Berg, who is coincidentally pursuing a court challenge over Barack Obama’s birthplace, has not responded to WND e-mails and telephone messages.
A Fox News official who requested anonymity said there simply were no negotiations with API over any tapes or any other issue.
API originally reported Michelle Obama contacted the agency to scold its reporters.
“African Press International is supposed to support Africans and African-American view,” she supposedly said, according to API’s report. “It is strange that API has chosen to support the racists against my husband. There is no shame in being adopted by a stepfather. All dirt has been thrown onto my husband’s face and yet he loves this country. My husband and I know that there is no law that will stop him from becoming the president, just because some American white racists are bringing up the issue of my husband’s adoption by his stepfather. The important thing here is where my husband’s heart is at the moment. I can tell the American people that my husband loves this country and his adoption never changed his love for this country. He was born in Hawaii, yes, and that gives him all the right to be an American citizen even though he was adopted by a foreigner.”
Michelle Obama’s “comments” allegedly referenced concerns expressed over her husband’s move from Hawaii to Indonesia as a child and his life with an Indonesian stepfather, including his attendance at a school where he was involved in Quranic studies.
API also reported that it asked Michelle Obama to comment on the detention of WND senior investigative reporter Jerome Corsi during his recent visit to Kenya, where he was investigating the presidential candidate’s links to controversial strongman Raila Odinga, now serving as prime minister.
“When API asked Mrs. Obama to comment on why Dr. Corsi was arrested by the Kenyan government and whether she thought Kenya’s prime minister, Mr. Raila Odinga, was involved in Dr. Corsi’s arrest, she got irritated and simply told API not to dig [into] that which will support evil people who are out to stop her husband from getting the presidency,” the publication reported.
After the Obama campaign denied the interview ever happened, API responded by stating it had recorded the conversation and would release the recording in a few days. Then it claimed it retained a lawyer to review its position and said the tapes would be available after the review. Still later, API claimed it was working with Berg and negotiating with Fox over the release of the tapes and that the tapes would be available soon. It’s latest claim is that the tapes will be released before the Nov. 4 presidential election.
After the initial API report, Tommy Vietor, an Obama campaign spokesman, told National Review’s Byron York the conversation didn’t happen.
“The answer is no, it’s not real, the report is made up. She did not speak to the organization,” Vietor said, according to York’s report on National Review Online’s blog “The Corner.”
However, Jeff Schreiber of America’s Right blog said he contacted Berg and was assured the tapes probably existed.
“I asked Philip Berg, via e-mail, whether or not he thought the API/Michelle Obama tapes were real and whether they would in fact be released within the next day or so as Chief Editor Korir maintains,” Schreiber wrote.
“His answer was simple… ‘Yes,'” Schreiber reported.
WND has repeatedly requested that API release the supposed audio recordings.
As API continues to put the release date for its purported “Michelle Obama tapes” farther and farther out, doubts about the organization’s credibility and claims continue to grow. Among the opinions expressed by news forum page participants about API:
- “A wonderful lesson in Scamming 101.”
- “Just what is happening?”
- “Stop this now. Produce the tapes or shut up.”
- “Either play the tapes unedited or stop this hoax.”
- “I find this article hard to believe without audio recording to back it up.”
- “This story is a huge farce.”
- “The hoax continues.”