Do you remember the old concept of presumption of innocence?

We all learned in school that you were “innocent until proven guilty” in a court of law.

When I first entered the ranks of the news media, the profession actually adopted that as a standard in its news coverage of those accused.

Well, like so many other media standards, you can throw them out the window when it comes to those brave men and women who stand up for principle and the Constitution in challenging Barack Obama to prove his eligibility for office.

As WND first reported, Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, an Army doctor, is refusing to deploy as ordered to Afghanistan until Obama offers proof he is a natural born citizen, as required by the Constitution.

I guess it’s not enough that he’s facing court-martial, disciplinary action, possible jail time, dishonorable discharge. The media are hanging him out to dry – trying and convicting him before he’s even officially charged with misconduct.

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And I’m not just talking about media like MSNBC, The New York Times, ABC, CBS and CNN. I’m talking about the Associated Press, the largest news-gathering operation in the world, and Fox News, the supposed “fair and balanced” alternative to the old guard.

Here are some of the highlights of a “straight news” account of the story from AP as posted on FoxNews.com.

  • “Though officials in Hawaii verify that Obama was born there, so-called birthers claim he was born outside the United States and is ineligible to be president.”

  • “Hawaii Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino issued statements last year and in October 2008 saying that she’s seen vital records that prove Obama is a natural-born U.S. citizen.”
  • “Both Fukino and the state registrar of vital statistics have verified that the Health Department holds Obama’s original birth certificate.”

See what I mean?

Tried and convicted.

Lakin is nothing but a “conspiracy nut” because there’s no substance to his request.

It’s all been settled to the satisfaction of the largest news-gathering organization in the world and its proxy, Fox News.

Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence?

Whatever happened to fair and balanced?

Whatever happened to curiosity?

Whatever happened to the idea that the press doesn’t just accept handouts from government officials as gospel truth?

I feel sympathy for Col. Lakin.

I know what it’s like going against the grain of a media onslaught.

But Col. Lakin is putting his freedom on the line. Shouldn’t the media be just a little more responsible and even-handed in relating what’s happening?

First of all, it’s a total misrepresentation of Col. Lakin’s view and the point of so-called “birthers” to suggest they believe Obama was foreign-born. I believe most of us in this camp simply want to see Obama live up to the constitutional requirements of office and understand he has failed to provide even a modicum of evidence to qualify under the standard of “natural born citizen.” Maybe he does. Maybe he doesn’t. The point is not what “birthers” believe. The point is what Obama has shown – nothing.

If I hear one more time that Hawaii Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino is the person who established Obama’s constitutional-eligibility requirement, I think I’m going to scream. Who the heck is this person? Have you ever seen her? What does she know about the Constitution? Have the American people ever had the opportunity to quiz her? And since when do Americans take the word of some obscure unelected bureaucrat, a political appointee, on matters of import such as whether the president of the United States is qualified?

I can answer that question – since 2008!

Remember the press’s obsession with the constitutional eligibility of presidential candidate John McCain – a man who had previously run for the office and whose life story was well-known and well-documented?

It took a U.S. Senate hearing and a demand for McCain’s long-form birth certificate and other documents to establish his viability as a candidate.

No such demands were made upon Obama – not by the Senate, not by the Electoral College, not by any state election authorities – and certainly not by the press. Obama was given a pass. And he’s still being given a pass.

Worse yet, the press is out to crucify a man courageous enough to stand up to the U.S. Army and the president and the media by demanding what should have been produced by Obama long ago.

Pray for him! Pray for Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin.

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