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Didn’t Obama make it OK to lie in your memoirs?


May 16, 2024

The New York Times headline says it all, “Kristi Noem’s New Book Falsely Says She Met Kim Jong-un.” That new book is her ill-fated memoir “No Going Back.”

Given the possibility that the attractive 52-year-old South Dakota governor is, as the Times reminds us, “a potential running mate for former President Donald J. Trump,” the corporate media went after Noem like a dog who had eaten their chickens.

Meanwhile, back at his Martha Vineyard’s redoubt, former President Barack Obama is rocking back on his porch swing, thinking, “Kristi, darling, hold my beer.”

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In his 1995 bestselling memoir, “Dreams from My Father,” Barack Obama raised the art of memoir mendacity to a level that would make even Joe Biden cringe.

As Obama ascended to a national stage after the 2004 Democratic convention, it became an unwritten rule among the literati that fact-checking “Dreams” was strictly verboten.

I learned this the hard way. When I first revealed on these pages that not only was the book chock full of imagined incidents, but that it was also heavily doctored by unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, I got nowhere.

Every major conservative print publication turned me down in the fall of 2008 when it mattered. History pivoted on that failure of will.

In 2009, with Obama safely elected, the literary world began to quietly acknowledge that they had enabled a massive literary fraud.

In his friendly biography, “Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage,” celebrity biographer Christopher Andersen acknowledged that “literary devices and themes [in ‘Dreams’] bear a jarring similarity to Ayers’ own writings.”

Andersen spent some six pages on the story. He details the how, when and why of Obama’s collaboration with Ayers on “Dreams.”

Not surprisingly, the media ignored Andersen’s bombshell. Scores of major media outlets reviewed his book, among them CBS News, USA Today and the Telegraph of London.

Yet incredibly, not find a single one of these reviewers so much as mentioned the “Dreams” controversy, the most newsworthy item in Andersen’s book.

In his 2010 Obama biography, “The Bridge,” Obama fanboy and New Yorker editor David Remnick suggested just how important it was to preserve Obama’s literary reputation.

He observed that my theory, “if ever proved true, or believed to be true among enough voters, could have been the end of [Obama’s] candidacy.”
He did concede, however, that many of the racial grievances Obama cited were “novelistic contrivances.”

Remnick excused Obama’s dissembling, saying, if Obama “darkens the canvas” or “heightens whatever opportunity arises” to score a racial point, he does so, “obviously” because he is going “after an emotional truth.” Sure. So was Kristi Noem.

In 2012 the Washington Post’s David Maraniss wrote a biography of Obama’s early years titled “Barack Obama: The Story.” In reviewing the book, Ben Smith, then with Buzzfeed, “counted 38 instances in which [Maraniss] convincingly disputes significant elements of Obama’s own story of his life and his family history.”

Many of these fictions, perhaps most, created or exaggerated racial slights. To have others accept him as an African American, Obama had a lot of exaggerating to do.

Obama did not limit his fictions to his books. On the campaign trail in March 2007, he gave a critical speech in Selma, Alabama, the Concord, Massachusetts, of black history.

There, Obama used his best black preacher voice to tell his audience a story so comically unanchored to reality that had a black Republican’s told it his candidacy would have died before the evening news even aired.

“My very existence might not have been possible had it not been for some of the folks here today,” Obama told the civil rights veterans gathered to mark the events of “Bloody Sunday” 42 years prior.

“Something happened back here in Selma, Alabama,” Obama continued. This something “sent a shout across the ocean,” which inspired Obama Sr., still “herding goats” back in Kenya, to “set his sights a little higher.”

As the saga continued, Obama Sr. came to America and met Obama’s mother, Kansas girl Ann Dunham. “So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don’t tell me I don’t have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don’t tell me I’m not coming home to Selma, Alabama.”

He didn’t, and he wasn’t. Something about Selma inspired Obama to aggrandize his history to Homeric levels. For starters, herding goats in his father’s town was like mowing lawns in an American one. Everyone did it as a kid.

Obama Sr. was working as a clerk in Nairobi, not a goatherd in East Bejesus, when he applied for the first airlift. Although born in Kansas, Ann Dunham was not exactly Dorothy.

She spent her formative years in the state of Washington where she earned the nickname “Anarchist Annie” under the tutelage of some hipster teachers.

By the time of the Selma march, Dunham had long since been seduced and abandoned by the roguish Obama Sr. In fact, her son was conceived four years before anyone outside of Alabama ever heard of Selma.

What amazes in retrospect is how Obama found the nerve to tell so flagrantly dishonest a story. Having a dependably obliging media surely fortified his spine.

In his heavily researched 2017 biography, “Rising Star,” civil rights historian David Garrow finally stripped Obama’s “multicultural ideal” of all its romance.

Garrow entertains the possibility that Obama Sr. never even saw the child and quotes approvingly one unnamed scholar to the effect that Obama Sr. was no more than “a sperm donor in his son’s life.”

“Dreams,” from Garrow’s perspective,”was not a memoir or an autobiography; it was instead, in multitudinous ways, without any question a work of historical fiction.”

But that Kristi Noem …

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