Yesterday, the late Andrew Breitbart’s media organization revealed the explosive find of a brochure from two decades ago in which Barack Obama’s literary agency Acton & Dystel described him as “born in Kenya.”
In 1991, Acton & Dystel was promoting Obama as the author of the never-produced “Journeys in Black and White” by declaring Obama was “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.” Here’s what the literary agency said in its brochure:
“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.”
After this news went viral yesterday, Acton & Dystel came up with the lame excuse that it was a “fact-checking error.”
Well, 16 years later, the agency must still have the same incompetent “fact-checker” because in 2007, a year before the 2008 presidential campaign, Acton & Dystel still described Obama as “born in Kenya” in promoting his autobiography, Dreams From My Father!
I’m a published author, having singly written four university-press books and co-authored six others. I can therefore speak from experience dealing with publishers and agents that they don’t make up stuff about authors. They publish the biographical information that the authors gave them.
Drew Zahn reports for WND, May 18, 2012:
Twelve years later, however, the Dystel of Acton & Dystel was busy promoting Obama’s new book, “Dreams from My Father,” and still touting the author as “born in Kenya.”
Through the Internet archive Wayback Machine, WND found an August 2003 listing of Dystel & Goderich’s author bios, including the following: “Barack Obama was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. He was born in Kenya to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, and was raised in Indonesia, Hawaii and Chicago. His first book is ‘Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.”
Even if the original 1991 brochure’s listing of Kenya as Obama’s birthplace was in error, as the agency has since claimed, it apparently was an error Obama allowed his publicist to persist in for over a decade, right until after he was running for president.
In April 2007, two months after Obama had launched his presidential bid, Dystel was still touting the then-Democratic senator from Illinois as “born in Kenya.”
Screen capture of Dystel & Goderich author bio, April 3, 2007
Another trip to the Internet’s Wayback Machine shows Dystel & Goderich describing Obama this way: “Barack Obama is the junior Democratic senator from Illinois and was the dynamic keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He was also the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He was born in Kenya to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister and was raised in Indonesia, Hawaii, and Chicago. His first book, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER: A STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE, has been a long time New York Times bestseller.”
Dystel & Goderich author bio, April 21, 2007
Only a few weeks later, the Internet archive reveals, the publicist had changed Obama’s birthplace to Hawaii.
Read the rest of Zahn’s article here.
And it’s not just Obama’s literary agent. The Associated Press also said Obama was born in Kenya. (H/t FOTM reader Wade!)
In a syndicated report, published on June 27, 2004, by the Kenyan Standard Times, and which was, as of this report, available at https://web.archive.org/web/20040627142700/eastandard.net/headlines/news26060403.htm, the AP reporter stated the following:
Kenyan-born US Senate hopeful, Barrack 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.
Something stinks, and it sure ain’t my Peekaboo‘s two litter-boxes!