It’s widely felt that Media Matters for America is declining in influence, and today I was reminded why.
In a piece entitled “What The Media Need To Know About CPAC 2013,” Media Matters’ Hannah Groch-Begley and Chelsea Rudman described me as a “Birther”:
Pollak Highlighted A 1991 Booklet That Incorrectly Stated Obama Was “Born In Kenya.” In spite of insisting that “Breitbart News is a site that has never advocated the narrative of ‘Birtherism’,” Pollak wrote a post on Breitbart.com that highlighed a 1991 booklet produced by Obama’s literary agent that incorrectly stated he was “born in Kenya.” The post was hyped by right-wing media, including sites known for pushing birther claims. [Media Matters, 5/18/12]
What Groch-Begley and Rudman don’t mention is that my article specifically rejected Birtherism:
The errant Obama biography in the Acton & Dystel booklet does not contradict the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate. Moreover, several contemporaneous accounts of Obama’s background describe Obama as having been born in Hawaii.
The biography does, however, fit a pattern in which Obama–or the people representing and supporting him–manipulate his public persona.
My hypothesis was not that Obama was actually born in Kenya, but that he, or someone promoting him, had perhaps thought marketing Obama as an immigrant would be more interesting to publishers and readers. And of course I left open the possibility that it had all just been an error or a misunderstanding, though the people who could have confirmed that refused to do so until the article actually was published.
Groch-Begly and Rudman also describe me as a “smear merchant.” Perhaps they should look in the mirror.