The Birther movement really doesn’t want to die, does it?
On Thursday, the Breitbart Big Government blog — a conservative news aggregation site started by the late conservative activist Andrew Breitbart — claimed to have evidence in the form of a promotional booklet that said President Barack Obama was born in Kenya.
From Big Government: Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by Barack Obama's then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts Obama as "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii."
The booklet, which was distributed to "business colleagues" in the publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the biographies of 89 other authors represented by Acton & Dystel.
It also promotes Obama's anticipated first book, Journeys in Black and White--which Obama abandoned, later publishing Dreams from My Father instead.
Obama’s biography in the booklet (image and text below):
In an editor’s note before the actual post, senior management explains that neither Andrew Breitbart nor the site itself holds any truth to the Birther movement, and do believe Obama was born in Hawaii.
None-the-less, the site claims that the mainstream media has failed to adequately explore the issue. As part of their series called “The Vetting” exploring Obama’s ideological viewpoints, the site discovered the booklet. They chose to publish the piece not to bring up questions about Obama’s nationality, but because it shows that “Obama's public persona has perhaps been presented differently at different times.”
The story promptly made it as the top story on conservative mega blog Drudge Report.
Let’s get real. This is one big LOLz moment in American history, and conspiracy theories need to stop.
The birther issue is, of course, a controversy that has been widely debunked (the fact that it had to be debunked in the first place is astonishing). Last year, Obama released his official birth certificate, clearly stating that he was born at 7:24 p.m. on Aug. 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Still, the issue remains alive in the eyes of some far-right conservatives, especially Tea Partiers, and has been widely credited to a bizarre racist streak in American society.
The Big Government blog post doesn't seek to defend the Birther movement, saying: The errant Obama biography in the Acton & Dystel booklet does not contradict the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate. Moreover, several contemporaneous accounts of Obama’s background describe Obama as having been born in Hawaii.
The blog only uses the booklet as part of a wider argument outlining how Obama has had a history of portraying himself in different lights throughout his life (high-brow language calling him a flip-flopper): The biography does, however, fit a pattern in which Obama--or the people representing and supporting him--manipulate his public persona.
Any new Birther information, though, should be seen as an extension of a joke conspiracy theory, nothing more. Big Government may not agree with the Birther movement, but their reporting still adds fuel to the fire of the Birther movement.
And suddenly the massive LOLz Birther movement is born again.