Obama literary agent: 1991 bio was an 'error'

Associated Press Published: May 17, 2012

Miriam Goderich, whose literary agency described eventual-President Obama in 1991 as having been born in Kenya, said today that the description reflected "a simple mistake and nothing more."

"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," Goderich said in a statement to Roll Call.  "This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me -- an agency assistant at the time." Roll Call's Taegan Goddard added, for disclosure, that he is "a client of the same literary agency."

Breitbart's Joel Pollack, who reported on the promotional bio, says that Goderich ignored repeated requests for comment on the topic before he ran the story. "Breitbart News attempted to reach Goderich by telephone several times over several days," he wrote. "Her calls are screened by an automated service that requires callers to state their name and company, which we did. She never answered."

Goderich added in her statement to Roll Call that "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."

Breitbart editors disavowed any birther conspiracy in a note accompanying the original report. "[The bio] is evidence--not of the President's foreign origin, but that Barack Obama's public persona has perhaps been presented differently at different times," they wrote [original emphasis].

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