The Times delivers some pseudo-coverage of the Obama birth certificate controversy.
This, from the president of MSNBC, is absurd and inflammatory:
Mr. Griffin [president of MSNBC] said the claims were legitimate to cover “in that there’s a segment of our population that believes this and keeps bringing it up.”
Brian Williams doesn't add much:
A lot of journalists “live with this issue; we get e-mails, we get asked about it,” Brian Williams, the anchor of the “NBC Nightly News,” said on Wednesday’s broadcast.
Great point! Well, Olbermann and Shuster of MSNBC had time for every goofball Cheney theory back during the Plame case - maybe they exhausted their networks allotment for the decade. Or let's call it what it was - ageist.
The Times reporter opts for gross mischaracterization is his second paragraph:
Since there is "ample evidence", this should be easy - when has Obama been forced to prove he's a citizen? All I am aware of is his release of the short form summary birth certificate, as described by Fact Check.
And speaking of the short form, the Times plays "hide the ball" as best they can with the short form - long form controversy. Here they go again:
...But advocates of the issue, who are sometimes termed birthers, called attention to themselves through frequent calls to talk radio shows, e-mail messages to news organizations and a videotaped question at a Congressional town hall. Since mid-July, Mr. Dobbs has discussed it repeatedly on his radio show and on TV, emphasizing that he believes Mr. Obama is a citizen, while wondering in particular why Mr. Obama has not provided a fuller copy of his birth certificate so that “all of this nonsense goes away.” Mr. Dobbs’s coverage has been criticized by Media Matters and other organizations.
And that is it. No one who is not already familiar with the background will glean from their coverage that:
(a) Obama provided a "short form" birth certificate which the State of Hawaii claims is an accurate summary of the long form.
(b) the short form provides a place of birth (in Obama's case, Honolulu) but no additional details, such as the hospital or the attending physician; that information would normally be available on the long form.
(c) the State of Hawaii will also issue a birth certificate on the basis of an affidavit. So for all we, the Times, or the non-racists at MSNBC know, Obama's long form was issued on the basis of an affidavit from his mother and/or maternal grandparents assuring the authorities that a smiling and happy baby Barack was delivered at home, no physician attending.
As to the truth, who knows? As to why Obama won't release the long form, again, who knows? As to why the NY Times won't even clarify the nature of the dispute or explain why the long form is relevant, well, that is obvious.
Folks who want to dive in would do well to start here.
MORE: Why would the grandparents lie? Fact Check can't imagine, saying this:
It is less distantly possible that the grandparents and the mother were straining to document Obama as a US citizen in fear of the day when the white Ms. Stanley would be engaged in a custody suit in a Kenyan court arguing with the black father about the fate of a black Kenyan baby. But I guess Fact Check couldn't conceive of that.