Someone was kind enough to tip me off to this story. Let me share how I approach something new like this.
First I read it for what it says and what it doesn’t say. In this case, something called the Borowitz Report says that Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith quoted “sources close to the President” as saying that Obama is “increasingly nostalgic for the land of his birth.” Initial reaction: hmpf, third-hand anonymous source.
According to Borowitz, Smith then fills in a number of comments not attributed to sources close to the President that mention Kenya. In particular Smith supposedly said:
While Mr. Smith stopped short of saying that Mr. Obama planed to leave Washington and return to his native Kenya, “his birth certificate does allow him to return at any time he sees fit.”
At this point several strains of thought are going. Is there anything from the anonymous source that links Kenya with “land of his birth?” Maybe Obama wants to go back to Hawaii. Did Shepard Smith really say any of this? What’s the value of an anonymous source in the hands of Fox News anyway?
I recall that Shepherd Smith, last time I listened to him, was no birther. Check out this video from 2009 where Smith called birtherism preposterous and dangerous. Has Smith done a 180-degree turn in his thinking? My hoax alarm is ringing loudly at this point, and it would seem that a prudent first step would be to see if Shepard Smith ever said this in the first place.
That’s not a happy task because simple search of the keywords involved is bound to return hundreds of birther blogs and comments quoting the story. To avoid being overwhelmed with junk, I’ll try searching Google News and Fox News first. Google News returned nothing relevant using keywords: shepard smith obama birth. I tried expanding the time period and using keywords: shepard smith obama birth kenya. Nothing close.
So it’s not a true report. However, I fired off a few more Google queries and realized my mistake. You see, I lied. I only read MOST of the Borowitz article. I failed to read the last two sentences that make the joke obvious.
In other debt ceiling news, by unanimous vote the House of Representatives passed a bill raising Speaker of the House John Boehner’s medication.
As for the debt ceiling negotiations, they are “right on schedule,” according to the ancient Mayans.
So that’s the true story of Dr. Conspiracy, the detour, and the joke.