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Tuesday, July 28, 2009
WJC Peddles More Birther Lies, Distortions
Topic: Western Journalism Center

A July 27 email by the Western Journalism Center, sent to the WorldNetDaily mailing list, contains a whole new crop of distortions and falsehoods.

The email asserts that "no amount of ridicule will change the fact that close a a half-million people have signed petitions calling on Barack Hussein Obama to release his birth certificate." Actually, the WJC has no way of knowing that this is a "fact." As we've detailed, WorldNetDaily -- whose petition the WJC is presumably referring to -- has never released the signatures of the signees, making it impossible to verify the number of valid signatures (WND's count at this writing, by the way, is a lot closer to 400,000 than "a half-million"). Further, WND has no apparent mechanism to prevent multiple signatures by the same person, making that count even more unreliable.

The email also claimed that "no amount of name-calling can change the fact that 58% of respondents to an AOL on-line poll said that Obama should produce his actual birth certificate." True, perhaps, but irrelevant -- online opt-in polls are not a reliable indicator of public opinion. The email adds that "49.3% of the respondents to a scientific Wenzel poll found the question to be legitimate." But as we've noted, WorldNetDaily commissioned that poll -- the questions for which were skewed to get the answers WND wanted -- and Wenzel Strategies, headed by a former conservative newspaper columnist who later worked for a Republican congresswoman, has a clear bias.

The email goes on to assert that "Obama's paternal grandmother said, she was present at Obama's birth, which took place in Mombasa in what is now Kenya." That's false -- WJC is relying on a translation error to make that claim.

The email also asserts, "Obama's mother was only 19-years old when Obama was born... she was much too young to bestow her citizenship on him for the purpose of satisfying Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution." Also false. As we've detailed, if Obama was born in Hawaii -- WJC offers no credible evidence to the contrary -- that's irrelevant. Further, according to the Chicago Tribune, the timetable at the time Obama was born for a parent to confer U.S. citizenship upon a child born outside of the U.S. (again, which WJC has not proven about Obama) was being a citizen for 10 years including five years past the age of 14; Stanley Ann Dunham was three months short of her 19th birthday when Obama was born (not exactly "much too young"). But federal law shortened that time period to two year after the age of 14 and made it retroactive to 1952. That makes Obama doubly covered.

The WJC also makes a big deal out of how "the State of Hawaii does not accept the Certification of Live Birth as singular proof that an individual was actually born in Hawaii" for the Home Lands program. Again, true but irrelevant. The Home Lands is exclusively for those of "native Hawaiian" ancestry, which Obama has never claimed to be, so it wouldn't matter if he failed to meet the birth requirement for that program.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 1:04 PM EDT

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