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NPR changes archive regarding president's birth

Posted By Bob Unruh On 04/14/2010 @ 11:06 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled

National Public Radio has joined Snopes and UPI among websites that have adjusted their archives regarding Barack Obama, eliminating a statement that the president is “Kenyan-born.”

WND reported recently when the archives of the subsidized broadcast outlet referenced Obama’s birthplace as Kenya and called him a “son of Africa.”

But the records were altered shortly after the WND story was posted, and NPR ombudsman Alicia Shepard has explained, “I would hope they would correct factually inaccurate information since Obama was born in Hawaii.”

She explained further,  “I have looked into it. Someone writing a summary of a story that aired on NPR incorrectly wrote that the story said Barack Obama was born in Kenya. The story said Obama’s father was from Kenya.”

However, she declined to explain what documentation or evidence provided the reason for the change.

Blogger Todd Starnes also asked NPR about the issue and was told the statement was a “typo.”

Other organizations have made similar changes. As WND has reported, United Press International and Snopes.com both at one time had statements that President Obama was born at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

But they later changed the reference to Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children, also in Honolulu.

The changes came after WND reported Obama claimed he was born at Kapi’olani.

NPR’s promotion for the story had included a brief description of West African correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, who “describes the stories that have been exciting, including the U.S. presidential race of Kenyan-born Sen. Barack Obama.”

After discussing various issues developing in Africa at the time – such as Kenya’s violent elections, the attacks in Zimbabwe and the presidency of South Africa – the conversation on the program “Tell Me More” turned to Obama.

New strategy unveiled today on answering Obama’s eligibility questions. See how you can help.

At about 9:45 of the audio report, interviewer Michelle Martin said “a son of Africa. Barack Obama is poised to at least have the opportunity to become the next president of the United States.” She asked, “How does this campaign look overseas?”

Quist-Arcton responded by describing Obama as a member of the Kenyan Luo tribe and reporting how Africa viewed the race.

“You know [the campaign] has absolutely fired the imagination not only of American people but of people in Africa,” she said. “For a start Barack Obama’s father is from Kenya. People were very excited and because they had had a failed election in Kenya, and the opposition leader Raila Odinga comes from the same tribe as Barack Obama’s father, the Luo. The joke was going around Kenya that America is going to have a Luo president before Kenya does.”

She continued, “There’s huge interest. Not just in Kenya. All over the continent. … The fact that a black man and one with African blood has managed to get this far … you know, I think has made young people sit up and listen and watch and follow the campaign and made the older generations who lived through the colonization and independence say, ‘Well, well, well. So it can happen in American too.”

WND also reported recently when a video appeared in which Michelle Obama said her husband’s “home country” was Kenya.

The video, posted April 3 on YouTube and forwarded by a score of Internet e-mails, shows Michelle Obama saying, “When we took our trip to Africa and visited his home country in Kenya, we took a public HIV test.”

The reference drew attention because of the claim made in numerous lawsuits and other challenges to Obama’s occupancy of the Oval Office that he is not eligible to be president under the requirement of Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution that the president be a “natural born citizen.”

The NPR reference and Michelle Obama’s comment are far from the only ones of their kind.

At one point, there were reports that even Obama’s grandmother claimed being in attendance at his birth in Africa.

According to a compilation of images at a military forum, another reference was made in 2008 in the Nigerian Observer.

Under a byline from Solomon Asowata and a Washington dateline, the report says, “Americans will today go to the polls to elect their next president with Democratic Party candidate, Senator Barack Obama largely favoured to win. The Kenyan-born Senator will, however, face a stiff competition from his Republican counterpart…”

A commentary at The Post & Email website said, “It is no wonder that many doubt Obama’s claim of a Hawaiian birth.”

It cited another report from African Travel Magazine that said, “As Kenyan born U.S. Senator Barack Obama jets into Kenya today as part of his African tour, concerns have once again been raised on the security preparations for other visitors and residents. ….”

The Post & Email commentary also cited a report from Indonesia Matters that includes similar references.

WND documented earlier several other statements linking Obama and Kenya.

These included the apparently archived article from the Sunday Standard in Kenya.

The report begins, “Kenyan-born US Senate hopeful, Barrack (sic) Obama, appeared set to take over the Illinois Senate seat after his main rival, Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race on Friday night amid a furor over lurid sex club allegations.”

The article is credited to the wire service Associated Press at the bottom of the page. However, the article could not be found either in the AP archives available to the public online or the archive on the newspaper’s website. WND telephone calls and e-mails to the newspaper did not generate a response.

Last year, an African news site and an MSNBC broadcaster referred to President Obama’s birthplace as being outside of the United States.

Network correspondent Mara Schiavocampo was reporting on the celebratory atmosphere in Accra, Ghana, immediately prior to Obama’s visit to the west African nation.

Interviewing a person who appeared to be a shop operator, she stated, “Barack Obama is Kenyan … but Ghanaians are still proud of him.”

The video of the report is at this link.

Also, a report at Modern Ghana posted in advance of the president’s visit cited his birthplace on the continent of Africa.

“For Ghana, Obama’s visit will be a celebration of another milestone in African history as it hosts the first-ever African-American President on this presidential visit to the continent of his birth,” the report said.

WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama’s status as a “natural born citizen.” The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”

Some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama’s American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.

Other challenges have focused on Obama’s citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.

Complicating the situation is Obama’s decision to spend sums exceeding $1.7 million to avoid releasing an original long-form state birth certificate that would put to rest the questions.

WND also has reported that among the documentation not yet available for Obama includes his kindergarten records, Punahou school records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, passport, medical records, files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records and his adoption records.

Because of the dearth of information about Obama’s eligibility, WND founder Joseph Farah has launched a campaign to raise contributions to post billboards asking a simple question: “Where’s the birth certificate?”


“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard at the Mandalay Bay resort on the Las Vegas Strip

WND also reported previously when Michelle Obama contradicted Obama’s story that he lived with his mother and father for several years in Hawaii after he was born before his father left to pursue a graduate degree.

Michelle Obama said her husband’s mother, Ann Dunham, was “very young and very single” when she gave birth to the future U.S. president.

Her comments undermine the official story as told by Barack Obama – that Dunham was married to his father, Barack Obama Sr., at the time of birth.

The remarks were made by Michelle Obama during a July 2008 round table at the University of Missouri. Obama was responding to criticism of her husband’s presidential campaign speeches about fatherhood and faith-based initiatives.

WND also reported when on the floor of the Kenyan National Assembly the day after Barack Obama was elected U.S. president, members of the African country’s parliament celebrated “a Kenyan ruling the USA,” calling Obama “a son of the soil of this country.”

And as WND reported, Kenyan MP James Orengo asked the nation’s parliament only last month, “How could a young man born here in Kenya, who is not even a native American, become the president of America?”



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