Aunt Zeituni: No dirty tricks, just old-fashioned investigative reporting

Update Nov. 7th:  To get a feel for the mind of the open borders progressives, read this post where the blogger sees Karl Rove behind every bush.

The Times (UK) explains how they came to publish a story about Obama’s Aunt Zeituni who is living in a Boston slum as an illegal alien under a deportation order. Here’s a hint: It wasn’t dirty tricks by Republicans. Reporters Ben Macintyre and James Bone write:

The trail that led to “Aunt Zeituni”, the relative of Barack Obama who was traced by The Times last week, started with Mr Obama’s memoir, one of the most widely read political autobiographies of all time.

The Democrat campaign has implied that the story might have come from Republican sources – “the American people are … pretty suspicious of things that are dumped in the marketplace 72 hours before a campaign,” said Mr Obama’s chief strategist David Axelrod yesterday.

In fact, the story came from a book that has been read by millions, including just about everyone connected to the Obama campaign.

They continue:

Dreams From My Father was first published in 1995, and the story of how Mr Obama returned to Kenya in 1988 to trace his roots has become the cornerstone of his political biography. Yet the US media appears to have overlooked the passage indicating that at least one relative of Mr Obama’s had moved to America and might still be there.

But you can’t blame the U.S. media for overlooking that passage.  The ones who weren’t in Alaska looking into Sarah Palin’s trash were busy figuring out the timeline that proved Trig is Bristol’s baby, or in a hypnotic trance induced by adoration of their savior. No, we needed some Brits who remembered how journalists were supposed to report the news. The Times followed up on the hints in the book during a visit to Kenya in September. When the uncle they were looking for proved elusive,

This triggered a six-week search, one that would lead eventually to Boston and to Aunt Zeituni. Public record searches found traces of O. Onyango Obama, Uncle Omar’s real name, in Boston. A friend and a former landlady said that he now uses the name Obama Onyango.

In the course of searching for Uncle Omar The Times found a Zeituni Onyango, who also played a prominent part in Mr Obama’s book.

Then Aunt Zeituni proved hard to pin down through phone calls, so the reporters visited the housing project in person, and finally got a positive identification. Their article ends:

Whatever the Democrat campaign may imply, there is nothing suspicious about the story or its timing. The only mystery, perhaps, is how so many people read Mr Obama’s book in the US without wondering what might have happened to the mysterious relative, lost in America.

I guess it would seem suspicious to American “reporters” who have forgotten about curiosity, objectivity, investigative skills, most other things reporters are supposed to have. What do journalism schools teach, anyway? It seems like reporters did better work when they learned on the job.

UPDATE: I’ve just got to link to this terrific post by Victor Davis Hanson at National Review: How Many Laws Can One Break? He brings up five disturbing points about the Aunt Zeituni matter. Here’s one, but they’re all worth reading:

Obama’s has offered the defense that his historical rejection of campaign finance (after a promise to abide by the law), and subsequent creation of a $600 million war-chest should not cause worry because so many of the donors were “small”. Hence any questions about fake names, addresses, lack of compliance with identifying donors by name, foreign contributors, and prepaid credit cards were essentially nit-picking or worse, given the historical lift Obama had given the American electoral process.

But if the Obama campaign cannot even guarantee that his own aunt followed the law (it is illegal for foreigners to contribute to US presidential campaigns), what does that say about the millions of others who, we are supposed to believe, on the now dubious assurance of Obama himself were supposedly legitimate and lawful donors? And as a sidelight, how ethical is it for someone who is in violation of immigration law, and receiving some sort of public subsidy, to then donate money, illegally again, to a campaign? Message: defy immigration law; ignore a deporation order; obtain, again illegally, public assistance; donate illegally to a presidential campagin; and then count on the press attacking those who worry about such serial flaunting of the law.

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