Al Franken was right, just about the wrong people. Because when liberals get found out in their composite characters or unsubstantiated ancestry they get a pass.
First, we have the Compositor in Chief. I'll use a non-conservative source so as not to offend too much:
Nope said the media, all through the campaign of 2008. Nothing to see here.Obama always said his book has composite characters
By David Jackson, USA TODAY
Updated 1d 5h ago
It's a slow day, so old controversies are being revived -- like the one about a 1995 memoir written by a then-unknown Chicago man named Barack Obama.
Dreams From My Father attributes the actions of some people to others -- creating what are known as composite characters, a device Obama has never denied and in fact wrote about in the book's introduction.
"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," Obama said in the introduction to his 1995 book.
One of those characters is apparently an old girlfriend named Genevieve Cook, who, as we reported earlier today, provided her old journals to Obama biographer David Maraniss.
In Dreams From My Father, Obama writes of how he and Genevieve had a fight after watching an "angry" play by a black playwright -- but Cook told Maraniss she didn't attend that performance with him.
When asked about this decades later, during a White House interview, Obama acknowledged that the scene did not happen with Genevieve. "It is an incident that happened," he said. But not with her.
He would not be more specific, but the likelihood is that it happened later, when he lived in Chicago. "That was not her," he said. "That was an example of compression I was very sensitive in my book not to write about my girlfriends, partly out of respect for them. So that was a consideration. I thought that (the anecdote involving the reaction of a white girlfriend to the angry black play) was a useful theme to make about sort of the interactions that I had in the relationships with white girlfriends. And so, that occupies, what, two paragraphs in the book?
My attitude was it would be dishonest for me not to touch on that at all … so that was an example of sort of editorially how do I figure that out?"
That might not stop Obama's critics from accusing him of false reporting -- but the story of composite characters is nothing new; Obama disclosed it himself back in 1995.
It should also be noted that Obama is not the only memoir writer to use this technique.
Obama also wrote in that introduction: "With the exception of my family and a handful of public figures, the names of most characters have been changed for the sake of their privacy."
Then there's Elizabeth Warren in her Senate race:
Maybe she could apply for the Ward Churchill Chair of Native American Studies in Colorado later.Elizabeth Warren’s Native American problem
Posted by Rachel Weiner at 12:00 PM ET, 05/01/2012
Elizabeth Warren has a Native American problem.
The Harvard Law professor challenging Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown is facing increasing scrutiny over use of Native American heritage in her legal career.
But it’s not Warren’s family tree that’s really at issue — it’s her ability to fight back.
Let’s start with the facts as we know them.
On Friday, the Boston Herald reported that Harvard Law School had touted Warren as a Native American employee in the 1990s when the school was under fire for lack of diversity. Warren said she had no idea she was described as such until the Herald reported it, although she does have native ancestry. (A genealogist says Warren‘s great-great-great grandmother is listed as Cherokee.)
Yet Warren also identified herself as a minority in professional legal directories for nine years.
Elizabeth Warren faces her first real test. (Joshua Roberts - BLOOMBERG)
“The simple fact is that Elizabeth is proud of her heritage,’’ spokeswoman Alethea Harney said in a statement Sunday night, adding that it had nothing to do with her career advancement.
Officials involved in her hiring at Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Texas and the University of Houston Law Center all told the New York Times that her ethnicity never came up in her hiring.
But the fact that this story has dribbled on for days shows how aggressive Brown has been, and raises questions about Warren’s ability to respond in kind.
“The Brown campaign has been more effective in the past few weeks and months being on offense and asking a lot of questions of Elizabeth Warren and the campaign, making a lot of accusations,” said Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh. “The Warren campaign should be doing the same — there’s plenty there.”
Brown himself told reporters Monday that “if there are questions, she should answer them” but said “I haven’t accused her of anything,” His campaign manager, Jim Barnett, was less coy, saying Warren needs to “apologize for participating in this hypocritical sham.”
Warren campaign manager Mindy Myers suggested the line of inquiry was sexist, comparing it to Brown’s argument that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was not experienced enough for confirmation. But the campaign has largely laid low, instead trying to change the subject to the fact that Brown’s 23-year-old daughter is benefiting from the federal health-care law he opposed.
The most recent polling shows a dead heat in the race, with about a third of the crucial conservative and moderate Democrats still undecided. If Brown successfully defines Warren as untruthful and hypocritical while remaining well-liked himself, it could go a long way.