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Misinformation abounds

All one needs to do is read birther comments on this web site, or on thousands of others, to find misinformation enough to last a lifetime and more. Too many birthers, so little time.

What’s more frustrating, though, is the sad fact that anti-birthers engage in the retelling of rumors too. Here are some I saw in the past 2 days:

  • Experts from FactCheck.org authenticated Obama’s birth certificate. Actually some staffers from FactCheck verified that it was a real piece of paper with a raised seal on it, then took some pictures.
  • Presidential hopeful Pawlenty said: “CNN reported, they saw the certificate.” What CNN broadcast was a copy of the Internet image, not the actual certificate. No news organization except FactCheck.org has seen the physical certificate.
  • Pawlenty also mentioned “the advertisement… the hospital announcement.” There was no advertisement; it was a Health Department list in the newspaper. There hasn’t been any hospital announcement.

The high-priced talent interviewing Donald Trump let him spout nonsense and never challenged him. If they did their homework and exposed Trump for the clown he is, perhaps we wouldn’t have to suffer his bad hair another week.

20 Responses to Misinformation abounds

  1. avatar
    Slartibartfast March 31, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    I find this extremely frustrating as well – I hate having to debunk inept anti-birther arguments and the birthers never fail to point out any of these flawed arguments (while keeping suspiciously mum about all the impregnable ones…

  2. avatar
    Rickey April 1, 2011 at 12:16 am #

    It is a sad commentary on the state of journalism these days that the people who interview Trump are so ill-equipped to respond to his claims. For example, one would think that at least one of them would know that the birth announcements were not advertisements, but apparently not.

  3. avatar
    G April 1, 2011 at 12:32 am #

    Rickey: It is a sad commentary on the state of journalism these days that the people who interview Trump are so ill-equipped to respond to his claims. For example, one would think that at least one of them would know that the birth announcements were not advertisements, but apparently not.

    Chuck Todd of MSNBC pointed that out during his interview with Trump this morning. He made quite an effort to get a word in edgewise as Trump blathered on to correct the record that birth and death notices are not advertisements, but Trump was trying to drown him out and wouldn’t listen.

  4. avatar
    Lucas D. Smith April 1, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    * Experts from FactCheck.org authenticated Obama’s birth certificate. Actually some staffers from FactCheck verified that it was a real piece of paper with a raised seal on it, then took some pictures.
    * Presidential hopeful Pawlenty said: “CNN reported, they saw the certificate.” What CNN broadcast was a copy of the Internet image, not the actual certificate. No news organization except FactCheck.org has seen the physical certificate.
    * Pawlenty also mentioned “the advertisement… the hospital announcement.” There was no advertisement; it was a Health Department list in the newspaper. There hasn’t been any hospital announcement.

    Dear Doc Conspiracy,

    Thank you for reporting objectively.

    Lucas D. Smith

  5. avatar
    Daniel April 1, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    Lucas D. Smith: Dear Doc Conspiracy,

    Thank you for reporting objectively.

    Lucas D. Smith

    Now if we could only get birthers to do the same…

  6. avatar
    gorefan April 1, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    Lucas D. Smith: Lucas D. Smith

    In the name of objectivtiy, how about letting those same two factcheck.org staffers come over and take pictures of your Kenya BC.

  7. avatar
    James M April 1, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    Slartibartfast:
    I find this extremely frustrating as well – I hate having to debunk inept anti-birther arguments and the birthers never fail to point out any of these flawed arguments (while keeping suspiciously mum about all the impregnable ones…

    To my mind, the highest profile mainstream journalist to address the issue has been Anderson Cooper, who meant well, but stopped short of actually addressing some of the “issues”. The most frustrating to me was the fact that he kept saying that President Obama is a “citizen” and totally missed the central “natural born” aspect.

  8. avatar
    Judge Mental April 1, 2011 at 6:50 am #

    gorefan: In the name of objectivtiy, how about letting those same two factcheck.org staffers come over and take pictures of your Kenya BC.

    Letting them take pictures of his passport page with a Kenyan exit and entry visa might be an even better starting point for the proposed photo album.

  9. avatar
    Judge Mental April 1, 2011 at 6:51 am #

    That’s exit and entry ‘stamp’ lol.

  10. avatar
    kimba April 1, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    Judge Mental: Letting them take pictures of his passport page with a Kenyan exit and entry visa might be an even better starting point for the proposed photo album.

    His passport doesn’t matter. We know the document is a fake because the date format and the hospital admin’s name and spelling of his name are wrong. Smith confirmed he created it by jumping in to defend the technical problems with his invention. He should have insisted he didn’t know about any kerning or fonts, he just knew what the clerk gave him when he handed her the $5000. But he just couldn’t stand to let the criticism of his work go unanswered.

  11. avatar
    Majority Will April 1, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    kimba: His passport doesn’t matter. We know the document is a fake because the date format and the hospital admin’s name and spelling of his name are wrong. Smith confirmed he created it by jumping in to defend the technical problems with his invention. He should have insisted he didn’t know about any kerning or fonts, he just knew what the clerk gave him when he handed her the $5000. But he just couldn’t stand to let the criticism of his work go unanswered.

    The lazy doth protest too much, methinks.

  12. avatar
    Judge Mental April 1, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    kimba: His passport doesn’t matter. We know the document is a fake because the date format and the hospital admin’s name and spelling of his name are wrong. Smith confirmed he created it by jumping in to defend the technical problems with his invention. He should have insisted he didn’t know about any kerning or fonts, he just knew what the clerk gave him when he handed her the $5000. But he just couldn’t stand to let the criticism of his work go unanswered.

    I fully understand that evidence of him never having been to Kenya is not necessary in order to debunk the document, just as I also realise that evidence of him never having been to Kenya in the first place would remove any necessity to argue technicalities of the document’s appearance with him or others (unless he were ever to change his story as to how it came into his possession)……but in the latter scenario, a remark that the deficiencies of the document “don’t matter” wouldn’t be my first choice of words to preface my observations that there was no evidence of Kenyan travel in his passport.

  13. avatar
    kimba April 1, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Judge Mental: a remark that the deficiencies of the document “don’t matter” wouldn’t be my first choice of words to preface my observations that there was no evidence of Kenyan travel in his passport.

    You’re entitled to your opinion and style. I think the post about kerning and fonts did nothing but give an anti-social personality a platform from which to perform. People keep asking about the passport and he keeps coming back and egging you on. He has no shame. He’ll keep weaving his story and stalling until he’s ready to unveil the passport page he’s certainly constructing. Then he’ll have successfully moved the attention away from his POSFKBC.

    People here think they’re having a good time toying with Smith, but he’s a master manipulator and it’s my observation he’s really toying with all ya’ll. The document is a fake, I think it’s better to leave it at that.

  14. avatar
    Sef April 1, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    kimba: The document is a fake, I think it’s better to leave it at that.

    It’s a genuine document attesting to a fake event.

  15. avatar
    Rickey April 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    G: Chuck Todd of MSNBC pointed that out during his interview with Trump this morning.He made quite an effort to get a word in edgewise as Trump blathered on to correct the record that birth and death notices are not advertisements, but Trump was trying to drown him out and wouldn’t listen.

    I missed that, so thanks for pointing it out. And kudos to Todd for trying to set the record straight.

  16. avatar
    Rickey April 1, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    kimba:

    People here think they’re having a good time toying with Smith, but he’s a master manipulator and it’s my observation he’s really toying with all ya’ll. The document is a fake, I think it’s better to leave it at that.

    I agree. Smith is a skilled con artist, and good con artists are experts at misdirection and stalling. Indeed, the stall is one of the hallmarks of a successful con. The victim gets strung along and strung along while the con artist figures out new ways to fleece the sucker.

    If Smith had a genuine document proving that Obama was born in Kenya, he would have had it properly authenticated by a real documents expert and some wealthy Obama-hating right-winger would have paid a bundle for it.

    Instead, Smith is left begging for scraps of attention on blogs such as this one.

  17. avatar
    G April 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Rickey: I missed that, so thanks for pointing it out. And kudos to Todd for trying to set the record straight.

    Wow, if you liked that, you need to watch this link to Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC addressing the issue. (Hat Tip to Patrick at BadFiction for bringing attention to the video in his latest blog entry):

    http://badfiction.typepad.com/badfiction/2011/03/dispatches-from-birtherstan-1-april-2011.html

    This segment by him is one of the best and most detailed debunkings of Trump and Birtherism in the mainstream media to date. The only other one that has come close is Anderson Cooper, but I think this segment hits the new gold standard for well-researched reporting and debunking on this issue. Truly a MUST WATCH and I daresay, worthy of its own blog post by Dr. C:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/42367869#42367869

  18. avatar
    kimba April 2, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    G: Wow, if you liked that, you need to watch this link to Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC addressing the issue.

    What Larry’s segment showed me is the MSM did the research and has the information that could bust birtherism if they wanted to. There’s no way his show researchers pulled that together recently. NBC already had it. The full newspaper pages! I’d never seen that before. In just 4 minutes, he devastated the birth announcement myth. I’m willing to bet NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and CNN have the evidence to debunk all the myths, from “adopted in Indonesia” to “travel ban to Pakistan”, they just haven’t chosen to report it yet. They have no reason, birtherism is titillating, it brings eyeballs to the TV box.

    I nominate for a post about it by Doc too!

  19. avatar
    Sef April 2, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    kimba: What Larry’s segment showed me is the MSM did the research and has the information that could bust birtherism if they wanted to.There’s no way his show researchers pulled that together recently.NBC already had it.The full newspaper pages!I’d never seen that before. In just 4 minutes, he devastated the birth announcement myth.I’m willing to bet NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and CNN have the evidence to debunk all the myths, from “adopted in Indonesia” to “travel ban to Pakistan”, they just haven’t chosen to report it yet. They have no reason, birtherism is titillating, it brings eyeballs to the TV box.

    I nominate for a post about it by Doc too!

    Good point. I bet that even TMZ has the info in their files.

  20. avatar
    Gregory April 2, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    Not to split hairs, but there were indeed advertisements in two local papers announcing Obama’s birth. An “advertisement” does not need to be commercial in nature. An advertisement can simply be “a public notice, especially in print.”