Sensational story spread by the anti-Obama media collapses

On the evening of January 24, a reader wrote to me about Jack Cashill’s article reporting Neil Abercrombie friend Mike Evans’s story that Abercrombie had personally told him that there is no birth certificate for Obama in Hawaii:

American Thinker has a new article, “Friend says Abercrombie told him, ‘There is no birth certificate!’ ”

I replied:

I read this earlier. I wouldn’t put any emphasis on it, it’s hearsay. This guy could be anybody, lying and making something up.

Abercrombie’s own statements are sufficiently clear and damning.

Then on January 26, another reader told me that Evans had retracted his story:

Mike Evans says he spoke to someone in Abercrombie’s office, not to Abercrombie.

I replied:

I read the original story on Evans at AT a few days ago. I felt it was junk and not worth posting or discussing. It was just hearsay. A guy who says he knows Abercrombie says that Abercrombie said something to him. That’s worthless. Anyone can make up anything about something he heard someone say. So obviously I’m not surprised that the supposed story now seems to have collapsed.

The meaningful information is what Abercrombie himself has said publicly, not what some guy says Abercrombie said to him privately.

[end of e-mail]

The moral of the story? The original Mike Evans story was junk. Jack Cashill was wrong to write it and give creedence to it and American Thinker was wrong to publish it. There is an over-eagerness, a spiritual greed, on the part of Obama’s enemies and birthers which makes them pick up any piece of junk that seems to advance their cause, and when it turns out to be junk, the birther cause is damaged.

This is why I keep saying that in trying to bring out the truth about Obama, we must stay with what we KNOW we know and what we KNOW we don’t know. Then we are standing on solid ground and can put the Obama side on the defensive. But if we indulge in speculation and hearsay and passionate expressions of desire to remove Obama from office, then WE become the issue, and Obama and his defenders get off the hook.

I’m not dismissing Cashill’s work. I’m interested in his articles about Obama, and I will probably read his book when it comes out. I think his thesis about William Ayers’s role in the writing of Dreams From My Father is probably correct, or is at least highly plausible. He deserves credit for that. But at the same time, as I have been pointing out since 2008, Cashill is often careless and unprofessional (e.g., not providing the page numbers of passages he quotes from Dreams) and frequently shows poor judgment in his assessment of things, and therefore one must take everything he says with a grain of salt.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 27, 2011 09:35 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):