On March 31, The Daily Caller reported that Donald Trump -- whose birther claims have been recently hyped by Fox -- appeared on Laura Ingraham's radio show and suggested that Bill Ayers wrote President Obama's memoir, Dreams from My Father.
From The Daily Caller article:
Donald Trump appeared on the Laura Ingraham Show Wednesday morning, discussing the controversy he has generated in recent days over his comments regarding President Barack Obama's birth certificate.
The billionaire also suggested that Bill Ayers, not Obama was the real author of the 1995 memoir "Dreams of My Father."
Trump cited a noticeable difference in the writing quality between "Dreams of My Father" and Obama's 2006 policy-centered book,"The Audacity of Hope," which Trump said "was written by a guy that's like a sophomore in high school."
"They say 'Dreams of My Father' was genius and they give him full credit, and now it's coming out that Bill Ayers wrote it...that's what started him on this road where he became president," Trump said.
Trump is likely making a reference to a video of a speech Ayers made on March 24, in which he claims to be the real author. However, the former Weather Underground member appeared to be joking.
From the March 28 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
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Continuing its pattern of promoting and embracing Donald Trump's birtherism, Fox Nation today is promoting Trump's second attempt to release his "official" birth certificate and in the process promotes yet another falsehood forwarded by the Trump camp.
The article to which Fox Nation links, an ABCNews.com piece, reports that a member of Trump's staff, Thuy Colayco, wrote a brief memo falsely claiming that with the birth certificate released by the Obama 2008 presidential campaign "you would not be able to get a proper passport from the Post Office."
What Fox Nation won't tell you is that the Trump memo is dead wrong. Back in 2008, Factcheck.org squashed this argument by showing not only that the document Obama released was legit, but that it "has all the elements the State Department requires for proving citizenship to obtain a U.S. passport." Factcheck.org noted that the State Department requirements include "your full name, the full name of your parent(s), date and place of birth, sex, date the birth record was filed, and the seal or other certification of the official custodian of such records." Upon review, all said elements were found "evident" on President Obama's certificate, thereby making Obama a citizen of the United States and eligible to obtain a passport in his name.
Has Donald Trump found a winning issue for the 2012 election cycle?
That's the premise for the report on how Donald Trump has launched a media tour resurrecting the debunked conspiracy theory about how the President of the United States was not born in America. At ABC News, this is seen as a potential "winning issue."
But why is peddling discredited nonsense like birtherism a possible "winning issue"? ABC never actually explains. It points to no polling, for instance, that suggests the conspiracy theory resonates with voters or that it has boosted Trump's fortunes as he (supposedly) weighs a presidential run.
ABC News doesn't point to a single thing that suggests going around on TV and claiming Obama was't born here is a "winning issue."
Finally, the birther stars are aligned.
Donald Trump is mounting a furious media tour on the conspiracy's behalf. Fox News is doing its best to prop up the fringe scheme, and dedicated birther detective Jerome Corsi is rolling out a new ad campaign in advance of his new birther book.
Busy fighting the last war, key segments of right-wing media, with a major assist from Fox News, have gone full-on birther, selling the zombie conspiracy that refuses to die.
And this isn't Birther Lite, the noxious brand of nonsense Mike Huckabee got caught promoting this month. That's the slightly less offensive, but equally sweeping, attack on the president that concedes Obama was born in the United States, but he's nonetheless foreign, or foreign influenced, to the point of having un-American worldview.
Instead, what Fox News is now sponsoring is straight-up, Obama-wasn't-born-in-America nonsense. That, despite the fact that birtherism was previously, and accurately, condemned by conservative pundits who insisted the fuzzy pursuit made their side look nutty. ("To any sane human being, there is no controversy.")
But now, increasingly desperate for rhetorical ammunition to hit Obama with, more and more outlets are cheering the birther comeback; a comeback that reveals more about bankrupt Obama-haters than it does the current president and that says more about a right-wing media movement that feels comfortable wallowing in easily disprovable, half-baked falsehoods than it does about the supposedly malignant target, Obama.
Why birtherism now, when so many media conservatives warned against elevating the dopey conspiracy? Easy. The cupboard was bare. The GOP Noise Machine has grown so ferocious in its appetite and so committed to feeding its loyal followers a never-ending diet of Obama-hating rhetoric and attacks, that it was just a matter of time before birtherism was served up, unapologetically, as an entry. It's simply the latest serving, the latest offering, from the Obama-hating menu. Meaning, the short-term satisfaction of wallowing in the dark conspiracy about Obama's possible African past won out over any common sense objections.
Remember, this is a movement that, despite a weekly avalanche of relentless attacks against the president, hasn't been able to move the needle on Obama's approval rating in nearly 18 months. (CBS News poll, Dec., 2009, 49 percent; CBS News poll, March, 2011, 49 percent.) Constantly foraging for juicy attacks has become a paramount pursuit.
Today on Fox & Friends, eccentric billionaire Donald Trump appeared to recite his intensely disturbing birther theories, as the Fox & Friends co-hosts on the curvy couch sat idly by. It wasn't exactly the first time the blatant birther crowd has been chosen to speak up about their theories on Fox News; indeed, over the past week, Fox News has relentlessly hyped Trump's recent embrace of birther conspiracy theories, with Sean Hannity going so far as to spend a week defending birthers and apparently attempting to legitimize the movement.
From the March 28 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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During the March 28 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, the co-hosts held a phone interview with Donald Trump in which he discussed Obama's recent decisions regarding Libya. During the segment, on-screen text read: "What Would President Trump Do?"
From the broadcast:
Remember when some prominent conservatives warned about chasing the fool's errand of birtherism, and how it made the movement look weak and foolish? Well, no more!
Since Obama's been inaugurated, the birther movement has been completely mainstreamed within the far-right press to the point where lots of conservatives have convinced themselves it's helping their side and that more and more Americans are on board with the dopey, debunked conspiracy.
For instance, when GOP (maybe) hopeful Donald Trump appeared on The View this week and jumped head-long in with the birther brigade, conservative bloggers cheered the Donald on. Specifically, they were encouraged by what they said was loud applause from The View audience when Trump demanded Obama produce his birth certificate.
This point was made again [emphasis added]:
Listen as the audience applauds when Trump says Obama should show his birth certificate.
Listen to the crowd reaction beginning at the 2:08 mark, as Donald Trump vigorously and repeatedly states "I want him to show the birth certificate." The crowd claps loudly to Trump's words.
On Morning Joe just now Joe Scarborough nailed it pointing out that the liberal audience of the View applauded when Trump said this. If the White House doesn't see that this is trouble then they ought to.
See? The View crowd cheered Trump's birtherism, which means the tide has turned and we're all birthers now.
The right-wing media is grasping for coherence in its attempts to portray military action in Libya as "Obama's Iraq."
Fox Nation, which has a long history of promoting doubts about whether President Obama was born in the United States, is hyping the video of an ABC interview with Trump saying he has "a little doubt" about Obama's citizenship because "nobody knew him" growing up. All of this despite Politifact.com debunking such claims back in February, calling them "ridiculous" and "crazy."
Fox figures and guests have continued their aggressive promotion of Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) upcoming hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims.
From the March 8 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the February 11 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
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