Bill O'Reilly had on Mike Huckabee last night to explain his bizarre gaffe in which he described President Obama as having grown up in Kenya. As he has been ever since the gaffe, Huckabee explained that this was a simple slip of the tongue
March 3, 2011

Bill O'Reilly had on Mike Huckabee last night to explain his bizarre gaffe in which he described President Obama as having grown up in Kenya.

As he has been ever since the gaffe, Huckabee explained that this was a simple slip of the tongue -- that he simply meant to reference the president's four childhood years spent in Indonesia.

And of course, O'Reilly gave him plenty of slack with which to make this claim:

HUCKABEE: Well, honestly, it was about the 40th media interview of the day -- you've done these things. Uh, if I'd read from my own text, page 183 of my book, I clearly said he grew up in Indonesia. It was a verbal gaffe. I immediately apologized. But that's not enough for the left-wing media --

The reason it's not enough for any sentient being is that it doesn't jibe with what Huckabee originally said, to wit:

HUCKABEE: I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American. When he gave the bust back to the Brits --

MALZBERG: Of Winston Churchill.

HUCKABEE: The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British. But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.

How could Huckabee have been referencing Obama's Indonesian childhood while nattering at length about his grandfather and father and the Mau Maus, who lived half a world away in Kenya? And the bust of Winston Churchill? How does that have anything to do with Indonesia?

Ah, but Bill O'Reilly can explain all:

O'REILLY: You actually made a point about his outlook on the world because his father and grandfather are from Kenya and they have a very different view of the British and Kenya because of the Mau Mau uprising against the British colonists there who were running the government. And so, I mean, that's legitimate. It's just that he wasn't in Kenya.

HUCKABEE: And my point, really, about talking about him being raised in a different country -- actually, Indonesia, not Kenya -- as I do understand, again, it's right there in the book for me to read and everybody else, if they care to -- but, but the point that I do want to make is that creates a different worldview. This is not a kid who grew up going to Boy Scout meetings and playing Little League Baseball in a small town.

O'REILLY: He's not a traditional -- he is not a traditional guy, he is a guy who's had a lot of life experience that is different from the, you know, Mom and apple pie offering.

Yeah, he's like a freak alien from another planet, ya know? He's FOREIGN!!!

Except, of course, that Obama in fact did belong to a Scout troop (in Indonesia) and played basketball and soccer in Hawaii.

And moreover, he in fact wrote an entire book dedicated to the fact that he barely knew his father or grandfather, was little influenced by either of them, and hardly knew anything about them -- because he didn't even visit Kenya until the late 1980s.

Best of all, it turns out Huckabee is lying about the "Page 183" citation -- it simply doesn't exist!

On page 183 of his book, Huckabee references the Churchill bust and the Mau Mau rebellion, but does not say that Obama grew up in Indonesia. In fact, neither that page (nor the rest of the chapter) references Obama's childhood in Indonesia. And based on a search of the Kindle version of his book, Huckabee makes no mention of Indonesia (or Indonesian, Jakarta, and Menteng).

Perhaps the most comical part of all this is that Huckabee's source of misinformation is clearly none other than Fox News itself. Their employer is the chief purveyor of the very same false "facts" that Huckabee so faithfully (if convolutedly) regurgitated on the radio.

Most recently, it was peddled by Stuart Varney on Megyn Kelly's show:

[oldembed width="420" height="350" src="" flashvars="config=" resize="1" fid="10"]

Varney's source, meanwhile, was almost certainly none other than Glenn Beck, who first concocted this theory back in June 2010:

As Matt Gertz at Media Matters observed at the time:

First of all, Obama never met his paternal grandfather, and met his father only once, when the president was ten. The idea that Obama's grandfather's torture 60 years ago would have triggered a deep-seated hatred of the British just doesn't make a lot of sense.

Second, Beck's evidence that Obama hates Britain is mind-numbingly weak -- all he points to is that Obama supposedly returned the Churchill bust after he became president. If Obama really hated Great Britain, shouldn't he be, I don't know, declaring war on them or something? What's more, Obama reportedly keeps on his desk a wooden penholder given to him by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown; the penholder is "crafted from wood taken from the HMS Gannet, the sister ship to the Resolute, a British naval vessel whose wood was used to make the presidential desk."

Third, Beck's sole piece of evidence that Obama hates Britain doesn't add up: Both the British Embassy and the White House have said that the Churchill bust had not been a gift, but rather a loan that expired with Bush's presidency.

It's a classic example of how pull-it-out-of-your-butt theories cooked up by yobs like Glenn Beck, even when laughed out of the room, manage to have a long half-life, bobbing up whenever right-wingers open their mouths and start gushing out the things Fox fills their brains with.

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