Responding to criticism from the left-wing watchdog site Media Matters, Fox News Channel management says it “addressed” a “mistake” by a news anchor who asked her Twitter followers to weigh in on a claim by an insider in Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign that the Obama camp threatened Chelsea Clinton’s life if her parents exposed what they knew about Obama’s presidential eligibility.
Weekend and early morning anchor Heather Childers distributed the message with a link to a blog that picked up on a WND story that featured a video interview.
In a statement to the website Mediaite, Fox News Senior Vice President Michael Clemente said: “The tweets have been addressed with Heather and she understands there was a mistake.”
Childers has not replied to a WND request for comment.
The WND story cited Hollywood producer Bettina Viviano, who claims that it was a common belief inside Hillary Clinton’s campaign that Obama was not eligible to be president. The charges of Viviano and others connected to the 2008 campaign are now being investigated by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse, which is probing Obama’s eligibility for Arizona’s 2012 ballot.
The controversial tweet by Childers, who anchors the weekend program “America’s News Headquarters” and co-hosts “Fox & Friends,” read: “Thoughts? Did Obama campaign threaten Chelsea Clinton’s Life 2 Keep Parents Silent?”
Media Matters, which has ridiculed any challenge to Obama’s eligibility, announced last year a campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage” against Fox News. The network has rarely covered the eligibility issue, however.
When Media Matters Executive Vice President Ari Rabin-Havt confronted Childers with a critical tweet Tuesday, the Fox News anchor responded: “I know MM strives 2b FACTUALLY correct so attach the article plz. I was asking 4 opinion.”
According to Media Matters, after the publication of its initial post on Childers, she tweeted that Fox News anchors “present both sides but people see what they want.” She concluded: “Here’s the thing folks… that ONE topic sure got alot [sic] of you tweeting. Why? I apologize if the article offended anyone. Very interesting.”
Politico reported Media Matters’ shift one year ago “from media critic to a new species of political animal” when it “declared war on Fox News.”
The George Soros-funded organization decided to narrow its focus to the network and a small number of conservative websites that it regarded as the “nerve center” of the conservative movement.
In WND’s story, Viviano cited a campaign staffer who was close to Hillary Clinton, whose name she requested be withheld for security reasons. Viviano had an insider’s view of the campaign through her production of a documentary on alleged voter fraud by the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
See the WND video interview with Bettina Viviano:
The Hollywood producer said that staffer told her on two different occasions, a couple of years apart, that the murder of Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney just before the party's convention in 2008 was a message to Bill Clinton.
"I was told by this person that that was 'Shut up, Bill, or you're next,'" Viviano said.
The campaign staffer, according to Viviano, said that despite the intimidation and threats, Bill Clinton was prepared to speak out about Obama's eligibility
"And then," Viviano said, paraphrasing the staffer, "they went in and said, 'OK, it's your daughter, now, we'll go after.'
"And then Bill never said anything."
Since the 2008 campaign, Clinton has insisted publicly that Obama is eligible for the White House.
He spoke about the issue in an April 2011 interview with ABC's "Good Morning America," when Donald Trump was urging Obama to release his long-form birth certificate to the public.
"If I were them, I'd be really careful riding that birther horse too much," Clinton said. "Everyone knows it's ludicrous."
Read the preliminary findings of Sheriff Arpaio's Cold Case Posse investigation after six months investigating Obama’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president in "A Question of Eligibility," co-authored by Jerome Corsi and Mike Zullo.