WASHINGTON – The idea was hatched when Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND, was driving down the New Jersey Turnpike, headed home from a business trip in New York.
“I was thinking about how my colleagues in the media are so afraid of Barack Obama’s eligibility issue,” he recalls. “How could that fear be softened up? How could I make it ‘respectable’ to talk about an issue that few of them dared address?”
The issue, he decided, would only become safe if it became more visible.
Surrounded by billboards blaring the locations of fast-food eateries, the formats of local radio stations and branding campaigns by major corporations, Farah recognized his alternative medium – outdoor advertising.
The national fund-raising campaign to erect billboards around the country questioning Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility for office was an instant hit after being announced May 19 – with WND readers contributing $10,000 in the first 24 hours.
The billboard message was simple. It simply asked, “Where’s the birth certificate?”
Have you contributed yet to the “birth certificate” billboard campaign? It’s not too late. In fact, Farah says the campaign is just getting started and that he plans to continue through the election of 2012 if necessary. If you agree the Constitution means what it says and that it is the responsibility of all Americans to enforce it, make your donation now.
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 and disturbing 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.
Not surprisingly, the campaign was quickly met with opposition. Just two weeks after it was launched, CBS, one of the largest media conglomerates and a leading provider of outdoor advertising, officially banned its local salesmen from accepting the “birth certificate” billboard leases from WND. No reason was ever given.
A few days later, Lamar Advertising, another billboard industry giant joined CBS. And a few days after that, Clear Channel, a media goliath owning 1,200 radio stations across America and controlling tens of thousands of billboards, followed suit.
But the campaign had already made waves. Suddenly, there were debates on Fox News over the issue of Obama’s eligibility mentioning the billboard campaign. MSNBC followed with reports – albeit sneering ones. Rush Limbaugh talked about the birth certificate issue all three hours in one of his daily shows – the largest talk-radio program in the world.
Farah’s phone has not stopped ringing since with media calls.
But the real fruit of the campaign, explains Farah, are the billboards themselves.
“Seeing these billboards springing up around the country is quite a phenomenon,” he says. “It has been less than six weeks since this idea was hatched and already the billboards are becoming a familiar sight.”
“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard in Pennsylvania
“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard in Buena Park, Calif.
“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” on private sign next to Interstate 5 in Washington state.
Birth certificate question raised in Ball, La.
You can see the familiar WND design in Hamburg, Pa.; Buena Park, Calif.; the city of Commerce, Calif.; and even down in Louisiana. Meanwhile, others are using their own initiative and “designs” to make the same point – like the billboard operator in Chehalis, Wash., and this less professional effort in Linden, Texas.
Farah also devised a way for everyone to get into the act – with your own car or your own yard.
“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard next to Santa Ana Freeway in Commerce, Calif.
WND previously launched a petition campaign that has collected nearly 400,000 names demanding Obama’s eligibility be verified and demonstrated publicly. That campaign continues. That list has been shared with members of the Electoral College and the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
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If you are a member of the media and would like to interview Joseph Farah about this campaign, e-mail WND.