Author David Maraniss Distraught Conservatives Using Book to Debunk Obama

June 21st, 2012 6:20 PM

Liberal historian and Barack Obama biographer David Maraniss is almost beside himself that people everywhere are talking about his new book Barack Obama: The Story.

While most authors would be overjoyed at the amount of free publicity that Maraniss is receiving, the veteran author is almost distraught that conservatives are talking about the book in a way he didn't intend--to debunk many of the lies and half-truths that President Obama told about his young adulthood in his autobiography, Dreams From My Father.

As conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh noted during his radio program on Wednesday, Maraniss is “in crisis” because “the right wing” is using his book to point out “all the things in Obama's autobiography which are not true.”

Limbaugh stated that Maraniss is “vetting Obama and doesn't realize it” by “documenting lies and falsehoods, and as far he's concerned, all he's doing is getting the record straight” by “poking holes” in information from the president's book, "Dreams From My Father."

The radio host turned to comments the author made during that morning's Starting Point, a CNN program hosted by Soledad O'Brien:

I don't know what's happening here. The right wing has taken my book. I'm not a fact-checker here, I'm a historian. I'm just helping get the record straight.

Limbaugh stated that the tumult over the 641-page book by Maraniss is causing such trouble because “what he's doing is demonstrating that nobody questioned anything in Obama's books.”

Maraniss continued that challenging the incidents and people listed in the president's autobiography is “not the point of my book. I'm not writing it as a fact-checker. I'm writing it as a historian.”

Referring to "Dreams From My Father," Maraniss indicated that “a memoir is far different from rigorous factual biography.

It's not as though I'm trying to say, "Ah-ha, I got you," on each point. It's just I'm trying to present the way I really found it, which is in many cases different from what he presented.

But the author noted that he almost didn't write the book because he feared that the “right wing” would dismiss the book while “cherry-picking every single negative thing in it to use against Obama.”

Limbaugh responded that the book “was supposed to be a campaign valentine” for the president, but instead, it has led to people asking where the press was when they should have been vetting Obama during the 2008 presidential election.

While acknowledging there are discrepancies between what really happened and the way the president presented it, Maraniss tried to defend Obama's memoir by stating:

He wrote it when he was in his thirties before he was running for president. He had no clue that people like me would be coming along later and trying to tell the real story.

Stating he was “incredulous over this,” Limbaugh indicated that in his autobiography, Obama stated that his grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was taken prisoner and tortured by the British during the Mau Mau rebellion.

“It didn't happen,” Limbaugh said, noting that was one of many lies in Obama's autobiography pointed out by Buzzfeed:

Also, Regina, a friend at Occidental who Obama writes about as a symbol of the authentic African-American experience, turns out to be based on Carolina Boss, who is white. Regina was the name of her Swiss grandmother.

In addition, Obama's description of his friends as “an alienated ne'er-do-well 'club of dsaffection,'” were actually “decent students and athletes who went on to successful careers," Limbaugh noted.

And perhaps the most surprising information Maraniss learned was the fact that the president's mother left his father, not the other way around.

When you get into all these things in detail, what becomes obv  ious is that all of these lies and composites and whatever other techniques that one uses in memoir now have been created to make Obama out to be a victim. He's a victim of an unstable family. He's a victim of a white-oriented basketball coach. He's a victim of the Brits who put his grandfather in jail and tortured him. He's a victim here and a victim there.

As a result of the controversy caused by the book by Maraniss, the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare, the scandal over the Fast and Furious gun-running program, and several other problems, Limbaugh concluded that “the bad week of Barack Obama has morphed into a bad two weeks and looking now to be a bad month.”