When Breitbart News published a story yesterday on the discovery of a 1991 publishers’ brochure that stated Barack Obama was born in Kenya, reporters scrambled to write their own stories.
Well, some reporters. Others just chuckled.
A Google search today of reports on the story found Fox News conspicuous in its absence. Also missing in action were CNN, NBC, CBS, the New York Times and others.
ABC News posted a story quoting the woman who edited the brochure, Miriam Goderich, saying,”This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me – an agency assistant at the time.”
But the document could have a significant impact, according to authorities who have been investigating the veracity of Obama’s documentation, including his birth certificate and Selective Service registration form.
The preliminary finding of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s special investigative unit is that there is probable cause that Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate is a forgery.
Arpaio told WND after word of the claim of a Kenyan birth was released that the development “puts more smoke out there.”
And the old saying is? “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.”
The brochure was created by Acton & Dystel when it was promoting Obama as the author of the never-produced “Journeys in Black and White.”
That biography states:
“Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. The son of an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation. He served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago’s South Side. His commitment to social and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White.”
What’s wrong with just reporting the facts? Joseph Farah blasts the “anti-birther” narrative that infects most of the media – Bretibart.com included. Read Farah’s latest column, “Breakthrough on eligibility story,” now.
Mike Zullo, the lead investigator for Arpaio’s special unit, told WND it is a “very interesting development.”
“This does coincide with information we have been pursuing, in light of the recent disclosures about discrepancies in his book ‘Dreams from My Father,’” he said. “It does bolster the significance of Sheriff Arpaio’s investigation, and it brings into the light the fundamental question of where actually was Mr. Obama born.”
Establishment media abroad seemed far more interested in the background of Obama than American reporters. The Herald Sun wrote of the brochure: “The presidential campaign is already dominated by a divisive issue – gay marriage – but birther claims humming in the background will prove hard for Mr. Obama to avoid.”
The London Daily Mail said, “The simmering political row over President Obama’s heritage was dramatically reignited today as a 1991 booklet boldly announced that the Democrat was ‘born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.’”
At the London Telegraph, Tim Stanley wrote, “It’s incredibly strange that the literary agent approached by Breitbart.com does not remember Obama calling the agency to register a complaint and make a correction.”
Stanley said the bigger story would be why the “nugget” wasn’t part of the “wider discussion” about Obama during his first election campaign.
Back in the U.S., the Examiner’s Joe Newby pointed out that while the booklet was not proof of a Kenyan birth, observers said it fits a pattern of manipulation.
Erik Wemple blogged at the Washington Post, using one paragraph to mention the issue.
The story was mentioned on CNN’s website but only through a reader’s comment on a blog.
The Daily Oklahoman jumped into the fray with the report that Goderich was claiming the brochure was “a simple mistake and nothing more.”
The Daily Caller simply reported on the claim made in the brochure and Goderich’s insistence it was an error.
“Since 2008, Obama himself has kept alive the question of where he was born, partly by making jokes about it in speeches and fundraisers. His campaign has also sold Obama-themed products show his birth certificate,” the report said.
At the left-leaning Media Matters for America, Simon Maloy took note of the controversy, writing, “The Breitbartlings claim they’re not publishing this as bait for the unkillable birther conspiracy, but rather because … well, even they don’t seem too sure.”
- A Powerline blogger wrote: “We know for sure that Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, because it was announced in a local newspaper. But we also now know that for sixteen years, his literary agent circulated a bio that said he was born in Kenya.”
- At the Atlantic Wire was the headline: “Breitbart’s Editors: Hey, We’re Not Birthers, But Maybe You Should Be.”
- At International Business Times was: “His birthplace has been something of a sticking point since he received the Democratic nod for the presidency in 2008. Since then, a group of latent nonbelievers, termed ‘Birthers,’ have doubted the president’s citizenship and challenged his assertion that he was born in Hawaii.”
Breitbart News published a disclaimer at the beginning of its article stating its late founder, Andrew Breitbart, was never a “Birther” and Breitbart News “has never advocated the narrative of ‘Birtherism.’” Breitbart himself once characterized it as “not a winning issue.”
Nevertheless, the biography is one of numerous published reports as well as personal claims that Obama was born abroad, including the recent testimony of a Chicago-area postal worker who reported he was told by the parents of Bill Ayers that Obama was a foreigner.
Allen Hulton, a retired Chicago-area mailman, has come forward with his first-person recollection of a clean-cut young man he identified as Obama who approached him and told him he was going to be president.
Hulton delivered mail to Tom and Mary Ayers in a Chicago suburb in the late 1980s and early 1990s and claims to have met Obama in front of the Ayers home.
He has given a sworn affidavit to investigators commissioned by Arpaio to determine whether Obama is eligible for Arizona’s 2012 election ballot. Hulton has recorded about three hours of video interviews with WND.
Hulton said that in conversations with Mary Ayers while on his route he learned of the couple’s enthusiasm and support for a black foreign student. One bright, warm Chicagoland day, he recounted, he met the student who fit Mary Ayers’ description in front of the Ayers home in Glen Ellyn, Ill. That young man, Hulton is convinced, was Barack Obama.
Hulton delivered mail to the Ayers, who are both deceased, when he was stationed at the post office in Glen Ellyn, an upper-middle class suburb 25 miles west of downtown Chicago, from late 1986 to 1997. He was a Postal Service employee from March 28, 1962, through March 30, 2001.
As WND reported, Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers – whom he dismissed in a 2008 debate as “just a guy who lives in my neighborhood” – plagued him in the 2008 presidential campaign and could resurface in this year’s election, as many questions remain.
Over a period of years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hulton estimates he spoke with Mary Ayers about 18 to 20 times and once to Tom Ayers, who died in 2007. Mary Ayers died in 2000.
“Sometimes Mary would be out when I delivered the mail, and we would exchange a few words on occasion,” he said, recalling that she liked to talk about her family.
“One day, Mary came to the door when I came up to the house with the mail,” he remembered. “After a greeting, she started enthusiastically talking to me about this young black student they were helping out, and she referred to him as a foreign student.”
Hulton assumed that by “helping” the student, Mary Ayers meant she and her husband were financially supporting the black foreign-exchange student with his education.
See excerpts of Jerome Corsi’s interviews with Allen Hulton:
He said that Mary Ayers told him the student's name, but that it was a "strange name" that he could not remember, even though at the time it sounded African to him.
"I was taken aback by how enthusiastic she was about him," Hulton said. "And I believe she said he was from either Kenya or Indonesia, and I favor Indonesia in my recollection."
WND has reported that when Obama was in Indonesia with his Indonesian stepfather and his mother from ages 6 to 10, he was registered in school as an Indonesian citizen and a Muslim. He went by the name Barry Soetoro, adopting the surname of his Indonesian stepfather. His mother's passport listed him with the surname Soebarkah.
About a year after discussing with Mary Ayers the foreign student she and her husband were supporting, Hulton recalled meeting a young black male on the sidewalk in front of the Ayers home.
Hulton described the man as being in his early 20s, noting that he was tall, thin, had a light complexion and that his ears stuck out.
"He greeted me," Hulton said. "He was very polite, dressed nicely, but informally – slacks and a dress shirt – and he spoke with no accent. Immediately this young black man entered into conversation with me. He told me he had taken the train out from Chicago and had come to thank the Ayers family personally for having helped him with his education."
Hulton remembered asking the young man what his plans were for the future.
"He looked right at me and told me he was going to be president of the United States," Hulton said.