Fox News' Shepard Smith
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, host of the top-rated evening cable newscast, believes Americans challenging the eligibility of Barack Obama to hold the office of president are "crazies," saying "there is no truth whatsoever" to the suggestion Obama is not a "natural born citizen."
Smith made the remark during analysis of today's shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where an elderly gunman opened fire with a rifle, killing a security guard before himself being shot. Police were probing an alleged white supremacist, James von Brunn, as the assailant.
During his interview with Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Smith said:
"There are these crazies out there who want to pretend [Obama's] not a citizen of the United States, who want to pretend that his religion is something they see as in some way troublesome to them and all of us. And there is a group perpetuating this thought, and there is a culture to which you can attach yourself very easily through the Internet. ... We know it's absolutely – there is no truth whatsoever – zero – to any of those ideas, yet they live within the computer and they fester in people's minds."
Beirich agreed completely with Smith's remarks, as she responded:
"You're hitting the nail on the head about these kinds of crazed conspiracies whether they're about the president, or we're hearing things like FEMA setting up camps to round up Americans and put them in. I'm getting bad sort of deja-vu from the 1990s when anti-government militias were on the rise, when Tim McVeigh committed that [bombing] in Oklahoma City and I really am hoping that we're not going through a repeat of that."
Smith made numerous references to a Department of Homeland Security report warning of potential violence from "right-wing extremists," and said he's been personally disturbed by an increase in e-mail to him from people "who are way out there on a limb ... out there in a scary place."
He read what he called a representative message that asked, "How dare you tell us to get over the birth certificate ... ?"
Shepard Smith's 2000 mugshot
Ironically, Smith himself allegedly engaged in activity some might deem questionable.
As WND previously reported, during the presidential election fiasco in November 2000, Smith was arrested at the Florida Capitol for allegedly driving his Mazda Millenia into another reporter who was standing in a parking space she attempted to save for a friend. The victim, freelance journalist Maureen Walsh of Tallahassee, was hospitalized and released later the same day with bruises on her knees and legs.
The St. Petersburg Times reported Capitol Police Sgt. Edwin Maxwell said Smith drove up and "shouted some profanities at her and basically just struck her, striking her at the knees, which threw her up on the car."
According to NewsBlues, a witness to the incident said Smith "intentionally ran into her with his car to try and get her to move from the parking spot. She was thrown onto the hood of the car and ended up on the ground. Smith then parked the car, turned off the engine, turned to the crews assisting the reporter and said "f--- you" and walked into the state capital. Police and paramedics were called."
"When arrested on the street outside the capital, Smith said he couldn't understand why this was happening ... they then handcuffed him."
Smith was charged with a felony the day of the offense, but the charge was later downgraded to a misdemeanor and eventually dropped.
Two hours after Smith's TV remarks about "crazies," his network colleague Glenn Beck said
of the shooting in Washington, "This is not the work of right-wing
"This guy is a lone gunman nut job," Beck said.
"I'm not stirring the pot. I am pointing out that the pot is boiling
and there is trouble in America. ... Common sense tells you that there are
very hateful people on the right and on the left."
The museum guard, Stephen Tyrone Johns, died in the hospital. Von Brunn, 89, was listed in critical condition.
Nationwide attention about President Obama's lack of producing a long-form birth certificate proving his eligibility for office got a boost today when top-rated radio host Rush Limbaugh joked about the subject in comparing Obama to God.
Asking rhetorically what God has in common with Obama, Limbaugh said, "Neither has a birth certificate."
The birth certificate
WND has been reporting since before the election on questions – and
lawsuits – raised over Obama's birth and eligibility. He reported in
his book he was born in Hawaii and his half-sister agrees. But the
woman the president says is his paternal grandmother, Sarah Obama,
claimed to have been present at her grandson's birth in Mombasa, Kenya.
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
Complicating the issue are Obama's move to Indonesia as a child,
where he reportedly attended that nation's public schools, and his
later travels to Pakistan, raising questions about on what nation's
passport was that travel accomplished. Then there are the multiple law
firms hired to make certain Obama's long-form birth certificate
information, and other documentation such as college records, remain
sealed from public view.
Obama's presidential campaign released
to select news organizations
only what is known as a "certification of live birth," a document
obtainable in Hawaii in 1961 by Americans actually born outside the
However, Joseph Farah, WND editor and chief executive officer, has been
calling for the release of Obama's long-form birth certificate showing
the hospital of his birth, attending physician and other details to
confirm his citizenship status.
launched a national billboard campaign last month in an effort to keep
the issue before the American people. The billboards, being leased
around the country, ask the simple question, "Where's the birth
certificate?" Farah is asking the public to support his campaign with donations. So far, more than $75,000 has been collected.
billboard campaign followed one launched months earlier to collect the
names on an electronic petition demanding accountability and
transparency on the issue. So far, that petition has gathered nearly
The campaign got a boost recently when WND
White House correspondent Les Kinsolving asked Obama's press secretary,
Robert Gibbs, why the president wouldn't release his birth certificate. Gibbs' response was covered live on C-SPAN and by Fox News Channel and others – excluding CBS.
It was the first time any member of the press corps has publicly
asked a member of the administration a question directly related to
Obama's constitutional eligibility for office as a "natural born
Congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen.
John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a "natural
born citizen," but no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify
Obama's claim to a Hawaiian birth.
Both the petition and the billboard campaign are part of what Farah calls an independent "truth and transparency campaign."
The first sign to be posted under the campaign, a digital,
electronic one, is up and online on Highway 165 in Ball, La.. In
addition, based on the heavy volume of financial donations in the first
days of the campaign, WND was able to commit to leasing three more
standard billboards – one in Los Angeles, another in Orange County,
Calif. and a third in Pennsylvania.
"Where's the Birth Certificate?" billboard near the Santa Ana Freeway in Los Angeles
Farah said the campaign was born of frustration with timid
elected officials in Washington, corrupt judges around the country and
a news media that show a stunning lack of curiosity about the most
basic facts of Obama's background – especially how it relates to
constitutional eligibility for the highest office in the land.
"As Obama transforms this country from self-governing
constitutional republic to one governed by a central ruling elite, the
simple fact remains that no controlling legal authority has established
that he is indeed a 'natural born citizen' as the Constitution
requires," Farah said. "Obama's promises of transparency have become a
bad joke as he continues to hide simple, innocuous documents like his
birth certificate and his student records."
donation – from as little as $5 to as much as $1,000 – can be made
online at the WND SuperStore. (Donations are not tax-deductible.
Donations of amounts greater than $1,000 can be arranged by calling
either 541-474-1776 or 1-800-4WND.COM. If you would prefer to mail in
your contributions, they should be directed to WND, P.O. Box 1627,
Medford, Oregon, 97501. Be sure to specify the purpose of the donation
by writing "billboard" on the check. In addition, donations of
billboard space will be accepted, as will significant contributions
specifically targeted for geographic locations.)
If you would like to sound off on this issue, participate in today's WND Poll.