Early this evening, the White House voluntarily released nearly 500 visitor records of “individuals visiting the executive mansion between Inauguration Day and the end of July.” The easily-searchable list includes some famous names like Michael Jordan, Michael Moore, William Ayers, and Jeremiah Wright. Of course, the mere suggestion of Ayers and Wright has sent the right wing into a tizzy.
The Weekly Standard’s Michael Goldfarb:
The Weekly Standard’s Mary Katharine Ham:
The Washington Times’ Amanda Carpenter:
Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey:
But as the original post by White House ethics counselor Norm Eisen makes clear, the “William Ayers” and “Jeremiah Wright” on the list are actually different individuals who merely share the same name:
Given this large amount of data, the records we are publishing today include a few “false positives” – names that make you think of a well-known person, but are actually someone else. In September, requests were submitted for the names of some famous or controversial figures (for example Michael Jordan, William Ayers, Michael Moore, Jeremiah Wright, Robert Kelly (“R. Kelly”), and Malik Shabazz). The well-known individuals with those names never actually came to the White House. Nevertheless, we were asked for those names and so we have included records for those individuals who were here and share the same names.