Things aren't going so well for the birthers.
Jerome Corsi's latest book, Where's the Birth Certificate? -- published shortly after Obama released the titular long-form document -- has been greeted by a chorus of ridicule. (You know it's a bad sign when Fox Business thinks your theories have been "debunked.")
Unsurprisingly, the birther faithful are undeterred. Corsi and WorldNetDaily -- when they haven't been pushing the nonsense "natural-born citizen" argument -- have been desperately trying to prove that Obama's long-form is a "forgery." They've posted numerous articles on the issue, including blockbuster revelations about smudged stamp ink.
WND has front-paged a video that purports to prove that Obama's long-form is a fake. (This video has also been promoted on the website of conspiracy theory radio host Alex Jones.) In their sub-headline, WND proclaims that a "simple examination of lettering leaves little doubt Barack's long-form fraudulent." At this point, it's useless to respond to these allegations individually (anyone still devoted to birtherism is essentially beyond reason), but you can judge the startling kerning revelations for yourself here.
On the other hand, it's worth looking at the types of outlets that are still committed to the birth certificate "issue," and what birtherism adherents like WND have been reduced to.
In this instance, our kerning detective(s), "PP Simmons," have a somewhat popular YouTube channel, which houses a variety of conspiratorial (often end-times focused) videos.
According to their Twitter page, "PPSIMMONS is an online ministry which began on YOUTUBE Oct 10/2008. Since then the channel has EXPLODED to millions of views and thousands of subscribers."
In one video, titled, "WHO IS PPSIMMONS? (Some Suprises [sic])" the narrator, a pastor named Carl Gallups (the same narrator from the birth certificate video), explains that "PP Simmons" is a pseudonym for the channel. Gallups says that the "brainchild for PP Simmons is a highly successful and respected businessman in Birmingham, Alabama -- and also another man who is a youth minister in the gulf coast area." Gallups says they both wish to remain anonymous.
After explaining that he is not personally "PP Simmons," Gallups endeavors to clear up another source of confusion. Namely, that their YouTube channel has never definitively proclaimed that Obama is the Antichrist, "only that he exhibits certain Antichrist qualities and characteristics. But, other world leaders have, as well." Good to know.
Indeed, the PP Simmons channel has several videos exploring the "certain Antichrist qualities and characteristics" that Obama supposedly exhibits (not to be confused with their videos speculating that we have may have been "set up by the Muslim world and perhaps the King of Saudi Arabia" and that "Obama's handlers" could have "put an anti-American and Saudi-sponsored Muslim in the White House"). Other principles listed in the video include "We think evolution is largely a fraud and pseudoscience," and "we unashamedly at PP Simmons expose Atheism and its related mental disorders."
To give you a sense of the level of scholarship we're dealing with here, have a look at this video, titled "Obama - The Lottery and 666 - You have GOT TO SEE THIS! What are the CHANCES? Is he the Antichrist?"
It alleges that Obama made a call to "serve Satan" in his inauguration speech. Obama cleverly disguised this by not actually saying "serve Satan," but by saying "let me express" in such a way that if you play it backwards, it sounds like he's saying "serve Satan," (or "surf Santa").
PP Simmons suggests sending this video to your friends "for a laugh":
In the "Who is PP Simmons?" video, Gallups explains that "several people" serve as editors at PP Simmons, and says that he uploads "many of the videos here." He adds that he also produces "videos for WorldNetDaily."
While it's unclear what the nature of their relationship is -- several of the videos on the channel are marked "WND," but seem to just be inspired by WND articles -- WND has promoted Gallups' videos in the past. In addition to the birth certificate video this week, WND has written about other videos by Gallups/PP Simmons, including one that made the case that the BP oil spill was a "fulfillment of Genesis prophecy."
In a video posted yesterday, Gallups indicates that he'll be interviewing Corsi about the book this afternoon. And this is how birtherism will play out from now on: an ever-shrinking echo chamber of conspiracy theorists convincing each other that they have finally uncovered definitive proof that Obama wasn't born in Hawaii.
I've made this point before, but it's worth repeating. While birthers are mostly being ridiculed by conservatives now, the "theory" was always this absurd.
When major conservative media outlets and elected officials pushed birtherism, these were the types of people they were mainstreaming.
- Jerome Corsi