As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, July 24, 2009

CNN Could End The Birther Story Today

CNN is desperately trying to get themselves off the hook for Lou Dobbs' warm embrace of the Birthers. The President of the network declared the controversy "dead" today.

The website TVNewser reported today that Klein sent an e-mail to staffers of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” just as the program went to air, informing them that CNN researchers had determined that Hawaiian officials discarded all paper documents in 2001. A long-form birth certificate with details about the doctor who delivered Obama no longer exists, they reported. The shorter Certificate of Live Birth noting Obama’s birth on Aug. 4, 1961, that has been made public is the official record.

“It seems to definitively answer the question,” Klein wrote, according to TVNewser. “Since the show's mission is for Lou to be the explainer and enlightener, he should be sure to cite this during your segment tonite. And then it seems this story is dead -- because anyone who still is not convinced doesn't really have a legitimate beef.”

If Klein really thinks that Dobbs will just drop everything now, he's kookier than Dobbs himself. And he also shouldn't believe that this is no longer a problem. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called for Dobbs' removal. That would be an actual way to end all the speculation on CNN about this.

This is not the first time Mr. Dobbs has pushed racist conspiracy theories or defamatory falsehoods about immigrants. We wrote you in 2007 to bring to your attention his utterly false claim that 7,000 new cases of leprosy had appeared in the United States in a recent three-year period, due at least in part to immigrants. (The real number, according to official statistics, was about 400. Mr. Dobbs took his spurious information from the late right-wing extremist, Madeleine Cosman.) In addition, Mr. Dobbs has reported as fact the so-called Aztlan conspiracy, which claims that undocumented Mexican immigrants are part of a plot to "reconquer" the American Southwest. He has suggested there is something to a related conspiracy theory that claims the governments of Mexico, the United States and Canada are secretly planning to merge into the "North American Union." He has falsely claimed that "illegal aliens" fill one third of American prison and jail cells. And Mr. Dobbs has routinely disparaged, on CNN's air, those who have had the integrity to point out the falsity of these and similar claims.

Respectable news organizations should not employ reporters willing to peddle racist conspiracy theories and false propaganda. It's time for CNN to remove Mr. Dobbs from the airwaves.

That would surely add to CNN's credibility., forget whatever good things I said about Jon Klein.

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