A 'Fact Checking Error'--Again, and Again, and Again...

Miriam Goderich, who helped edit a 1991 booklet for Barack Obama's then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which erroneously stated that Obama had been born in Kenya, has issued a press release--first reported by her own client at Political Wire:

You're undoubtedly aware of the brouhaha stirred up by Breitbart about the erroneous statement in a client list Acton & Dystel published in 1991 (for circulation within the publishing industry only) that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me -- an agency assistant at the time. There was never any information given to us by Obama in any of his correspondence or other communications suggesting in any way that he was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. I hope you can communicate to your readers that this was a simple mistake and nothing more.

Political Wire is run by Taegan Goddard, a client of Goderich's agency, Dystel & Goderich.

Goderich's statement fails to explain why the "fact checking error" persisted for sixteen years, through at least three different versions of Jane Dystel's website, and through at least four different versions of Obama's biography. 

It persisted, in fact, more than two years after Obama became a United States Senator, and until after Obama had declared his campaign for the presidency in 2007.

In addition to the 1991 biography above (#1), here, via archive.org, is a screen shot of Obama's biography (#2) on the Dystel.com website in June 1998, in which the text has been updated but the birthplace error has been repeated:

Here, again via archive.org, is a screen shot of Obama's updated biography on the Dystel & Goderich website in February 2005 (#3), updated to reflect the fact that Obama had become a U.S. Senator--but not corrected as regards his birthplace:

And here, once again via archive.org, is a screen shot of Obama's biography on the updated Dystel & Goderich website in April 2007 (#4), revealing that the text had been modified slightly--but the birthplace had not:

Breitbart News attempted to contact Goderich and senior partner Jane Dystel several times over several days prior to publishing our original story. They chose not to respond.

The real mystery is not where Obama was born--which has long been settled--but why Goddard failed to ask her agent a single relevant follow-up question about how the 'fact checking error' occurred in the first place.


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