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THE IMPORTANCE OF FACT-CHECKING
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 20, 2012) — Throughout the 2008 presidential campaign, with one known exception, Obama’s life story as presented to the public stated that he was born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, HI to two married parents.
Recently, however, Obama stated that he was born to a “single mom” at a campaign stop, and combined with his wife’s statement (or was it a slip?) in July 2008 when she said, “Barack’s mother was very young and very single when she had him,” the story now seems to have changed.
How accurate has Obama’s “memory” been in describing his life story?
Journalist Linda Bentley said that Obama had presented a “fabricated life” in his public life story.
Mike Zullo, lead investigator of the Cold Case Posse, which determined that Obama’s Selective Service registration form and long-form birth certificate are forgeries, stated that Obama’s book Dreams From My Father was written “to give him a cover story for a life that never happened.” Zullo has expressed doubt about Obama’s claimed birthday and parentage.
Obama’s “Dreams” is described at Amazon.com as a “memoir,” which is defined as “a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.” A memoir is defined by Wikipedia as an autobiography but usually describes part of a person’s life rather than his entire life. It states that memoirs are often written by politicians about their public life or specific experiences during their service.
Wikipedia also describes the phenomenon of “fake” memoirs:
Fake memoirs form a category of literary forgery in which a wholly or partially fabricated autobiography, memoir or journal of an individual is presented as fact. Often, the purported author of the work also is fabricated. In recent years, there have been a number of such memoirs published by major publishers, some of which were well received critically and even became best sellers, but which subsequently were shown to be partly or completely fabricated. A number of recent fake memoirs fall into the category of “misery lit,” where the author claims to have overcome illness, abuse, drug or alcohol addiction or other serious trauma. Several similarly are fabricated stories about the Holocaust, in at least one case written by an actual Holocaust survivor.
As a result of the recent series of best seller memoirs that have turned out to be fabricated, there have been calls for stronger vetting of new authors and fact checking of their books.[
Since The Post & Email published an article stating that Obama had claimed in his book that his parents had married in 1960, not 1961 as is commonly believed, the preface which had contained that information has been altered and now does not state the year that they were allegedly married.
Is a Barack Obama from Kenya actually Obama’s father?
The State Department has released passport applications allegedly completed by Stanley Ann Dunham, Obama’s alleged mother, which showed two different dates for her marriage to Lolo Soetoro. Why?
At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Obama described himself as “a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.” Did he indicate that he had come to America as a child, a newcomer?
In photos presented as a young Obama, he is seen as chunky, although his current physique is thin. Zullo has stated that photographs he has examined have been altered. Does this child look like these photos?
In his subsequent book, The Audacity of Hope, Obama writes about a conversation he allegedly had with a “media consultant” just after the September 11 attacks in the United States and before deciding to run for the U.S. Senate wherein the consultant said, “You can’t change your name, of course. Voters are suspicious of that kind of thing. Maybe if you were at the start of your career, you know, you could use a nickname or something…” When Obama was allegedly asked about “his funny name,” he did not appear to offer an answer.
Obama claims in the prologue to the book that he believes “in free speech, whether politically correct or politically incorrect.” Then why did his former communications director, Anita Dunn, say proudly that the Obama campaign had “controlled the media?” He also said he believed in the “free market,” but has overtaken large sectors of the economy since entering the White House. Obama reported that after arriving in Washington as a U.S. senator, a woman had asked if he would be able to be “honest” as he had presumably been in his first book, Dreams From My Father. But was he honest in Dreams?
He also claimed that he kept his 2004 U.S. Senate race “clean” after eliminating Blair Hull and Jack Ryan, as opponents. Obama said that Ryan was “felled by a divorce scandal of his own,” failing to mention that his campaign, with assistance from The Chicago Tribune, had convinced a California judge to open Ryan’s divorce file to the detriment of Ryan’s children.
There is one researcher who claims that Obama already had changed his name before seeking any political office, and that his real name was “Bari Malik Shabazz.” There are records in Hawaii showing that a Bari Shabazz was in a car accident in Hawaii in 1982 and died in 1994.
Will Obama be confronted about the discrepancies in between his public statements and those contained in his books? Of writers who “fabricate” information, The Huffington Post says that such a writer “succumbs to ambition” and that the level of “fact-checking” of non-fiction books is difficult to ascertain. However, the founder of a publishing firm is quoted as having said that “the author is responsible for the legality of the book’s content.”
Does a fabricator of information simply have to apologize to make everything right?
Does Obama appear to have “love for this country” since he has been in the White House?
If there is a contract between a writer and a publisher which has been found to have been breached, who is responsible? If Obama did not actually write the books which bear his name, is he guilty of a “fundamental breach?” Did the Crown Publishing Group perform fact-checking on Obama’s books before publishing them? Obama claims that one Madhuri Kommareddi fact-checked The Audacity of Hope. Robert Gibbs, former White House Press Secretary, who stated that he “put it on the internet” (Obama’s birth certificate) in 2009, also reportedly did some fact-checking. At the time, the “birth certificate” to which Gibbs referred was allegedly the only type available, but in April 2011, Obama presented a more detailed “long-form” image which has been declared a forgery.
If some or all of Obama’s statements are false, how could purchasers and publishers be affected?