Following Sarah Palin's December 3 statement that Barack Obama's birth certificate is "a fair question" and that "the public rightfully is still making it an issue," WorldNetDaily -- which has repeatedly promoted the thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory that Obama is not eligible to serve as president -- featured the story and used it to promote WND's birther documentary, A Question of Eligibility, and other related items for sale in WND's online "Birth Certificate Store."
WND features Palin comments while plugging WND birther products
WND features Palin comments, highlights other WND birther articles and promotions. From the front page of WND on December 4:
WND uses article on Palin's remarks to sell DVD, signs, postcards, bumper stickers, billboard campaign. From the "Related offers" posted by WND underneath its article on Palin's remarks:
Those products and others are featured for sale through WND's Birth Certificate Store.
WND repeatedly advances birther conspiracy theories. As Media Matters for America senior web editor Terry Krepel has noted on his website, ConWebWatch, in an August 2008 article, WorldNetDaily concluded that a "WND investigation into Obama's certification of live birth utilizing forgery experts ... found the document to be authentic." (WND added an "editor's note" several months after the article's publication stating that "[t]he experts told WND merely that many of the forgery claims made against the image were inconclusive or falsified, leaving them no evidence that would cast doubt on the image's authenticity.") However, since then, WND has jumped fully onto the birther bandwagon, and indeed, is circulating an online petition stating that "there is sufficient controversy within the citizenry of the United States as to whether presidential election winner Barack Obama was actually born in Hawaii as he claims" and "demanding that the constitutional eligibility requirement be taken seriously and that any and all controlling legal authorities in this matter examine the complete birth certificate of Barack Obama, including the actual city and hospital of birth, and make that document available to the American people for inspection." Indeed, WND founder Joseph Farah wrote in August, "A few months ago, I stepped beyond my role as a journalist and media entrepreneur to become an activist, a crusader, some might even say a 'birther' " [WorldNetDaily, 8/5/09].
Palin on radio show: "I think the public rightfully is still making it an issue. I don't have a problem with that"
From a December 3 post on Ben Smith's Politico blog:
Speaking to the conservative talker Rusty Humphries today, Sarah Palin left the door open to speculation about President Obama's birth certificate.
"Would you make the birth certificate an issue if you ran?" she was asked (around 9 minutes into the video above).
"I think the public rightfully is still making it an issue. I don't have a problem with that. I don't know if I would have to bother to make it an issue, because I think that members of the electorate still want answers," she replied.
"Do you think it's a fair question to be looking at?" Humphries persisted.
"I think it's a fair question, just like I think past association and past voting records -- all of that is fair game," Palin said. "The McCain-Palin campaign didn't do a good enough job in that area."
McCain's campaign counsel has said the campaign did look into the birth certificate question and, like every other serious examination, dismissed it.
Palin suggested that the questions were fair play because of "the weird conspiracy theory freaky thing that people talk about that Trig isn't my real son -- 'You need to produce his birth certificate, you need to prove that he's your kid,' which we have done."
"Maybe we can reverse that," she said, returning to Obama's birth certificate, describing the type of thinking involved with a word that isn't clear in the audio.
Palin subsequently stated: "At no point ... have I asked the president to produce his birth certificate or suggested that he was not born in the United States." In a December 3 Facebook post, Palin titled "Stupid Conspiracies," Palin stated:
Voters have every right to ask candidates for information if they so choose. I've pointed out that it was seemingly fair game during the 2008 election for many on the left to badger my doctor and lawyer for proof that Trig is in fact my child. Conspiracy-minded reporters and voters had a right to ask... which they have repeatedly. But at no point -- not during the campaign, and not during recent interviews -- have I asked the president to produce his birth certificate or suggested that he was not born in the United States.