Yesterday marked the release of WorldNetDaily writer Jerome Corsi's latest book, Where's the Birth Certificate? A few short weeks ago, the book rode a wave of publicity from unscrupulous conservative websites like the Drudge Report and Fox Nation to #1 on the Amazon bestseller list. Led by Fox News, right-wing media outlets were embracing the birther canard at an ever-increasing pace.
Then it all fell apart.
In the intervening weeks, the birther "issue" has very publicly - and quite embarrassingly for prominent birthers like Corsi and former pretend presidential candidate Donald Trump - collapsed. Obama released his long-form birth certificate on April 27, demolishing the supposed impetus for Corsi's book and rendering it an amusing cultural artifact. In its published form, the book provides a glimpse into the fevered imaginations of some of the most prominent conspiracy theorists of the Obama era.
Corsi announces in his preface that he was writing the book "in the conviction that Obama has usurped the office of the presidency by waging a skillful public relations campaign to suppress his actual birth circumstances." Unfortunately for Corsi, that "conviction" turned out to be utterly, laughably false.
So, first things first: Where's The Birth Certificate?, Corsi asks in his book title. In the Foreword, WND CEO Joseph Farah repeats the question, saying that it has "dogged Obama throughout his term of office" and "may well cost him any chance for re-election in 2012."
Well, here it is:
Right-wing media responded to the release of President Obama's long-form birth certificate by attacking the president and claiming that certain questions surrounding the document remain unanswered. Below is a sampling of the early attacks by conservative media following the release of Obama's long-form birth certificate.
In a WorldNetDaily piece, Bob Unruh advanced the argument that California legislation aimed at having the history of the LGBT movement taught more extensively in social studies classes is "the worst school sexual indoctrination ever" and "sexual brainwashing." In fact, the bill instructs educators to teach about the "role and contribution of ... lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans."
During World War II it was Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, El Alamein and Okinawa. Then came Korea's Pusan, Inchon and Chosin. In Vietnam it was the Tet Offensive and Battle of Saigon. Thousands of battles followed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Now members of Congress have the choice of following the expert military advice offered by the U.S. veterans who gave their life's blood, sweat and tears on those far-flung battlefields -- or Lady Gaga.
Unruh goes on to contrast the American Legion's opposition to repeal with support of repeal from "a pop star."
Of course, Lady Gaga is not alone in offering "expert military advice" in calling for Congress to end the DADT policy; Defense Secretary Robert Gates supports repeal, as does Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; former chairmen Colin Powell and John Shalikashvili; more than 100 other retired generals and admirals; former National Security Advisor Gen. Jim Jones; and former Defense Secretary and Vice President Dick Cheney.
In other news, WND's list of "high-profile personalities and leaders who have raised questions about Barack Obama's eligibility to occupy the Oval Office" includes noted presidential eligibility expert and Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Luke Scott.
WorldNetDaily advanced false claims by anti-gay "critics" that a proposed bill would grant Obama administration official and longtime right-wing target Kevin Jennings "almost unlimited authority to mandate indoctrination in public schools." In fact, the bill -- intended to reduce discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in public schools -- does not mention Jennings, provide any official with "almost unlimited authority," or "mandate indoctrination."
The latest target in the Glenn Beck-driven conservative media witch hunt for Obama administration "czars" is Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools director Kevin Jennings. In their attacks on Jennings, numerous conservative media figures have resorted to thinly veiled homophobic appeals to paint Jennings, who is gay, as a "radical" "gay activist" with an "agenda" of "promoting homosexuality in schools," and have misrepresented or distorted Jennings' previous comments about religion and tolerance.