June 22, 2013

In April 2011, Barack Obama, president of the United States, took the extraordinary step of releasing the long-form version of his birth certificate. As the New York Times wrote at the time, the idea behind the move was “to finally end a long-simmering conspiracy theory among some conservatives who have asserted that he was not born in the United States and was not a legitimate president.”

The certificate proved that Obama was born in Hawaii.

Rachel Rose Hartman, a White House reporter for Yahoo! News, couldn’t possibly have missed the “birther” story. It was unavoidable, after all, for an unhealthy chunk of the president’s first term.

Yet: In her story yesterday on Obama’s Africa trip, Hartman managed to say that “he won’t be stopping in the country of his birth.” From the context of the story, it’s clear she was referring to Kenya. The Wrap captured the original text of the error (see below).


 

A birther-oriented mistake of this magnitude cannot possibly be finessed, ignored or Daily Callered. So Yahoo! News went ahead and published a properly placed correction, complete with a clever save:

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the president’s birthplace.

President Barack Obama makes the first extended trip to Africa of his presidency next week—but he won’t be stopping in his ancestral homeland.

The Erik Wemple Blog has a number of questions for Yahoo! Newsers:

1) How on earth?

2) Did someone forget that the president of the United States needs to be born in the United States (or fulfill other constitutional requirements)?*

3) Any editing over there?

A spokesperson for Yahoo! News, however, said that there would be no comment beyond the correction.

Updated (4:50 p.m.): A parenthetical was added to the post to fully account for the ways to qualify for presidential eligibility.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.