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Making the Rounds

Jon Stewart Rips into Birthers

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By Garance Franke-Ruta
In the past week, there has been growing attention online and on cable television to the so-called "birther" movement of people who believe, against all the evidence, that President Obama was not born in the United States.

Last night, comedian Jon Stewart brought his viewers up to date on the high points of that undernews narrative, to use the Mickey Kaus phrase (earlier used by William Safire) for that odd amalgam of rumor, myth, speculation and actual facts that circulates as word of mouth and online. For more details on the birthers, Gawker's Alex Parenee has a round-up, as does The New York Times' Opinionator blog's Eric Etheridge.

Posted at 12:31 PM ET on Jul 23, 2009  | Category:  Making the Rounds
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I watched the clip and "all kinds of proof" are the same two docs discussed below, nothing more.

Posted by: member8 | July 26, 2009 6:35 AM

Hardball tonight showed all kinds of proof on tonights show, yet Lou Dobbs, Rush and others just keep it up.

Posted by: b473297 | July 25, 2009 7:54 AM

It's really remarkable that many people who refuse to believe President Obama was born in Hawaii, despite the existence of official evidence as well as contemporaneous evidence, believe despite the lack of any evidence, that 2000 years ago a child was born to to a virgin and that his father was God.

Posted by: DCNative69 | July 24, 2009 10:44 PM

These birthers like Dobbs are crazy. I mean just because the doc that is on factcheck is missing like EVERYTHING that is usually on a real birth certificate doesn’t mean it’s not valid.

I mean, it’s only missing the following…
1. Registration number
2. Registration district number
4. Father’s place of birth
5. Mother’s place of birth
6. Father’s occupation
7. Attending physician’s name (MINOR DETAIL)
8. Physicians signature (MINOR DETAIL)
9. State he is licensed in
10 License number
11. Registrar’s name (MINOR DETAIL)
12. Registrars signature (MINOR DETAIL)

Posted by: toecutter46 | July 24, 2009 9:50 PM

The birthers are simply nutjobs.

It really isn't all that complicated.

Posted by: gormley14412 | July 24, 2009 6:30 PM

"Anyone that refuses to believe something after it is proved time and time again is a moron."

Anyone that believes something without proof is a moron.

The HI doc is legal. However, it is NOT proof that he was born there. HI has never released the underlying doc that the certificate is based on, so we (legally) have to take the word of a politician in HI that they have proof. Scientifically, that is not proof (or common sense, if one has ever dealt with politicians...)

There is no "proved time and time again" or "overwhelming proof". There are two docs, a certificate issued 40 some years after the fact and a contemporaneous newspaper announcement, neither of which carry the same weight as the original birth certificate, so questions will remain.

The largest of the questions is that a simple request to release the original would clear everything up. Just as in Kerry's case, a highly selective but incomplete disclosure is more damaging than a full disclosure.

As to privacy, this would be one of the most minor privacy inconveniences that someone running for president would endure (open taxes, medical records, etc).

Posted by: member8 | July 24, 2009 3:42 PM

RACISM comes in many forms. A RACIST overlooks qualities of a person because of race. Blacks who overlook Barack Obama’s secrecy in refusing to show his identity, school records, passport, full birth certificate with details of birth etc. that would prove if he is eligible to be president simply because he is black, are racists. White or other ethnic people who challenge the president as ineligible for what is already known are not racists because Barack Obama acknowledges his father was a student from Kenya and he was adopted by an Indonesian and became a citizen there. That gives him divided loyalties and dual citizenship even if his mother could have bestowed US citizenship and he was born in Hawaii. Facts must be dealt with. The US Constitution requires full allegiance to the USA. Racism is dangerous for the nation.

Overlooking Communist dictatorship action of Barack Obama’s team getting Major Cook fired because he is black is racist. (WorldNetDaily)

Posted by: MarieDevine | July 24, 2009 1:52 PM

Anyone that refuses to believe something after it is proved time and time again is a moron.

If you think the world was created in 7 days, less then 10k years ago, you are a moron.

If you think that the world is flat, you are a moron.

If you think that Elvis is alive, you are a moron.

If you think that everyone in Hawaii, everyone in Chicago, everyone in the government, everyone in McCain's campaign, everyone in Clinton's campaign, and everyone in the previous administration including George Bush is lying to protect Obama, YOU ARE A MORON.

It doesn't get more simple then this.

Posted by: Independent4tw | July 24, 2009 1:01 PM

Nativity unreliable
Makes presidencies deniable
Say birthers forlorn
Who, sure as you're born,
Are legally certifiable.

News Short n' Sweet by JFD8

Posted by: jd121 | July 24, 2009 12:32 PM

The birth certificate with the medical details on is a private document that nobody should forced to disclose. For all intents and purpose, there has been overwhelming incidental and legal evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii.

If he did produce a document now, people would be discussing whether the document is genuine or forged for the forseeable future. It's a no-win situation. The real problem are the people who are so blinded by their own conviction that Barack Obama is a foreigner that it goes against all persuasion of logic and rationality.

Posted by: iserlohn | July 24, 2009 9:07 AM

HI has issued an official birth certificate for Obama. He is therefore a US citizen and POTUS.

The official birth certificate is NOT the original, a copy of the original, the standard long form, or any other contemporaneous document. It is a recently issued modern form of the a birth certificate. Although it is legal, it does not answer many of the questions that have been raised.

Claims that HI digitized their records so an original doesn't exist does not hold water as the originals are still kept as backups and digital images of the originals should also exist.

Obama is (again for the n-th time) not being "fully transparent".

(Of course, we are all also still waiting for John Kerry to release the rest of his Navy records that he promised Russert years before he died....)

Posted by: member8 | July 23, 2009 10:06 PM

Alinsky said, "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." Both GFR and Stewart are in desperate need of a new playbook.

Posted by: joanne600 | July 23, 2009 9:40 PM

One of the ten commandment is "Thou shalt not bear false Witness." Sounds to me as if this false rumor fits that category.

Hardball tonight showed all kinds of proof on tonights show, yet Lou Dobbs, Rush and others just keep it up. You see, it is OK to tell a lie unless it is told to the FBI and a few others. So, to tell a lie on cable news is OK. Doesn't have to be vetted, apparently.

This why I have stopped listening to Fox news, Rush Limbaugh, Dave Beck, and others who dominate almost all of AM radio talk shows.

Posted by: LL314 | July 23, 2009 9:32 PM

Do any of you remember how Dan Rather was taken to task for not properly vetting his report about Pres. Bush? He lost his job over that. But many though it was true what Dan said. But now, the cable News media can say anything without proper investigation. They definitely are not journalist anymore. Just people to provide unfounded rumors such as: "Is it true that Obama is an Alien?"

Jon Stuart had a terrific show last night( I saw the show tonight). It was terrific. Hardball went over this tonight also. Great show!

More vetting please!

Posted by: LL314 | July 23, 2009 9:10 PM

"Obama likes to say: Yes We Can.
The solution is this: Produce a verifiable birth certificate.
Obama? Kenya?
Posted by: robtjonz | July 23, 2009 8:19 PM"

He has, several times. That's why the questioning has no credence. Some people just don't WANT to believe it.

Posted by: Stunned2much | July 23, 2009 8:28 PM

Obama likes to say: Yes We Can.
The solution is this: Produce a verifiable birth certificate.
Obama? Kenya?

Posted by: robtjonz | July 23, 2009 8:19 PM

I think that Stephen Colbert is funnier.

Posted by: JakeD | July 23, 2009 4:15 PM


Keep up the good work!

Posted by: JakeD | July 23, 2009 2:34 PM

steve38 and jarvarisgoss:

No, it's not a "given" that John McCain, Hillary Clinton, or the Supreme Court would have stepped in before Obama was sworn-in -- assuming that he was even legally sworn-in, which I predicted he would not be -- for starters, McCain had his own "birth certificate" issue. That's the last thing he needed. Clinton also learned her lesson quickly when a campaign co-chair brought up Obama's OWN ADMISSION that he used cocaine only to be shot down as "racist". Neither of them wanted to bring up Obama's shady background, including Ayers, Wright, etc. SCOTUS also would never have ruled on Bush v. Gore unless an actual appeal had been filed by one of the parties. Maybe you should try taking high school government class (again?).

Regardless, I guess it bothers you both so much that these simple questions are asked, but when those simple questions are not answered or one document that would put a stop to it all is not released? Not so much.

Posted by: JakeD | July 23, 2009 2:23 PM

Here's a challenge for GFR or any other BHO supporters: find HI's governor verifying that BHO was born there as CNN claimed:

I say CNN is lying:

Can anyone find anything at all that backs up that statement?

I'm going to reiterate what I said at the link: Pilgrim is a liar.

Now, instead of posting yet another content-free insult, you can actually do CNN a good turn - and make me look bad - by finding any form of valid documentation - i.e., a clear statement directly from HI's governor - that matches CNN's claim.

Note: I'm not talking about hearsay or a distorted AP report. I mean, find the actual original documentation of HI's gov. "validating" BHO's cert as CNN claimed. That must be an actual original quote from HI's gov in which she said anything like that.

Note: The 10/31 statement from the HI DOH doesn't qualify, since it's not from HI's governor:

If this issue is resolved, why do BHO supporters have to keep lying?

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | July 23, 2009 2:22 PM

I might not be as bright and as astute as some of you out there, but I figure that both the Clinton campaign and the McCain campaign would have jumped all over this issue if there were any substance to it.
"Long form birth certificate?" I think that you folks advocating for that out to check into a "long form mental institution." You are ill.

Posted by: steve38 | July 23, 2009 1:33 PM

Don't you think if President Obama was not born in this country, SCOTUS would have stepped in before he was sworn-in. Thats a given.

Posted by: jarvarisgoss | July 23, 2009 1:25 PM


An even better way to get rid of the issue would be for Obama to simply release his LONG FORM birth certificate to prove it once and for all.

Posted by: JakeD | July 23, 2009 1:19 PM

We really need to stop giving these birther goons attention like this. Ignore them and they will slowly die from lack of media spotlight...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 23, 2009 1:08 PM


Jon Stewart could teach a thing or two to the compliant, incurious White House press corps, who meekly allow POTUS to control the Q&A and rarely stray from the "issue of the day."

When will the mainstream media wake up and smell the police state -- as democracy and the rule of law are being stolen at the GRASSROOTS:

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA" (see "stream" or "stories" list).

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 23, 2009 1:06 PM

Interesting. The WaPo is linking to **Gawker** as a reputable source? GAWKER??? A sleazy tabloid blog? (MMFA also linked to Gawker; is that where GFR got it?)

And, if GFR is right, why is it that BHO's supporters have to keep lying, misleading, covering up, and twisting themselves into knots to show that he was born here? That doesn't mean that he wasn't born here, but it does mean that this issue isn't as settled as GFR would like.

For the actual facts about this issue - no speculation, no tinfoil talk - see my coverage:

See all the lies and misleading statements MSM reporters have engaged in to support BHO's claims. Note that even BHO can't get his story straight on which hospital he was born in.

And, note that - unlike the WaPo - I'm telling you the truth.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | July 23, 2009 1:01 PM

It's not against ALL evidence. For instance, Obama's own grandmother stated that he was born in Kenya -- some claim there was a translation error, but that's still SOME evidence -- why won't Obama simply release his LONG FORM birth certificate to prove it once and for all?

Posted by: JakeD | July 23, 2009 12:43 PM

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