Fox News appears to have another "birther" on its payroll. On his Twitter and Facebook pages, Fox News Radio anchor and reporter Todd Starnes has cast doubt on the validity of President Barack Obama's birth certificate. Starnes also attacks liberals, Democratic politicians and Muslims on his pages.
In a January 15 post on his Facebook author page, Starnes -- who also is a "contributor on FOX & Friends, Hannity and FOX Nation" -- wrote: "Watching the Miss America Pageant. Would've been entertaining to see Miss Hawaii introduce herself as: 'Aloha, I'm Miss Hawaii -- birthplace of President Barack Obama -- we think.' "
On his Twitter account on January 18, Starnes linked to a WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi -- a proponent of the conspiracy theory that Obama was actually born in Kenya -- and wrote: "HI govenor can't find Obama's birth certificate http://bit.ly/eQHe6k Ahem..." Media Matters addressed Corsi's flawed reporting here.
In October, Starnes tweeted: "U know, POTUS could put all this birther talk to rest by throwing a whole hog in the White House smoker...Just saying...."
In a September tweet, Starnes contrasted reporting about Christine O'Donnell with Obama, writing: "So reporters who ask about witches are just doing their job but those who ask to see a birth certificate are nutjobs?" Both PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org have thoroughly debunked questions and claims about Obama's birth certificate.
I sent Starnes two emails asking for clarification about whether he believes President Obama has a valid birth certificate and was born in the United States. Starnes did not reply. After I emailed him a link referring to his January 15 Facebook post, the privacy setting on his author page changed from "open" to "Closed: Limited public content. Members can see all content."
Starnes identifies heavily with conservatives, and openly criticizes liberals, Democratic politicians and Muslims, among others. A sample of Starnes' recent tweets:
- January 9, Starnes wrote to Andrew Breitbart: "go get 'em, andrew!"
- January 6: "i wouldn't be surprised if we see a time when traditional marriage is labeled a hate crime."
- January 5: "I am growing very tired of my money getting redistributed to people with flat screen tv's."
- December 26: "I've advised all my liberal neighbors to burn their copies of Al Gore's book to stay warm during the blizzard."
- November 27: "Another Muslim tries to blow us up -- I know, I know -- it's entirely coincidental..."
- November 19: "Imagine if TSA ran security at the US Capitol -- 'Uh, no Mr. Frank -- only we do the touching.' "
- November 3: "Can't wait to see Speaker Pelosi's true response to the mid-terms -- once the botox wears off."
- October 28: "Researchers discover gene that causes liberalism http://fxn.ws/dnLJON does that mean there's a cure?"
- September 10: "Remebering [sic] those who died at the hands of those who profess allegiance to a 'peaceful" religion.'"
Starnes isn't the only Fox News personality to dip his toes in the birther water. As Media Matters has documented, former CNN host Lou Dobbs repeatedly advanced false conspiracy theories about Obama's birth certificate; Thomas McInerney, a Fox News military analyst, appeared in an affidavit to express support for an Army officer who refused to obey orders from Obama because of his birth certificate; host Sean Hannity has repeatedly promoted and defended birthers; and Fox Nation has promoted birther stories using picture of Obama in Somali clothes.