What sort of book gets the author an invite to Fox & Friends? In the case of Edward Klein and John LeBoutillier's The Obama Identity: A Novel (Or Is It?), it's the sort of book that features the foreskin of President Obama as a major plot point, along with birtherism, an incomprehensible plot, and the inclusion of every ludicrous conservative conspiracy about Obama.
Appearing on Fox & Friends this week, LeBoutillier took great pains to note that the book "used real things" and has "so much real stuff." In reading this self-published book (both Klein and LeBoutillier have had books published via legitimate publishing houses in the past, yet that was not the case here) it's clear that the "real" in the book was largely confined to using the "real" names of President Obama and other prominent figures like (former) Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Otherwise, there isn't much about the book that is real or coherent.
When they aren't indulging in fantasy written in the language of a hormonal teenager (Sarah Palin is described as having her "pencil skirt hiked up to mid thigh" while cleaning a shotgun, while the protagonist argues that Valerie Plame should be in a "Girls of the CIA" calendar), the book takes debunked, crazy conspiracy theories or caricatures of Obama and other progressives then presents them as facts observed by the protagonist, a CIA agent tasked with uncovering the truth about Obama.
- An Imam in Indonesia who "tutored" Obama is described as an attempted rapist and part of a plot to "plant converted Muslims inside non-Muslim governments with the hope that they would someday rise to hold high governmental positions." A young Obama is depicted saying, "the United States of America is responsible for the spread of imperialism." His imam calls Obama "the best bower I have ever coached." A ceremony of removing Obama's foreskin is described as having "cleansed Barry of his impure American ideas." Later in the novel a KGB agent uses the evidence of this foreskin to blackmail Obama not to take military action against Iran. (p. 173-7, 308)
- One character describes a DVD of Jeremiah Wright demanding $100,000 a year in reparations for "every black man, woman and child" and that right after this "he personally saw Barack Obama stand up, walk to the podium and high five the Reverend Wright." (p. 216)
- As evidence of his narcissism, Obama orders wardrobe mirrors "installed on the back of every door" of the White House so that he can be alone "with your favorite person". Obama explains that he wants Chicago renamed Obama, Illinois and wants textbooks re-written to "explain how every problem we have in this country is the Republicans' fault." Obama also orders up a "plan to put my likeness up on Mount Rushmore." (p. 249-50, 252-3)
- At Harvard University, Obama calls himself "President Barry" while working in an exact replica of the Oval Office. His autobiography, Dreams of My Father, is in fact the work of staffers at the Harvard Law Review. (p. 51-3)
- Bill Clinton was able to avoid the draft because he worked as an undercover agent for the CIA. A KGB agent "with considerable sexual skill" tried to recruit him as well, but he wasn't enticed because the KGB didn't have the ability to help him avoid the draft. (p. 57, 62-3)
- Obama is "in love with the vertical pronoun" and loves to use "I." His face gave a "look filled with a combination of fright and evasion" when it is suggested that he was "born in Mombasa, in Kenya." (p. 87)
- The novel re-imagines the debunked story of Obama's stepgrandmother confirming his birth in Kenya with Sarah Obama dismissing concerns about eligibility "because Allah will make him president anyway." (p. 105)
- During an edition of Hannity broadcast from a hospital in Hawaii, Sean Hannity praises a 9-11 truther and birther as a "great American" and believes that Sharon Stone is the wife of Oliver Stone. This scene depicting Hannity in a very negative light feels like payback for Klein's disastrous interview with Hannity five years ago. (p. 118-122)
- During the Hannity broadcast, a doctor presents a specimen jar containing the umbilical cord and cord blood of Obama to prove he was born in Hawaii. Another Hawaiian doctor counters this claim, presenting the "preserved placenta" of Obama to prove he was born in another Hawaiian hospital. (p. 122-3)
- Rev. Jeremiah Wright is depicted as organizing the first Obama 2008 campaign meeting, along with a secret office under his church used for the campaign. Wright explains to the protagonist how he wants to use Obama as the "poster boy" for his church. The novel also depicts Bill Ayers as an attendee at these meetings. (p. 128, 130, 133)
- At this clandestine campaign meeting, Van Jones tells everyone that "I've been assured that we have large sources of funding from China, Russia, and Indonesia. In addition, Iran and the Arab Emirates are eager to come onboard the campaign." Questioned about the legality of foreign donations, Wright assures everyone that a "Soros aide" is advising them on the matter. (p.135-6)
- CBS anchor Katie Couric is described as wanting to "go out on a date with Barack." Later she is described with "erect nipples" "clearly visible through her blouse" while "in full swoon over Barack Obama." (p. 136, 185)
- Reverend Wright coaches Obama on how to use the TelePrompTer before he announces his candidacy, while also using backup singers "from Motown Records" to get Obama comfortable before delivering his speech. (p. 191-2)
- George Soros explains to the protagonist how an economic collapse "would help Barack Obama win the election" and that "you're looking at the very man who can do it." Later, at Obama's acceptance speech on election night 2008, Soros meets the character and explains, "I created the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression in order to make sure that George W. Bush would get the blame and Obama would be the champion of hope and change."(p. 205, 224)
- In the Oval Office, Obama has his feet washed by a "Filipino steward," then "barely dressed Thai boys" "kneeled on the floor" and fanned away Obama's cigarette smoke. (p. 248, 250)
This book is ridiculous, with a plot that doesn't make any sense (the protagonist uncovers all this information on Obama, doesn't do anything with it, attempts suicide when Obama is elected, then goes to work for the president) and reads like the worst of Internet fan fiction combined with conservative crackpot theories.
Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy said "a lot of the stuff sounds like it really happened" while Brian Kilmeade said it "Will resonate well with everybody." Obama's Identity is definitely the sort of book that resonates with Fox News, at least.