Billboard near Navarre, Fla.
NAVARRE, Fla. – Barack Obama had a close encounter of the eligibility kind today as his motorcade drove past an electronic billboard on Highway 98 here asking the question, “Where’s the birth certificate?”
The trip was part of Obama’s tour of areas hit by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and the billboard was courtesy of WND’s 13-month continuing campaign to raise the issue of the president’s constitutional eligibility for office.
“We were able to get this billboard up in a hurry because it is electronic,” explained Joseph Farah, chief executive officer of WND and the mastermind of the advertising campaign that has visited more than 50 cities in the past year. “This is the first time we believe Obama has actually had to drive by one of our boards.”
Farah attributes widespread interest in the great “birth-certificate controversy” to the billboard campaign that began in May 2009. That’s when he launched what became something of a national sensation and, he believes, rekindled the debate about Obama’s constitutional eligibility for office – the billboard campaign that asks the simple but unanswered question, “Where’s the birth certificate?”
The campaign has been sustained by contributions from WND visitors and others who have discovered it from simply driving past a billboard as Obama did today.
“It has certainly changed my life,” explains Farah. “A year ago I was still getting regular invitations to be on cable TV shows and talk about the issues of the day. The minute I was labeled a ‘birther,’ I became radioactive – just like Lou Dobbs.”
Billboard near Navarre, Fla.
But, Farah says, even though “the establishment media” are in lockstep on the issue, the billboard campaign has fundamentally changed the public’s mind to the point at which all the polls are shocking the elite, and state legislatures are passing bills to ensure this never happens again in future presidential elections.
“There’s no denying it,” says Farah. “No matter how hard my colleagues try to make the public forget about this issue, no matter how hard they attempt to ridicule anyone who wants to see the proof, no matter how much they demean even decorated military officers who take their own oaths seriously, this issue will not go away. It’s going to be around in 2012. It may even be the defining issue in 2012.”
Farah says he could not have pulled off the campaign without the support of WND’s visitors. The cost of the billboards has been offset by donations – and Farah says he wants to step up the campaign because it’s winning.
Billboard near Talledega, Ala.
“I’m quite sure based on our own polls that if those people were asked whether they would like to see Obama release his birth certificate, more than half the country would say ‘yes’ – and all the other personal papers he has refused to disclose,” Farah said.
Farah says the billboards have had a lot to do with changing popular opinion – even if the media don’t get it.
“People simply shouldn’t have to conjecture about where they think their president was born,” he says. “It ought to be a matter of public record – and it clearly is not.”
Aside from the billboard campaign, WND has devoted more investigative reporting to the issue of eligibility than “all other media outlets combined,” says Farah.
In addition, the billboard campaign was rejected by three major billboard companies, all owned by major media outlets – CBS, Clear Channel and Lamar.
Billboard near Bethel, Pa.
“What I need Americans to understand is that this billboard campaign is working,” said Farah. “There is no shortage of billboards available to us. The only thing there’s a shortage of is the money to erect them. We need to raise tens of thousands of dollars a month just to keep them in place.”
“The impact of the billboards is magnified by local television and talk-radio shows in every market they enter,” explains Farah. “It’s not just the billboard. It’s the earned media that comes along with it. It’s astounding. We have turned millions of people around on this issue with the billboards. It’s just that simple.”
In addition to the billboard campaign, Farah has:
- produced a video-documentary primer on the issue called “A Question of Eligibility”;
- produced a 40-page special report on the subject;
- manufactured yard and rally signs to bring attention to the topic;
- pledged to donate at least $15,000 to any hospital in Hawaii or anywhere else that provides proof Obama was born there and given you an opportunity to raise the amount;
- created a line of T-shirts you can wear to appearances by the president to raise visibility of the issue;
- created a fund to which you can donate to further the kind of investigative reporting into this matter only this company has performed over the last two years;
- launched a line of postcards you can use to keep the issue alive;
- distributed thousands of bumper stickers asking, “Where’s the birth certificate?”;
- perhaps most notably, gathered more than 500,000 names on a petition demanding any and all controlling legal authorities in this matter take appropriate action to see the requirements of the Constitution of the United States are followed;
- gathered another 25,000 names on a second petition attempting to rally state officials to make presidential candidates prove their eligibility before getting on ballots.
“There are all kinds of things we need to do right now to get our country back on track, but I can think of nothing more important than for us to see that our Constitution is observed, followed, adhered to and honored, especially when it comes to such simple, straightforward matters as the eligibility of the president of the United States,” says Farah. “Please help me bring this matter to a head right now.”