The Politico is touting an article about an academic paper written by Barack Obama’s father (currently featured on the front page of the website with a big photo–no need to link, I’ll let you look it up yourselves), but the Politico article is more interesting for what it omits than what it includes. The intro:
Barack Obama’s dad was such an important but absent figure in his life that he devoted his first book, Dreams From My Father, to the search for details about his father’s life and how the quest helped forge a son’s identity.
Now, a long-forgotten essay written 43 years ago by Obama’s father has surfaced, and its contents reveal much not only about the senior Obama’s grasp of economic theory but also the iconoclastic politics that, his son would later write, sent him into the spiral of career disappointment that concluded with his death in 1982 in his native Kenya.
Parts of the article, titled “Problems Facing Our Socialism,” have been making the rounds on several small blogs over the past week, but Politico is now reproducing the entire piece in its original form online for the first time.
Where did they get the essay? From blogger Greg Ransom at PrestoPundit, who dug it up at the UCLA library and published portions of it with his analysis last week here. The Politico writers e-mailed Ransom for a full copy of the paper, which Ransom helpfully provided them. Ransom also took the time to speak with Ressner.
The thanks he got for helping them out? Look:
Last week I sent Jeffrey Ressner and Ben Smith a copy of Barak Obama, Sr.’s paper “Problems for our Socialism” from the 1965 issue of East Africa Journal….I had a nice conversation with Ressner, but his article is a typical left of center MSM embarrassment. The article attacks my headline unfairly, completely misrepresents what I said, and deals with none of the rest of the content of my article. Mugged by the bastards in the MSM, I guess. It turns out Ressner is an Hollywood entertainment reporter. None of what I said to Ressner is quoted in the article. Smith and Ressner go to a professor for pull quotes to attack me. It’s very clear that the good professor did not read my article.
You’ll note that Ransom gets a scant two sentences’ mention in the Politico piece, while the professor gets nearly 600 words to refute him.
Fair and balanced!
Lesson learned for bloggers who dig up documents that MSM journalists want so they can publish it on their own site while trashing the bloggers who handed it to them:
Tell the professional journalists to go to the library and get the docs themselves.
Reminds me of my little interlude with The New Yorker.