Remember the birther book by James Corsi that was unveiled to much fanfare a month ago? It's the one titled, "Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama is Not Eligible to be President." Well, if you read Esquire's website this morning, you would have known that the book has been pulled:
In a stunning development one day after the release of Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President, by Dr. Jerome Corsi, World Net Daily Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah has announced plans to recall and pulp the entire 200,000 first printing run of the book, as well as announcing an offer to refund the purchase price to anyone who has already bought either a hard copy or electronic download of the book.
In an exclusive interview, a reflective Farah, who wrote the book's foreword and also published Corsi's earlier best-selling work, Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak out Against John Kerry and Capricorn One: NASA, JFK, and the Great "Moon Landing" Cover-Up, said that after much serious reflection, he could not go forward with the project. "I believe with all my heart that Barack Obama is destroying this country, and I will continue to stand against his administration at every turn, but in light of recent events, this book has become problematic, and contains what I now believe to be factual inaccuracies," he said this morning. "I cannot in good conscience publish it and expect anyone to believe it."
When asked if he had any plans to publish a corrected version of the book, he said cryptically, "There is no book." Farah declined to comment on his discussions of the matter with Corsi.
Except there's one problem -- the book hasn't been pulled. And the story was a satirical fabrication. About an hour and a half after it was published, Esquire posted an update:
UPDATE, 12:25 p.m., for those who didn't figure it out yet, and the many on Twitter for whom it took a while: We committed satire this morning to point out the problems with selling and marketing a book that has had its core premise and reason to exist gutted by the news cycle, several weeks in advance of publication. Are its author and publisher chastened? Well, no. They double down, and accuse the President of the United States of perpetrating a fraud on the world by having released a forged birth certificate. Not because this claim is in any way based on reality, but to hold their terribly gullible audience captive to their lies, and to sell books. This is despicable, and deserves only ridicule. That's why we committed satire in the matter of the Corsi book. Hell, even the president has a sense of humor about it all. Some more serious reporting from us on this whole "birther" phenomenon here, here, and here.
But there are plenty of people who aren't finding the article funny. Chief among them is one of the people quoted in the fake story, World Net Daily editor Joseph Farah. In an interview with Talking Points Memo, Farah said he's considering his "legal options" against Esquire:
"Don't believe everything you read," Farah said in an interview with TPM on Wednesday.
"The only hint at the parody was the made up name of Jerry's book about the moon landing or something, and I had to do a double take and read it two or three times in astonishment before I even caught that," Farah said.
"But judging from the response of our peers at Politico and the Daily Caller and all the other media calling me, I think that went right by a lot of folks," Farah said. "And it certainly went by a lot of ordinary readers. I've been under siege here with people saying 'Why are you going after Corsi! What are you doing?'"
Farah said he's already exploring his legal options against the publication.
"Obviously if it was intended as a parody, it was not very well executed, and quite honestly I can tell you that I believe there's some very real damage done by this article, and I'm exploring our legal options right now," Farah said. "I think there are potentially some issues like restraint of trade and possibly libel, I think most people looked at that article and believed I actually said those words, that is a real problem for Esquire."
The obvious news here, then, is that Farah still believes the president is ineligible to be president. The birth certificate is "bogus," he told TPM, and the president isn't a "natural-born" citizen since his father wasn't born in the U.S. He concedes that that point makes far more presidents than just Obama ineligible.
"I don't care if there's 26 American Presidents who got by breaking the constitutional requirements. I wasn't alive for any of them, I promise you that. And if I had been, I would have done everything I'm doing right now to oppose them because I believe in the Constitution," Farah told TPM.
Translation: the book is still on schedule.