Two days after lending credence to birther conspiracy theories, Bret Baier, host of Fox News' flagship "straight news" program, Special Report, acknowledged today that the White House released President Obama's long-form birth certificate in April 2011.
On Monday's edition of Special Report, Baier reported that Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett had threatened to remove Obama from the Arizona presidential ballot without mentioning that Obama made his birth certificate public four years ago, and that, as FactCheck.org has noted, it "meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship." During that segment on Monday's show, Baier also did not mention that, amid a relentless birther attack by Fox, the White House also released Obama's long-form birth certificate.
Baier drew fire from journalism veterans and ethics experts for having failed to note that birther conspiracy theories were meritless, with one experienced news person calling the report "a complete abandonment of integrity and responsibility."
Tonight, Baier updated the story, reporting that Bennett is now satisfied that Obama was born in the United States and has withdrawn his threat to kick Obama off the ballot and noting that "last April, the White House released his long-form birth certificate."
From Special Report:
BAIER: Arizona's Secretary of State says the case is closed in the birth certificate kerfuffle stemming from his request that Hawaii provide additional verification President Obama was in fact born there.
As we have reported, Aloha state officials have repeatedly confirmed President Obama's birth in the state, and last April, the White House released his long-form birth certificate.
Today, Secretary of State Ken Bennett in Arizona explained he only pursued the issue on behalf of constituent requests, adding, quote, Hawaiian officials 'complied with the request and I consider the matter closed.' Bennett said Tuesday, if his actions embarrassed the state of Arizona he was sorry.