American Media?...Bah, Humbug!
On Christmas Day the Houston Chronicle had a small article on page 3 about the new Hawaiian governor's hopes to "finally quell "birther' doubts". It's a sad statement on our society that this is even a subject for discussion more than two years after it reared its ugly head. But it reveals the underbelly of political discourse in our nation today. It says a lot about the acceptance of the politics of destruction. It is not a new phenomenon but it seems to have reached new heights in its breadth and width. It even has its own media network with ample financial backing and organizations who know they will profit from, and/or gain power from the "defeat the enemy at any cost" philosophy that they adopt.
The loser in all this is the American public who can no longer trust anything they hear on the airwaves or read on the internet. Today, it seems, journalistic integrity is only a theory taught to students at universities and not an unwavering principle adhered to by all publishers, editors, and producers of America's vast wasteland of media outlets that populate the web and cable TV. To a lesser extent this is true of print media as well.
In the above mentioned article by Michael Memoli, it describes a frustrated politician who plans to use his new found position of power to counter conspiracy theorists who continue to allege that the president was not born in the United States, and, therefore, not eligible to be president. Governor Abercrombie, it turns out, speaks from a position of insight since he personally knew both the mother and father of the now president Obama.
Abercrombie states that "Maybe I'm the only one in the country that could look you right in the eye right now and tell you, "I was here when that that baby was born.'"
Despite the fact that the Obama campaign did release a Certificate of Live Birth from the state of Hawaii in June of 2008, that Politifact and Factcheck.org both concluded that the certificate was authentic, and that Factcheck also turned up a 1961 birth announcement in a local Honolulu newspaper marking the birth, the rumors persist by those who seek to gain political advantage and those who just plain don't like Obama by making sure the suspicion stays alive in the media.
If new calls for him to produce the original birth certificate move either Obama or the state of Hawaii to actually do so it will likely yield the same claims of it being a forgery that resulted from the release of the official State of Hawaii copy. In fact, bloggers on right-wing web sites are already calling any new document that might be produced a fraud.
In the same December 25, 2010 edition of the Houston Chronicle, nationally syndicated columnist Paul Krugman uses a Charles Dickens metaphor to describe what he calls the right -"wing spin machine "humbug" that has now become a systematic process.