I’m not sure quite what’s up. Just now when I tried to access BirtherReport.com, I got a message: “This website is temporarily unavailable, please try again later.” I was able to access later. Commenter Lupin says that typing “birther report” into Google doesn’t return the site, and I confirmed that BR isn’t on the first page of results for its name (although this site is on the first page for it 😳 ).
Any time one writes about BR, the difficulty centers on its lack of editorial content. Most articles are just a photo and a headline, or a reprint of what someone else says. But we all struggle to come up with something to write about.
BR’s technical problems aren’t terribly interesting, but their factual problems are meat and potatoes for birther debunkers. Here was one very confusing headline:
No, you didn’t miss a major editorial shift at NBC News towards nuttiness. Pete Williams, pictured above, is indeed the justice correspondent at NBC News. BR then cites Williams’ report:
Williams, who teaches at the Catholic University law school, has registered to run as a write-in candidate for the Republican nomination in nine states for the sole purpose of challenging the credentials of the man he calls “Canadian Cruz.”
He claims Cruz “has fraudulently represented himself as constitutionally qualified for the office of president…”
One has to figure out on their own, and perhaps it’s not that hard, that the report by Pete Williams is about Victor Williams. So NBC News didn’t report that Ted Cruz became a naturalized citizen in 2014, but rather that Victor Williams made this claim.
Speaking of law professor Victor Williams, BR has another headline:
BR has no content of its own, but rather republishes a press release by Williams from April 8 (prior to his loss in New Jersey) where Williams says that Cruz risks disqualification. The press release doesn’t actually say that Williams plans to challenge Cruz in 8 states, but it links to Williams’ write-in campaign web site, where he does: California, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. (Yes, I know that’s nine.)
Not satisfied challenging the eligibility of Ted Cruz to be president, Williams is also challenging the appointment of “Judge” (quotes from Williams) Masin. According to Williams, Jeff Masin was especially appointed to hear the Cruz case, rather than a random judge. Williams said:
Mr. Masin began the hearing acknowledging that he had “been recalled” and appointed to the case because of his past experience with the natural-born citizen issue.
Williams objects to the title of “judge” as applied to Masin because he is an administrative law judge (a member of the executive branch of the state) rather than the judiciary; however, the New Jersey statute that creates the administrative law authority calls them “judges.” Interested readers can read Williams’s claim of impropriety and bias here.
Read more on Victor Williams:
- Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and a Disrupted Electoral College: High Unfavorable Ratings, Multi-Candidate General Election Ballots, and Pursuing the ‘Art of the Deal’ with Free-Agent Electors in December 2016 – SSRN (2015)
- DisruptiveJustice.org – Founded by Williams
- Williams page at Catholic University Columbus School of Law with list of publications
Birther Report has a third article with little content:
What struck me about this is that BR never picked up on the quote by President Obama last November where he said in a speech to Organizing for Action: “I may hold this office for another 14 months. But I’m not going anywhere. I’m gonna keep on going as long as you’ll have me.” That audio clip was rebroadcast by National Public Radio yesterday. Surely BR could have spun that hay into birther gold.
Obama’s quote in the BR article is verified in an Associated Press report:
He noted that he will no longer be president in 10 months. “But in 10 months I will, contrary to Mr. Trump’s opinion, still be a citizen of the United States,” Obama said, recalling Trump’s past attempts to cast doubt on Obama’s citizenship because the president’s father was Kenyan.