Obama's literary agent published bio--for 16 years--saying he was born in Kenya
Per normal practice, that firm published a "client list" that gave short biographies of its clients. As of April 3, 2007 here's how Obie's bio sketch read:
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. [Emphasis mine.]Born in Kenya, y'say? How...interesting. And the statement claiming Kenya as birthplace seems to have been in the biographic sketch at least as far back as 1991 (under a predecessor firm to D&G).
By April 21, 2007, the agency's brief biographical sketch had been changed. See if you can spot the difference:
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 Hawaii to an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister and was raised in Indonesia, Hawaii, and Chicago.
Did ya spot it? Such a tiny change--just a single word, in fact. Why, it's no more significant than changing "a" to "the."
Both the original bio sketch--claiming Kenyan birth for sixteen years--and the fact that it was changed raise several questions.
1. How did Dystel & Goderich initially come to learn Obama's birthplace? Did they simply ask Obama, or have him fill out a form, or did they just guess? It strikes me as an absurd reach to claim--as the Democrats are now doing--that the agency simply fabricated this out of thin air and then published it.
2. Did the agency ask their client authors to review and approve their biographical sketches?
3. Is there any record or conversation indicating that Obozo reviewed his bio?
4. Did Obozo "sign off" on the bio?
5. After 16 years of running the same bio saying Obama was born in Kenya, what event caused the firm to change Obie's birthplace in April, 2007? Did they get a letter from their client saying "Whoa, I just noticed that your bio of me says I was born in Kenya! That's ridiculous, and I can't believe you would just make up such a claim out of thin air! Change it immediately, and then explain publically that it was your mistake, or you'll be hearing from my attorney!"
In case you've forgotten, Obama declared his candidacy for president two months before the bio claiming he was born in Kenya was changed.
2007 is only 5 years ago--hardly ancient history--so someone at the publishing house should recall how the change came about. It's a shame that congressional Republicans aren't interested in investigating.
It's also a shame that no reporter has the guts to ask Obozo about this.
Update: According to several commenters at other sites who claim to have worked in the publishing business, literary agents get their biographical data by having their client fill out a form. Was this the normal procedure with the predecessor firm to D&G?