Will Hoover explanation: he found an anti-Obama site in January 2006 (magical memory!)
A January 2006 article from Honolulu Advertiser writer (and Obama defender) Will Hoover claimed that Barack Obama was born in Indonesia. This page has copies of a couple emails Will Hoover sent them about this issue. As he did for the Politifact article, he seems to have an explanation for everything:
The story in question was written on deadline more nearly four years ago. The story was not about Obama, but Tammy Duckworth. I knew little about Obama at the time, other than that he had lived in Honolulu and graduated from High School here. With time running out, I Googled “Obama (and) birthplace,” (or something similar) – and incredibly the first thing I found said Obama was born in Indonesia! Hey, it looked factual (apparently it was from a site trying to discredit Obama’s Hawaiii origins – so much for trusting Google). Anyhow, that’s what wound up in the story. I quickly, and sheepishly, learned otherwise after the story appeared. I believe a correction soon followed... [from his followup email:] I checked our online archives to find the original Tammy Duckworth article. I was surprised to see the article didn’t include the correction I thought would be there. I recall getting calls and emails after the story ran from readers who wanted me to know Obama had been born in Hawaii. Plus, I remember an editor telling me about the error.
As noted at the link, it would have probably been difficult to find a site in January 2006 trying to undercut Obama's presidential aspirations. In March 2006, Mark Halperin of ABC News offered "ABC News Political Unit's 2008 Presidential Invisible Primary Ratings, Vol. 1" (link), listing eleven 2008 Democratic contenders. Obama was not on the list. Those on the list were: Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Mark Warner, John Edwards, Evan Bayh, Tom Daschle, Joe Biden, Russ Feingold, Bill Richardson, Wesley Clark, and Tom Vilsack. On the other hand, in February 2006, Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune raised the possibility of Obama running, referencing a December 2005 article from Ryan Lizza (link).
Our first mention of Obama was in July 2004, in relation to the Illinois senate seat race. A few other posts followed, including one in September 2005. Obama wasn't mentioned again until April 2006 (just on a list of Senators attending a Bush meeting) and then in relation to the May 1 2006 illegal immigration marches.
Now, that doesn't mean that in January 2006 someone somewhere wasn't working to undercut someone who wasn't even on my or ABC's radar as a potential nominee, but I suspect this is more a case of Hoover's "magical memory" in action.