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New York Times’ “Trump Card”: Covering Up GOP “Birther” Idiocy

One of our hair­craft is miss­ing . . .

COMMENT: Well, “The Gray Lady” has dis­tin­guished itself once again. Hav­ing done some­thing worth while–exposing the extent to which the GOP has been pos­sessed by “birther” ide­ol­o­gy (the thor­ough­ly-dis­cred­it­ed view that Oba­ma was not born in the Unit­ed States and isn’t legal­ly-qual­i­fied to be Pres­i­dent–The Times then down­played and then removed the embarass­ing results.

“The New York Times’ Dis­ap­pear­ing Birther Scoop” by Eric Boehlert; Media Mat­ters for Amer­i­ca; 4/22/2011.

EXCERPT: It was per­haps the most talked-about para­graph in the polit­i­cal press yes­ter­day. And then just like that, it was gone.

From the New York Times arti­cle that appeared on the newspaper’s web­site Thurs­day morn­ing, came this pas­sage [empha­sis added]:

A plu­ral­i­ty of Repub­li­can vot­ers, 47 per­cent, said they believed Mr. Oba­ma, who was born in Hawaii, was born in anoth­er coun­try; 22 per­cent said they did not know where he was born, and 32 per­cent said they believed he was born in the Unit­ed States.

The remark­able poll result was just the lat­est indi­ca­tion of how the-world-is-flat-type of con­spir­a­cy about the president’s birth cer­tifi­cate has thor­ough­ly infil­trat­ed the Repub­li­can Par­ty and con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment in Amer­i­ca, to the point where near­ly half of Repub­li­cans believe the lie. (Take a bow Fox News.) To the point where half of Repub­li­cans don’t think Oba­ma is eli­gi­ble to hold office.

But note that there were two pecu­liar things about how the Times han­dled the rev­e­la­tion.

First, in the orig­i­nal arti­cle, the news­pa­per com­plete­ly buried the birther lede. Rather than high­light­ing the block­buster poll find­ing, the Times gave the embar­rass­ing news only a glanc­ing ref­er­ence and stuck the results deep down in the sto­ry, devot­ing just two sen­tences to the birther rev­e­la­tion. Side­step­ping the thorny issue, the Times instead pegged the news sto­ry around the fact that Repub­li­can vot­ers aren’t enthu­si­as­tic about their pos­si­ble White House can­di­dates. (Hint: That’s not exact­ly break­ing news.)

Sec­ond, the much-talked about birther pas­sage from the Times’ polling piece soon dis­ap­peared; it was removed from the orig­i­nal arti­cle, with­out explaina­tion. . . .

Discussion

5 comments for “New York Times’ “Trump Card”: Covering Up GOP “Birther” Idiocy”

  1. Oh Ari­zona, where would we be with­out you?

    And yes, the answer is “gawk at Flori­da”. It was rhetor­i­cal.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 20, 2012, 5:34 pm
  2. That drea­ry Con­sti­tu­tion again... It’s all be a delayed Repub­li­can pay­back for not being able to run with the Kissinger\Schwarzenegger dream tick­et. Their cam­paign slo­gan was to be Every Man’s Card­board Box is His Cas­tle.

    Posted by Dwight | May 21, 2012, 8:51 am
  3. Oba­ma just hopes his Israeli dep­u­tized coun­ter­parts — who have been mak­ing kissy-face with the Repubs late­ly, cov­er­ing both their flanks — will hold off on attack­ing Iran till after the elec­tion.

    Maybe there is a deal in the works, anoth­er “Octo­ber Sur­prise”, for them to attack before the elec­tion and swing votes to the Repubs. Although that even might not be enough to elect Rom­ney, who just about every­one hates.

    But get close enough and jim­my with the vot­ing machines in key counties/states could work.

    Denizens of World­Net­Dai­ly — like Jerome (“Swift Boat Vet­er­ans To Sink John Ker­ry”) Cor­si (so beloved of late night fascisti talk radio) — have been push­ing the Birther meta­physic for some time now. It’s past its “drop dead date” so they need a dif­fer­ent schtick.

    Even the NY Times is on to them now!

    Posted by ironcloudz | May 22, 2012, 7:29 am
  4. Signs of the times:

    Huff­in­g­ton Post
    GOP Can­di­date Charges Oppo­nent Is Dead, Rep­re­sent­ed By A Body Dou­ble
    Post­ed: 06/27/2014 12:36 pm EDT
    Sam Levine

    WASHINGTON — Polit­i­cal oppo­nents accuse each oth­er of lying all the time, but one Okla­homa con­gres­sion­al can­di­date took his accu­sa­tion to a new lev­el this week when he claimed his oppo­nent was actu­al­ly dead and being rep­re­sent­ed by a body dou­ble.

    KFOR in Okla­homa reports that Tim­o­thy Ray Mur­ray believes Rep. Frank Lucas (R‑Okla.), his oppo­nent in the con­gres­sion­al Repub­li­can pri­ma­ry, was exe­cut­ed three years ago and is being rep­re­sent­ed by a look-alike. Because he believes Lucas is real­ly dead, Mur­ray said he will chal­lenge the results of Tues­day’s Repub­li­can pri­ma­ry, in which Mur­ray received 5.2 per­cent of the vote. Lucas won the pri­ma­ry with 82.8 per­cent of the vote.

    “It is wide­ly known Rep. Frank D. Lucas is no longer alive and has been dis­played by a look alike. Rep. Lucas’ look alike was depict­ed as sen­tenced on a white stage in south­ern Ukraine on or about Jan. 11, 2011,” Mur­ray said in a state­ment post­ed on his cam­paign web­site. The state­ment claimed Lucas and “a few oth­er” mem­bers of Con­gress from Okla­homa and oth­er states were shown on tele­vi­sion being hanged by “The World Court.”

    “I am con­test­ing that this mat­ter has hap­pen [sic] since his elec­tion was blocked, because of the U.S. Defense Department’s use of Mr. Mur­ray’s DNA. To my knowl­edge, the U.S. Defense Depart­ment has not released to the pub­lic that infor­ma­tion, as it is their con­fi­den­tial infor­ma­tion about many peo­ple,” Mur­ray’s state­ment said.

    Bryan Dean, a spokesman for the Okla­homa State Elec­tion Board, told The Huff­in­g­ton Post that Mur­ray had sent the board a copy of the state­ment post­ed on his web­site but had not for­mal­ly filed a peti­tion ask­ing for a recount or alleg­ing elec­tion irreg­u­lar­i­ties. He has until 5 p.m. Fri­day to do so.

    In the state­ment, Mur­ray, who did not respond to an inter­view request, also reas­sured vot­ers that he is not a body-dou­ble.

    “I, Tim­o­thy Ray Mur­ray, am a human, born in Okla­homa, and obtained and con­tin­ue to ful­ly meet the require­ments to serve as U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive when hon­ored to so. I will nev­er use a look alike to replace my (The Office’s) mes­sage to you or to any­one else, as both the oth­er Repub­li­can Chal­lengers have,” he said.

    Lucas, who has served in Con­gress for the last 20 years, released a state­ment in March about the cri­sis in Ukraine. He told KFOR, how­ev­er, that he has nev­er been to the coun­try where he’s being accused of hav­ing been exe­cut­ed.

    ...

    Good times...good times...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 27, 2014, 12:10 pm
  5. It’s the only expla­na­tion:

    TPM Livewire
    GOP Ex-Gov: Oba­ma’s ‘Incit­ing’ Birthers By Plan­ning Trip To Kenya (VIDEO)
    ByTra­cy Walsh
    Pub­lished March 30, 2015, 1:03 PM EDT

    For­mer New Hamp­shire Gov. John Sununu ® said on Mon­day dur­ing an appear­ance on Fox News that Pres­i­dent Oba­ma is “incit­ing” birther con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists by plan­ning a trip to Kenya this sum­mer.

    “I think his trip back to Kenya is going to cre­ate a lot of chat­ter and com­men­tary amongst some of the hard right, who still don’t see him as hav­ing been born in the U.S.,” Sununu said on the show “Amer­i­ca’s News­room.”

    “I per­son­al­ly think he’s just incit­ing some chat­ter on an issue that should have been a dead issue a long time ago,” he said.

    Oba­ma announced Mon­day morn­ing that he plans to trav­el to Kenya in July to attend the 2015 Glob­al Entre­pre­neur­ship Sum­mit. Con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists have long claimed Oba­ma, who was born in Hawaii, was secret­ly born in Kenya and there­fore is not legal­ly qual­i­fied to be Pres­i­dent.

    ...

    The poor birthers. They don’t get a break! This kind of con­stant harass­ment has been going on for years:

    Prove Mit­t’s not a uni­corn, group says in sat­i­riz­ing ‘birthers’

    By Tom Cohen, CNN

    Updat­ed 5:35 AM ET, Thu May 31, 2012

    Birthers, meet “uni­corners” — a lib­er­al group call­ing for proof that Mitt Rom­ney is not a uni­corn.

    Call them “uni­corners.” A lib­er­al group says it has col­lect­ed more than 19,000 e‑mails request­ing Ari­zona offi­cials to con­firm Mitt Rom­ney is not a uni­corn.

    With­out such proof, the group Left Action argues with tongue in cheek, Rom­ney may indeed be a uni­corn — his dark mane hid­ing a horn — and there­fore inel­i­gi­ble to be on the pres­i­den­tial bal­lot in Novem­ber.

    The far­ci­cal cam­paign mim­ics efforts by “birthers,” and some top sup­port­ers of cer­tain Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Mitt Rom­ney, to con­tin­u­al­ly raise the already-set­tled issue of whether Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma meets the Con­sti­tu­tion’s require­ments for cit­i­zen­ship.

    “I feel like we’ve tried log­ic with the birthers for too long,” Left Action founder John Hlinko said Wednes­day. “Now it’s time to take their argu­ments to the log­i­cal extreme to show how absurd they are.”

    While steeped in satire, the uni­corn-birther mat­ter touch­es on deep­er issues as Oba­ma and Rom­ney head into the Novem­ber cam­paign.

    Since before Oba­ma’s elec­tion in 2008, some con­ser­v­a­tives have ques­tioned whether he was born in the Unit­ed States. If not, they said, he was inel­i­gi­ble to serve as pres­i­dent.

    Despite con­clu­sive evi­dence to the con­trary, the issue has remained alive, nur­tured by the con­ser­v­a­tive blo­gos­phere and get­ting raised repeat­ed­ly by Repub­li­can fig­ures.

    Don­ald Trump, whose 2011 cru­sade to unearth details about Oba­ma’s ori­gins drew glob­al atten­tion and prompt­ed the White House to release the pres­i­den­t’s long-form birth cer­tifi­cate, raised the issue again last week.

    Before cam­paign­ing with Rom­ney on Tues­day, Trump bris­tled when told by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he was begin­ning to sound “a lit­tle ridicu­lous” for char­ac­ter­iz­ing the ques­tion of where Oba­ma was born as a mat­ter of opin­ion, rather than fact.

    “You are, Wolf,” Trump fired back. “Let me tell you some­thing, I think you sound ridicu­lous.”

    The Rom­ney cam­paign appears anx­ious to dis­tance itself from the birther issue. When asked Mon­day about Trump’s rais­ing it, Rom­ney said he believes Oba­ma was born in the Unit­ed States.

    “You know, I don’t agree with all the peo­ple who sup­port me, and my guess is, they don’t all agree with every­thing I believe in,” Rom­ney said. “But I need to get 50.1% or more, and I’m appre­cia­tive to have the help of a lot of good peo­ple.”

    Oba­ma’s cam­paign jumped on that com­ment, with deputy man­ag­er Stephanie Cut­ter issu­ing a state­ment Tues­day that said Rom­ney’s “con­tin­ued embrace of Don­ald Trump and refusal to con­demn his dis­grace­ful con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries demon­strates his com­plete lack of moral lead­er­ship.”

    Mean­while, the Rom­ney cam­paign accused Oba­ma sup­port­ers of using the issue to dis­tract atten­tion from the high unem­ploy­ment rate. Rom­ney sur­ro­gate John Sununu, a for­mer New Hamp­shire gov­er­nor, went fur­ther Wednes­day, accus­ing CNN of delib­er­ate­ly focus­ing on the birther issue in sup­port of Oba­ma.

    “Why is CNN so fix­at­ed on this? Why don’t we talk about the jobs issue in this coun­try?” Sununu asked after CNN’s Soledad O’Brien raised the birther issue to start an inter­view. “It’s CNN that wants to bring it up. I don’t want to bring it up. Mitt Rom­ney made it clear that he believes that Pres­i­dent Oba­ma was born in the Unit­ed States.”

    When O’Brien respond­ed that Trump’s rais­ing of the birther issue made it a valid ques­tion about a pos­si­ble major con­trib­u­tor to the Rom­ney cam­paign, Sununu fired back that come­di­an Bill Maher — known for polit­i­cal­ly incor­rect com­men­tary — is a Demo­c­ra­t­ic sup­port­er.

    ...

    Was Rom­ney a uni­corn? LOL! No, that was Abra­ham Lin­coln. That guess was­n’t even close.

    Still, as we can see, soci­ety has been pick­ing on the ‘birthers’ for years. It’s an issues that just won’t go away.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 30, 2015, 7:44 pm

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