7.29.2009

'Proven ad nauseam'

‘PROVEN AD NAUSEAM’

At Monday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs – like yours truly – just threw up his hands over the so-called “birthers.”

When talk show host Bill Press asked Gibbs if there’s anything he can do to shut these conspiracy theorists up, the press secretary replied, “The God’s honest truth is no!”

Why does the issue, which Gibbs said “has been proven ad nauseam,” keep coming up? Gibbs: "Because for $15 you can get an Internet address and say whatever you want."

DemWit, solely for the edification of readers, reprints here a portion of The Progress Report, Center for American Progress, 27 July 2009:

RADICAL RIGHT: ‘THE WACKO WING’

Last Thursday, CNN President Jon Klein sent an email to a handful of the network's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" staffers informing them that he considered one of the stories pursued by the infamously anti-immigrant host to be "dead." On his radio show the week before, Dobbs declared that President Obama needed to "produce a birth certificate," picking up on a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory that claims Obama was not born in the United States, and the birth certificate released by his campaign last year was fake. Dobbs repeatedly pushed the "birther" cause despite the fact that his colleagues at CNN have repeatedly called the story "total bull."

In fact, while guest-hosting Dobbs' own show on July 17, Kitty Pilgrim refuted the fringe theory, saying, "CNN has fully investigated the issue, found no basis for the questions about the president's birthplace, but the controversy lives on, especially on the Internet." But Dobbs has persisted, attacking his critics as "limp-minded, lily-livered lefties" who hate him because he has "the temerity to inquire as to where the birth certificate was."

As Dobbs continued to air the conspiracy theory, Klein backed off his admonition of the host, telling the Los Angeles Times that Dobbs had handled the issue in a "legitimate" manner and "if there are future news pegs, then we have to take that story as it comes."

On Sunday, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz used his CNN show (“Reliable Sources”) to chastise media outlets that "give the birthers any airtime" to repeat their "ludicrous claims." Kurtz specifically criticized Dobbs for not acting "responsible."

BORN IN THE USA

Obama was born on Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. This date is on the Certification of Live Birth released by the Hawaii Department of Health last year at the request of Obama. Birthers like Dobbs point to the fact that the campaign released the "short form" certification rather than the "long form" - which is drawn up by the hospital and contains more information - as the crux of their argument that the President is hiding something.

But as FactCheck.org noted when they investigated and debunked claims about Obama's birth certificate, "the Hawaii Department of Health's birth record request form does not give the option to request a photocopy of your long-form birth certificate," and "their short form has enough information to be acceptable to the State Department." Birthers, like conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, claim that the certificate posted by the Obama campaign was "a false, fake birth certificate," but its authenticity has been independently confirmed by FactCheck.org, which examined it in person and declared that "it is real and three-dimensional."

Additionally, on Oct. 31, 2008, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii Department of Health, issued a statement saying that he had "personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama's original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures." Definitive proof of Obama's Hawaii birth has also been found in the archives of two Hawaii newspapers, the Honululu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin, which both printed birth announcements days after Obama was born in 1961. Birth announcements in those papers are placed by the state Department of Health, not the family.

RIGHT-WING MEDIA GIVES VOICE

Dobbs isn't the only media personality giving voice to the birthers. As PolitiFact's Robert Farley wrote last month, "the conservative WorldNetDaily.com Web site is the conductor of the Birther train." The far-right outlet, which sells "Where's The Birth Certificate?" bumper stickers, convinced someone to ask White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about the conspiracy in May.

The birther theory has also been pushed by bigger names in the right-wing media. Before the 2008 election, radio host Rush Limbaugh speculated that Obama may have gone to Hawaii to visit his dying grandmother to take care of "this birth certificate business." Since then, Limbaugh has joked, "[W]hat do Obama and God have in common? Neither has a birth certificate." Earlier this month, Limbaugh stepped it up a notch, declaring that "Barack Obama has yet to prove he's a citizen."

Fox News has also elevated the birther conspiracy, running headlines like "Should Obama Release Birth Certificate?" on its Fox Nation Web site and running reports on birther-based lawsuits on its news shows. Fox's Sean Hannity has aired claims that "the president is not, in fact, a legitimate citizen by birth" and asked a caller on his radio show if he had "ever seen" Obama's birth certificate.

THE BIRTHER BILL

In March, Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) introduced legislation requiring "presidential candidates to produce copies of their birth certificates and other documentation to prove natural-born citizenship." Posey's bill has gathered nine co-sponsors in the House. Trying to explain why he introduced the bill, Posey issued a statement saying, "This bill, by simply requiring such documentation for future candidates for president, will remove this issue as a reason for questioning the legitimacy of a candidate elected as president." But Posey has undermined this seemingly innocuous rationale for his legislation by outright accusing Obama of hiding something on a right-wing Internet radio show. "The only people that I know who are afraid to take drug tests are the people who use drugs," said Posey. Claiming that he hadn't looked at the evidence, Posey previously told the Orlando Sentinel, "I can't swear on a stack of Bibles whether he is or isn't" a citizen.

On MSNBC's “Hardball” last week, host Chris Matthews challenged one of the bill's co-sponsors, Rep. John Campbell (R-CA), telling him that "what you're doing is appeasing the nutcases...you're verifying the paranoia out there." Asked if he believed Obama was a citizen, Campbell responded, "as far as I know, yes." Matthews retorted, "As far as you know? (and waving it in Campbell's face) I'm showing you his birth certificate!" Matthews is correct that many conservative lawmakers are comfortable "feeding the wacko wing." Just today (7/27/09), Politico reported that Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said birthers "have a point." "I don't discourage it," said Inhofe. –End of The Progress Report-

***

For a copy of The Progress Report with documentation: LINK

“Conspiracy plots and paranoia,” I See My Dreams - my post on how and why conspiracy theories evolve: LINK

9 comments:

Frodo, Deportion Decorum said...

Lou Dobbs lost $300,000 as an investor in the failed Integrity Bank, the first of the 21 bank failures in the State of Georgia within the past year. Does that sound like someone whose investigative tools you would trust?
Rachel Maddow has been compiling a list of US Congressionals who assert a level of credibility to the "birthing" allegations. The swiftly-shrinking list is predominantly composed of Texans
(whom Frodo professes to be "illegal aliens" since their ancestors entered the United States during war time, and have never been officially granted immigrant status).
Join the throng, "Deport the Texan Illegals."

Andrew said...

What does a failed investment have to do with his investigative reporting skills?

Yeah, deport the Texans. That makes a hell of a lot of sense. The Mexicans lost. I honor those brave Texans for standing up for the constitution, unlike those jelly-spined congressmen in other corners of the USA.

Anonymous said...

Here’s Obama’s dilemma in a nutshell (READ VERY CAREFULLY AND DIGEST):

If BHO shows his original long form birth certificate, indeed showing he was born in Hawaii, it will also show his father was American citizen, Frank Marshall Davis, not the Kenyan/British citizen, Barack Obama Sr. While that would allow Barack Jr. to be POTUS eligible as BOTH a “citizen”/“native born citizen” AND an Article 2 “natural born citizen” — that is, born to two American citizens on American soil — it would simultaneously show he is a fraud hiding his real father — an unacceptable political debacle.

If, on the other hand, BHO keeps hiding his original long form birth certificate — while simply repeating, without showing, he was born in Hawaii — he can still CLAIM BOTH he was born in Hawaii AND his father was the Kenyan/British Barack Obama Sr. This would enable Barack Jr. to claim he’s a “citizen”/“native born citizen” but it would mean (if a federal court would ever get around to declaring and thus far no one has standing to bring the suit) that he’s NOT an Article 2 “natural born citizen” and thus not eligible to be POTUS — a legal/constitutional debacle since all acts under an illegal POTUS are void.

So it seems, BHO has elected option one until forced to go option two because for now it looks like no federal court will ever find a plaintiff with standing. (Of course, there’s the additional issue of BHO losing American citizen status if/when he became an Indonesian citizen — that is, IF he returned and was naturalized he would be a legal citizen, but would lose both native and natural born status, and, IF he returned and was not naturalized, he would be an illegal immigrant unlawfully in this country — but we’ll leave that for another day.)

Infidel753 said...

COLB schmolb, what I want to know is how Obama was able to travel back in time and put birth announcements in Hawaiian newspapers in 1961 so it would look like he was born there.

Frodo, loves picking nuts said...

Anonymous, you have incorrectly defined citizenship. For the record, Frodo will not correct you, providing you the opportunity to correct your own error without an emotional breakdown . If you can find your error, then you will prove yourself not to be a lunatic. Frodo is taking bets.

airth10 said...

I remember Sara Palin during the campaign saying of Obama, "He is not one of us". I wonder if she was implying the same thing that these crazy birthers are saying today.

No birther has yet said that Obama wasn't born on this planet. I guest when they exhausted every possible earthly argument they will resort to that one.

airth10 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Sumrall said...

All this concern over the President's birth place, IMHO, masks some people's concern that he is the long-predicted Antichrist.
I recall I first encountered this concern when Jimmy Carter ran for President, someone who "came out of nowhere" (Georgia) and kept smiling while talking about being "born again."
Then, there's Ronald Reagan. That's Ronald, six letters, Wilson, six letters, Reagan, six letters, 666.
Our lastest ex-President impressed me more as the Anti-John the Baptist than the Antichrist.
One day, someone will be right. But it will be like the dog that finally catches the car he's long been chasing. What then, Mr. Bow Wow?
Now, please excuse me, while I get back to something important -- the latest Michael Jackson investigation.

Tiny said...

"All the world's a stage and everyone an actor thereon..." Some aren't doing so great in their roles! Too many parrot the same lines that are out of context to the plot of the play, which is: Health Care Reform that President Obama can sign into law

Tiny would like to know if all these "birthers" have made public their birth certificates. If so do the Native Americans accept their legitimacy? Or are they considered to be interlopers on this land?

To pick up on Mr. Sumrall's 666, remember that GW Bush is six lettters. Bush raised Medicare premiums $21.60, added to the $45 being paid made it $66.60. Tiny
asks why the Christians weren't all over that 666. But not a peep was heard.

Why didn't people demand that GW Bush provide his National Guard records? Was it because they would be fodder for the news media? Prove him unfit, not intelligent enough to be in the office he was appointed to by the Supreme Court? At least President Obama was elected by the majority of people.

Does anyone want to unravel what seems to be a good mystery? If so, try reading the book: The Family by Jeff Sharlet.

PS: Another GOP from Tennessee resigned today due to adulterous affair with an intern. "There's trouble in the camp, bartender..."

BJ, thanks for another excellent chronicle of facts.