Unless you’re a credulous rube, it sure does look like Obama told his literary agency that he was born in Kenya for some reason. And the false information wasn’t corrected until April 2007, a couple of months after he launched his presidential campaign.
“But wait,” you protest. “How do you know Obama wrote that? How do you know he ever even saw it? Shut up!” Well, we all know that Obama is the exception to every rule, so maybe he’s the exception to this one too. Author and television producer Steve Boman writes at Breitbart.com about his own mid-’90s working relationship with literary agent Miriam Goderich, the woman who now claims the “born in Kenya” misinformation was somehow a “fact-checking error”:
Now let me say right up front: when it comes to Obama, I’m not going to speculate who wrote what, when. Dystel had assistants, one of whom is now her partner, Miriam Goderich, who says the whole Obama-born-in-Kenya thing was a fact-checking mistake by her. And I cannot speak specifically to the mechanism of Dystel’s publicity. (Alas, Dystel was unable to sell anything I wrote, so she had no reason to promote me, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)
I can speak of what she was like to work with and how she generated material. In my dealings with Dystel, I found her exceptionally thorough and very professional. She had a template she wanted non-fiction writers to follow, and my writing partner and I followed her template closely. She was rather fastidious, going so far as to mail a personal “Season’s Greetings” card in December.
All material she used in our proposals came directly from me and my writing partner. She edited our rough-draft proposals and gave us feedback, but the final versions were all ours. Our final versions, bio included, were then simply photo-copied, by us, and distributed to potential publishers. This was back in the pre-Google days, recall.
It is helpful that the writer worked with the same agent and was able to provide the basic template. I just can’t figure out how anyone could confuse Kenya with Hawaii.