On the issue of constitutional eligibility, we are embarrassed that these smart men, whom we admire, are either unwilling or too arrogant to look closely at these serious issues. Instead they attack others for having the audacity to ask questions – questions they normally would ask if they had their facts correct.
We are big fans of Glenn Beck on Fox News; we DVR his show every day. We have been following the career of Andrew Breitbart since his news website began being linked by Matt Drudge years ago. Bill O’Reilly is an institution on Fox News, and we both have appeared on “The Factor.” We appreciate the frank and lively discussions that usually grace his show.
We don’t say this lightly, because we can assure you, we will pay a price for our willingness to be bold. Sometimes the conservative movement can be almost Stalinist in attempts to keep us all on the same script, but we are personally embarrassed by the outright factual errors made by these men when discussing Obama’s eligibility to be president.
First, they seem unwilling to ask their questions in the context of time and place. Hawaii was a much different place in 1961. For starters, over 40 percent of the births in Hawaii that year took place at home. Hawaii only recently had become a state, and many of the rules we might follow in the USA circa 2010 were nonexistent.
For example, to register the birth of a child all the parents had to do was send a simple form to the Department of Health. In a comprehensive report on the topic available at WesternJournalism.com, the investigator concludes: “In 1961, if a person was born in Hawaii but not attended by a physician or midwife, then all that was required was that one of the parents send in a birth certificate to be filed. The birth certificate could be filed by mail. There appears to have been no requirement for the parent to actually physically appear before ‘the local registrar of the district.’ It would have been very easy for a relative to forge an absent parent’s signature to a form and mail it in.”
Bill O’Reilly constantly points to announcements in the local newspapers as proof of birth in Hawaii. But as the inquisitive Bob Unruh at WorldNetDaily has reported, these announcements were automatically generated by the Department of Health. Ergo a forged, mailed certificate would automatically have generated the O’Reilly-cited announcements.
Also routinely quoted to debunk eligibility questions are the comments of Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the Director of the Hawaii Department of Health, released on Oct. 31, 2008. WesternJournalism.com reports: “The television and print media used this statement as a reason to prevent and treat with contempt any investigation into whether Barack Obama was not born in Hawaii. But the language of the statement was so carefully hedged and guarded that it should have had the opposite effect.”
Here is the actual statement Dr Fukino made: “There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate. State law (Hawai’i Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record. Therefore, I as director of health for the state of Hawai’i, along with the registrar of vital statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawai’i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”
WesternJournalism.com concludes: “It is understandable that after such an apparently definitive statement most news outlets, whether conservative or liberal, would accept this as sufficient grounds to relegate the controversy to the status of a fringe phenomenon. Unless they happened to take the trouble to look into the ‘state policies and procedures’ as laid down by the relevant statutes. If they had done so, they would have seen that Dr. Fukino’s press release was carefully hedged and ‘lawyered’ and practically worthless.”
But the final argument used by these three is the most reprehensible. “It’s self-indulgent, it’s narcissistic, it’s a losing issue,” Breitbart is quoted as saying at last weekend’s tea-party convention to discredit Joseph Farah, the editor of WorldNetDaily and one of the only journalists with the courage to cover the issue. Breitbart continued: “It’s a losing situation. If you don’t have the frigging evidence – raising the question?”
So there you have it. Breitbart is arguing you should only raise a question that helps your side win. Maybe that is the rule at Fox News and at Bigjournalism.com, but we pray it will never be the policy of WorldNetDaily and its heroic editor, Joseph Farah.