In Levittown, Penn., today, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, was asked about his church's magazine giving an award to Rev. Louis Farrakhan. "This was done by a magazine that was connected to the church," Obama explained. "I would have never done it. It was primary focused on the rehabilitation work that they do for ex-offenders in Chicago. That doesn't excuse it, that just explains it."
The first time Obama said this, I could believe he was misinformed [update: indeed, the first time he said this, he only said he "assumed" this was the reason]. The second time, perhaps that he was caught offguard and didn't have his story straight. Now, I can only conclude that he is intentionally choosing to blatantly lie about this, hoping that no one will notice and call him on it.
Let's recall the facts: The magazine explicitly explained in the video it prepared for the banquet at which Farrakhan was honored that it was honoring Farrakhan for his purported dedication "truth, education, and leadership." [Surprise, surprise, the video seems to have been pulled from YouTube.] Obama spiritual mentor Rev. Wright, meanwhile praised Farrakhan in the magazine for his "astounding and eyeopening" analysis of the "racial ills of this nation," a "perspective" that is "helpful and honest." I even got ahold of the interview the magazine did with Farrakhan. No mention was made in any of these sources of "rehabilitation work for ex-offenders."
UPDATE: It's odd that Obama's initial "assumption" has morphed into a statement of fact. He made up that assumption, which was not an entirely unreasonable one, and then either (at best) failed to check it out but decided to repeat this assumption as truth with no supporting evidence, or decided to just go with a lie when he found out the truth. Given the significance of the Wright controversy, I find it hard to believe that none of his aides has investigated the Farrakhan award, which would take approximately five minutes to research, so I'm still inclined to go with the latter explanation, though the former one hardly casts him in a great light, either.