When Remnick Blogs! New Yorker Editor Defuses Nascent Obama Gossip

New Yorker editor David Remnick filed a post to the magazine’s News Desk blog this morning that examines a theory from a new book detailing the president’s African heritage. A section of that book, The Obamas, puts forth that President Obama’s father, who died in a car crash in Nairobi when Barack Jr. was a senior at Columbia, may have been murdered.

Mr. Remnick, author of The Bridge and an Obama scholar himself, enumerates why it’s unlikely that the man’s death was homicide. He cites a scholar who calls Barack Sr. “a “serious, fall-down alcoholic,” and while the author of The Obamas says that “everybody I spoke to” had doubts about the death, Mr. Remnick points out that the family might now see an opportunity to paint him as an anti-colonialist martyr, now that his son is leader of the free world. He even places this debunking in a larger context, drawing connections between this gossip and a narrative currently being perpetuated by Dinesh D’Souza and Newt Gingrich.

“WAS PRESIDENT OBAMA’S FATHER MURDERED?” Mr. Remnick asks in his headline. Since his posts are rare — this is his second this year, by our count — we can forgive him for the question mark.