Conservative media figures who have promoted conspiracy theories about President Obama's birth certificate have recently used their platforms to promote the anti-health care reform disruptions of congressional town hall events. Indeed, the disruptions resemble similar efforts by birthers to disrupt town halls.
On August 3, the Drudge Report and the Fox Nation linked to a YouTube video with the headlines, "Uncovered Video: Obama Explains How His Health Care Plan Will 'Eliminate' Private Insurance" and "2007 Video! Did Obama Say He Wants to Kill Private Insurance?," respectively. However, the video clip cropped Obama's comments and mischaracterized them: Obama was not discussing the elimination of private insurance, but rather how health insurance could transition from a system of primarily "employer coverage" to a "much more portable system."
Fox Nation linked to Elizabeth Gates' Daily Beast post, "What I Saw at the Beer Summit," with the headline: "Did Gates call Joe the Plumber a 'Racist'?" Gates, the daughter of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., wrote:
As soon as my father's foot crossed the threshold of the room, the storm of mediators immediately rushed to introduce us, but true to form, my father cut right through the thick tension of hurried salutations and offered the Sergeant his hand and joked, "You looked bigger the last time I saw you." Crowley's cheeks flushed red as a smile dashed across his lips, and his young son, whose cheeks had long since flushed the same muted crimson, looked up at his father and smiled. This wasn't a family raised on hate. At that moment, right there in the library, they were just like us: a young family groomed to perfection, waiting to learn how to get those damn cameramen off their lawn and to put this sensationalized hell behind them.
I asked my father what the President had said during their chat and as he slipped off his shoes and reclined his chair, he said: "The president and the vice president are great men, Liza. They did the right thing to invite us there to talk, but it's up to us now to extend this conversation. We have plans to meet in private and discuss things. You know, Crowley's not a bad guy. He's not a Joe the Plumber who wants to represent the Right. He would be horrified to be considered a racist."
From The Fox Nation, accessed on July 31:
From a July 29 email sent from the Our Country Deserves Better PAC:
In a July 29 opinion piece posted on FoxNews.com, Tommy De Seno writes that "since no one has shown any proof [Obama] was born in Kenya or elsewhere, it's OK to conclude he was born in Hawaii" but the "Birther movement is Obama's fault for not releasing the records. I hope the Birthers continue to bite his ankles until he releases the records. He deserves nothing less."
De Seno casts doubt on the birth certificate Obama posted online and speculates on Obama being born in Kenya:
Two birth announcements from Hawaiian local papers show Obama's birth. The Birthers have a couple of good arguments about them. First, Hawaii is where Obama's grandparents lived and it's not unusual for grandparents to announce a birth to their friends, even if the grandson lives elsewhere. Also, if Obama's parents lived in Hawaii then moved to Kenya when they birthed him, it wouldn't be unusual to announce the birth in the old neighborhood for friends to see.
The newspaper announcements cut against the Birthers, but they are hearsay documents and don't answer the citizen question any more than his grammar school records prove he is a Muslim. The original Birth Certificate will end it all.
PolitiFact.com of speculation about the legitimacy of Obama's birth notices:
But here's the thing. Newspaper officials he checked with confirmed those notices came from the state Department of Health.
"That's not the kind of stuff a family member calls in and says, 'Hey, can you put this in?'" [Honolulu Advertiser reporter Will] Hoover explained.
Take a second and think about that. In order to phony those notices up, it would have required the complicity of the state Health Department and two independent newspapers - on the off chance this unnamed child might want to one day be president of the United States.
De Seno's piece was promoted by The Fox Nation:
Fox Nation's front-page headline "Why Don't Dems Want Americans to See This Chart?" parrots House Minority Leader John Boehner's floor remarks -- a video of which Fox Nation provides -- during which he said, "Democrats in Congress don't want the American people to see this chart."
On July 28, Fox Nation posted the headline "Record Low Temps in July Challenge 'Climate Change.' " However, the claim is apparently based on findings from an AccuWeather.com post, the author of which makes clear: "Cold OR warm outbreaks, by themselves, are not signs of Climate Change."
On July 28, The Fox Nation promoted Our Country Deserves Better PAC's "Tea Party Express," which is dedicated to opposing Democratic officeholders. The promotion of the PAC belies Fox Nation's claim to being unbiased and undermines the claim by Glenn Beck that the tea parties, which Fox and Beck relentlessly promoted, aren't "about parties or politics or the president.
From The Fox Nation, accessed on July 28:
From the FoxNation.com, accessed on July 27:
From the July 24 edition of the Fox Nation:
On July 22, Fox Nation's main page featured the headline "CNN Holds Up Copy of Obama Birth Certificate," which links to a web page containing an embedded video of CNN's Rick Sanchez debunking claims about President Obama's birth certificate. The embedded video is titled, "Rick Sanchez Puts End to Obama Birth Certificate..," as shown below:
The Fox Nation page links to this YouTube page: