Officials with Clear Channel Outdoor, which calls itself the world’s largest outdoor advertising company, have joined two other large billboard providers in rejecting four simple words asking the question, “Where’s The Birth Certificate?”
Media buyers for WND have confirmed the company refused to accept a request to purchase billboard space for a campaign that is the brainchild of Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND, who believes it is essential to force Obama to produce hard evidence that he is, indeed, a “natural born citizen” as the Constitution requires. He has called upon Americans to donate money to the campaign, which has, thus far, raised about $75,000 for the cause.
Farah maintains Obama has not proved he is constitutionally eligible to serve as president as a “natural born citizen,” and suggests only the release of his long-form birth certificate showing the hospital of his birth, attending physician and other details can conclusively meet that test. Obama’s presidential campaign released to select news organizations only what is known as a “certification of live birth,” a document obtainable in Hawaii in 1961 by Americans actually born outside the country.
Farah confirmed the decisions by three companies not to post the billboard question, however, has not yet even dented the billboards available across America for the campaign, and the number erected will be limited only by the donations to the campaign.
The WND founder said he stepped up because no one else has.
“WND’s reporters have investigated this issue more extensively than the rest of the media combined – sending senior staff writer Jerome Corsi to Hawaii and Kenya in search of evidence,” said Farah. “We have commissioned private investigators in Honolulu. There is simply no persuasive evidence to affirm Obama’s claim to a Hawaiian birth. There is no hospital on the island that will confirm the first black president of the United States was born there. It’s all conjecture. And no controlling legal authority in this country has ever asked Obama to provide the proof.”
The newest billboard up in the campaign is located near the Santa Ana Freeway in Los Angeles:
“Where’s the Birth Certificate?” billboard near the Santa Ana Freeway in Los Angeles
“I want Americans to understand that this billboard campaign will be successful with or without CBS and Lamar,” said Farah. “There are still millions of billboards available through other companies eager to take this business. The only barrier to success is money. And I am as determined as ever to keep purchasing billboard space as our budget allows.”
Another billboard is in Buena Park, Calif., on Interstate 5 between Los Angeles and Anaheim, a heavily trafficked corridor reaching hundreds of thousands of commuters every week. An earlier billboard went up in Louisiana.
Farah said the sensitivity by large public corporations like the billboard providers demonstrates how important this politically charged issue is to the future of the country.
“I never fully realized how dangerous it is that the media in this country are so afraid of government power,” he said. “How are Americans supposed to become aware of controversial issues with this kind of heavy-handed self-censorship in place throughout corporate America? That is the reality of what we face, and the reaction to this campaign should illustrate it better than anything else I’ve seen in my lifetime.”
Clear Channel describes itself on its website as “the world’s largest outdoor advertising company with close to one million displays in 49 countries across 5 continents.”
In the U.S., it reports having just under 200,000 advertising displays.
The company issued a prepared statement in response to WND’s request for a comment, saying, “Clear Channel Outdoor has a long tradition of being politically agnostic but also has a consistent practice of rejecting copy that we view as a personal attack ad, such as the Obama Birth Certificate copy.”
The company also cited the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, which has prepared a statement dealing specifically with the “Where’s The Birth Certificate?” questions.
It states: “In the situation of the Obama birth certificate billboards, there is no First Amendment question. The First Amendment applies to governmental restrictions on speech, not on the decisions of outdoor advertising companies. We strongly stand behind the right of our companies to reject this or any other copy.”
WND reported earlier Lamar Outdoor already has begun losing business for dissing the advertising campaign’s question.
That was shortly after Lamar joined CBS in prohibiting its salesmen nationwide from accepting leases of billboards for a campaign that asks the simple question, “Where’s the birth certificate?”
Florida real estate company owner Fabian Calvo told WND that he’s cancelling his contracts for two major billboards owned by Lamar that he had been using to advertise his apartments.
Calvo, who also is a talk radio host in the Tampa Bay area, said, “It’s just unbelievably wrong that not only would they deny WND the freedom of speech they should have, but at the same time be fearful of this administration.”
He said he is terminating use of the Lamar billboards immediately.
“We have other ways to advertise,” he said.
The Lamar decision had been delivered to WND by spokesman Hal Kilshaw, who said, “We think it’s a settled matter. We think it’s misleading to indicate there’s any question about the president’s birth certificate. We looked at it and we made the call.”
Kilshaw said he read “independent media reports” and unnamed “newspaper articles” to make his decision.
The billboard campaign followed one launched months earlier to collect the names on an electronic petition demanding accountability and transparency on the issue. So far, that petition has gathered nearly 400,000 names.
The campaign got a boost recently when WND White House correspondent Les Kinsolving asked Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, why the president wouldn’t release his birth certificate. Gibbs’ response was covered live on C-SPAN and by Fox News Channel and others – excluding CBS.
It was the first time any member of the press corps has publicly asked a member of the administration a question directly related to Obama’s constitutional eligibility for office as a “natural born citizen.”
Farah points out that congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a “natural born citizen,” but no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama’s claim to a Hawaiian birth.
Both the petition and the billboard campaign are part of what Farah calls an independent “truth and transparency campaign.”
Many have asked why Obama’s name is not included in the billboard. Farah said the matter was carefully considered.
“There are several reasons we chose the message: ‘Where’s the birth certificate?’” he explained. “There is only one birth certificate controversy in this country today – despite the near-total absence of this issue from coverage in the non-WND media. This is a grass-roots issue that resonates around the country, as our own online petition with nearly 400,000 signers suggests. In addition, I like the simplicity of the message. I like the fact that the message will cause some people to ask themselves or others about the meaning of the message. It will stir curiosity. It will create a buzz. I’m assuming when these billboards are springing up all over the country, it might even make some in the news media curious. And there’s one more factor that persuaded me this was the way to go.
“Come 2012, campaign laws will pose restrictions on political advertising mentioning the names of presidential candidates. This one clearly doesn’t. I would like to see the federal government make the case that this is somehow a political ad,” he said.
Further, Farah said, the reaction to the campaign by billbaord companies makes the point about how squeamish major media outlets are about questioning powerful political leaders – especially those with whom they agree.
“Imagine the problems we’d have finding billboard space if Obama’s image or name was part of the message,” he said. “CBS and Lamar are afraid of four innocent words!”
Farah said the campaign was born of frustration with timid elected officials in Washington, corrupt judges around the country and a news media that show a stunning lack of curiosity about the most basic facts of Obama’s background – especially how it relates to constitutional eligibility for the highest office in the land.
“As Obama transforms this country from self-governing constitutional republic to one governed by a central ruling elite, the simple fact remains that no controlling legal authority has established that he is indeed a ‘natural born citizen’ as the Constitution requires,” Farah said. “Obama’s promises of transparency have become a bad joke as he continues to hide simple, innocuous documents like his birth certificate and his student records.”
Your donation – from as little as $5 to as much as $1,000 – can be made online at the WND SuperStore. (Donations are not tax-deductible. Donations of amounts greater than $1,000 can be arranged by calling either 541-474-1776 or 1-800-4WND.COM. If you would prefer to mail in your contributions, they should be directed to WND, P.O. Box 1627, Medford, Oregon, 97501. Be sure to specify the purpose of the donation by writing “billboard” on the check. In addition, donations of billboard space will be accepted, as will significant contributions specifically targeted for geographic locations.)
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