Wash., DC, USA: In what is already being called ‘a non-story’ and ‘fodder for the lowest stratum of the junkosphere,’ the US President last night drew a blank on the name of George Obama, the US President’s brother.
“I’m only human,” he insisted today, to a skeptical White House press corps.
Obama then challenged reporters to do better. “So I don’t always know the full name of everyone in my immediate family. Do you? No cheating by googling.”
A White House spokesman today said the slip-up was of interest only to sleazy attack journalists. So far it hasn’t been mentioned in the reputable media, nor is it likely to be. To hear about the incident Americans would have to tune in to Fox News or breitbart.com.
The editorial in this week’s TIME avoids mentioning specifics but argues that no US President has been held up to so much ridicule over such trivial gaffes since George W. Bush. It goes on to deplore the “gotcha” culture of hate that pervades the rightwing media.
George Obama was once reported to be living in Kenya on less than a dollar a day. But his years of “sleeping rough” came to an end in 2008 when, according to Wikipedia, “his aunt gave him a six-by-eight foot corrugated metal shack in the Nairobi slum of Huruma Flats.”
The President forgot his name during a guest speech at the annual NAACP ‘Beyond Nuclear’ ball, held to celebrate the full diversity of non-traditional family structures in the African American community.
The theme of the speech was gratitude for the opportunities his unusual childhood had given him.
“We can only wish more African and Hispanic American kids had a chance to grow up dreaming of their absent, serial-monogamist fathers,” said Obama in one of the night’s most moving lines.
Among academics who study black non-privilege for a living, the overwhelming consensus is that Americans of color are falling short of their potential because there are far too many stable families in minority communities.
The President was initially reported to be “saddened and hurt” by the uproar his minor memory lapse occasioned throughout the hateblogosphere. According to handlers he locked himself in the Oval Office last night, refusing to sign legislation or touch his food.
But it seems he woke up as defiant as ever.
“Could you name a relative you last bothered to phone when you were in college?” he demanded at today’s media conference.
White House spokesmen say the President’s commitment to Africa remains firm. Obama famously sees himself self as the new Nixon and wants to “open up” the Dark Continent. He once vowed that, “if my predecessor was the Education President and Roosevelt was the Welfare President, I intend to be remembered as the African President.”
A damage-control press release was also issued in response to last night’s non-event, describing George Hussein Onyango Obama as the President’s “distant relative.” (Nairobi is 12,149km from Washington, D.C.)
It isn’t the first time Obama’s relationship with George has been the focus of conservative lynch mobs.
The President has been badgered for years about his failure to spend $365 lifting his kid half-brother out of poverty. Obama says he would love nothing better, but that it wouldn’t really fix anything given the scale of the problem.
“My father started families all over the place. Do you expect me to support all my fractional siblings?”
Multiplying six by 0.5, he calculated, “I’ve got a total of three siblings. They’re spread out over four continents.”
The President has consistently said systemic problems can’t be solved by what he calls isolated acts of feelgood altruism.
“Sure, I could cut a check right now to double George’s standard of living,” he told an interviewer in 2009, “and we both know it would give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
“But I guess I’m just not that selfish.”