Topic: Accuracy in Media
From Cliff Kincaid's Sept. 2 Accuracy in Media column:
DailyKos got the leak from the Obama campaign of the candidate’s alleged birth certificate, an announcement intended to put to rest all of the questions about whether Obama is a natural-born citizen and passes the basic constitutional requirement to be president. Is the document real? I have not seen any investigative reporters from the major media assigned to this story. Instead, they’re sniffing around Palin’s family, which is something they had no desire to do while John Edwards was cheating on his cancer-stricken wife.
In contrast to the Palin story, which will probably continue for weeks, the Obama birth certificate controversy has been left alone by the major media. They have simply assumed¯because they favor his candidacy¯that Obama, with a history of being moved from country to country under different names, is a legitimate U.S. citizen. A lawsuit has been filed challenging Obama’s qualifications to be president and some bloggers say the birth certificate is a fraud. But it’s not an issue for the major media. They would rather examine photos of Bristol Palin’s tummy.
In fact, the Obama birth certificate has been investigated and declared authentic by sources ranging from FactCheck.org to WorldNetDaily. It's only far-right nutters like Kincaid and Israel Insider that are still pedding this soundly discredited claim.
Kincaid also misleadingly oversimplifies Palin's "troopergate" controversy, claiming it is only about Palin being "under investigation for trying to fire a state trooper who threatened members of her family," adding, " trying to fire a trooper who threatened your family doesn’t strike most people as improper or illegal." Josh Marshall provides the full context, pointing out that the trooper in question is Palin's ex-brother-in-law "who's embroiled in a bitter custody and divorce battle with Palin's sister":
Most people who are familiar with the ugliness that often spills out of custody and divorce cases know to take accusations arising out of the course of them with a grain of salt unless you know a lot about the people involved. And if you look closely at the case there are numerous reasons to question the picture drawn by the Palin family.
The Palin family had a feud with Wooten prior to her becoming governor. They put together a list of 14 accusations which they took to the state police to investigate -- a list that ranged from the quite serious to the truly absurd. The state police did an investigation, decided that 5 of the charges had some merit and suspended Wooten for ten days -- a suspension later reduced to five days. The Palin's weren't satisfied but there wasn't much they could do.
When Palin became governor they went for another bite at the apple.
The available evidence now suggests that she 1) tried to have an ex-relative fired from his job for personal reasons, something that was clearly inappropriate, and perhaps illegal, though possibly understandable in human terms, 2) fired a state official for not himself acting inappropriately by firing the relative, 3) lied to the public about what happened and 4) continues to lie about what happened.
Will Kincaid tell his readers the full truth about Palin's "troopergate"? We'd do it ourselves, but AIM has shut off the comment thread for Kincaid's column. Why? Perhaps because Kincaid's tired of AIM commenters confronting him with actual facts (as the lengthy comment thread on this Aug. 27 Kincaid column illustrates).