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Jon Klein, the chief of CNN’s U.S. operations, has ordered that no more talk-radio hosts will be allowed on the network’s programs, according to a new report.
The move comes on the heels of the fracas generated when CNN anchor Lou Dobbs questioned on air why President Obama hasn’t released his long-form birth certificate.
His questions were followed almost immediately by attacks from members of the Daily Kos website, who posted the e-mail addresses of CNN executives in a campaign to get Dobbs fired from the network.
“Lou Dobbs is an idiot and he should be booted off CNN for his obsession with President Obama’s birth certificate,” wrote Daily Kos diarist kerouacforobama. “We need to get these far-right haters off the air.”
As WND reported, Dobbs has stated he already believes Obama is a U.S. citizen, and all he wants is for the president to produce a copy of his birth certificate.
Now Andy McCarthy at National Review Online reported Klein has instructed producers to not book talk radio hosts.
“In a burst of arrogance remarkable even by mainstream media standards … Klein is quoted in NewsBusters as saying, ‘Complex issues require world class reporting,'” he wrote.
“I wonder if the folks at CNN ever actually listen to the in-depth coverage complicated issues get for hours at a time on Rush’s show and Sean’s show,” McCarthy wrote.
“I wonder how Mr. Klein’s assessment of talk-radio dullards squares up with, say, Mark Levin – an authentic scholar of constitutional law and American history, a mega-bestselling author of books on those subjects, and a former chief of staff to an attorney-general of the United States,” he wrote.
McCarthy described the decision to ban talk-radio hosts as “class-A cowardice.”
According to an earlier report from the Los Angeles Times, Klein wrote an e-mail to staffers of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” addressing the issue of the legitimacy of Obama’s birth certificate.
“It seems this story is dead,” Klein wrote, according to the Times, “because anyone who still is not convinced doesn’t really have a legitimate beef.”
J. Richard Cohen, chief of the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center, went further than other Dobbs critics. He wrote a letter to CNN suggesting, “Respectable news organizations should not employ reporters willing to peddle racist conspiracy theories and false propaganda. It’s time for CNN to remove Mr. Dobbs from the airwaves.”
Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly, however, has come to Dobbs’ defense against those that want the CNN host fired. Though O’Reilly called the questions around Obama’s birth certificate “bogus” and “patently absurd,” he nonetheless invited Cohen onto his show and suggested the SPLC, in calling for Dobbs’ termination, was “overreacting”:
WND has produced hundreds of stories reporting on dozens of legal challenges to Obama’s status as a “natural born citizen” and other issues. The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”
Some of the challenges question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama’s American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.
Other challenges have focused on Obama’s citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.
Additionally, questions have been raised about Obama’s move to Indonesia as a child and the passort he used to travel to Pakistan as a young man.
Complicating the situation is Obama’s decision to spend sums estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to avoid releasing a state birth certificate and other documentation.
Nor is Obama’s birth certificate the only document at issue. WND has reported that among the documentation not yet available for Obama includes kindergarten records, Punahou school records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, passport, medical records, files from his years as an Illinois state senator, Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records and his adoption records.
Dobbs’ questioning has been straightforward: Where’s the birth certificate?
“When this could be dispelled so quickly, and simply by producing it, why not do it?” he has asked.