For the sake of compression, let’s look at this passage from Barack Obama’s “Dreams from My Father”:
“For the sake of compression, some of the characters that appear are composites of people, I’ve known, and some events appear out of precise chronology. With the exception of my family and a handful of public figures, the names of most characters have been changed for the sake of privacy.”
Go find it. It’s on Page XVII, everyone.
Now, this is a story today because Vanity Fair published an excerpt of David Maraniss’ forthcoming biography of Obama, entitled “Barack Obama: The Story.”
In it, Maraniss explains how one of Obama’s recollections in his memoir — about visiting an ex-girlfriend’s family in Norfolk, Conn. and some conclusions he drew from it about the differences in their background — led to a differing account and remembrance from an ex-girlfriend, Genevieve Cook. He interviewed Obama about this, and Obama said it was an example of one of the “compressions” he specified in his memoir.
That wasn’t reflected in this Politico story, which reported that “Obama makes no mention of this compression.” And that Politico story led to this:
No, he didn’t. What he did admit to — 17 years ago, by the way — is exactly what is in the preface of “Dreams from My Father.” This is from the Vanity Fair excerpt:
Like many characters in the memoir, he introduced her to advance a theme, another thread of thought in his musings about race. To that end, he distorted her attitudes and some of their experiences, emphasising his sense that they came from different worlds. Decades later, during an interview in the Oval Office, Obama acknowledged that, while Genevieve was his New York girlfriend, the description in his memoir was a “compression” of girlfriends, including one who followed Genevieve when he lived in Chicago.
There it is. Obama knows this — he said it 17 years ago. It’s right there, in the opening pages of the memoir. Still, it was missed in the Politico story, which has since been updated.
Meanwhile, Drudge’s headline lives on. This is what will become of “Barack Obama: The Story.” A furious witch hunt, all the conspiracy theorists scrummaging around for the newest bit of information they can blow up. Like the fact that he admitted — again, 17 years ago — that he once tried dog meat.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.