How Became Part Of Liberal Conspiracy To Push The Birther "Distraction"

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

For conservatives, it never gets old. It's 2012 and Obama's dedicated media foes are still writing about his possible foreign birthplace.

But now, in a confusing twist, conservatives are demanding the mainstream press pay great attention to the latest Kenya-related blip-of-a-revelation, that a 21-year-old publishing pamphlet not meant for public distribution erroneously claimed that Obama had been born in Kenya. (The author of the pamphlet insists it was a simple mistake.) One Breitbart blogger is now insisting that the press take this story very, very seriously and follow it up with detailed reports. And if journalists don't, well, that's just proof that the liberal media is covering for Obama.

Please note that up until very recently, conservatives were making the exact opposite claim. You'll recall that birtherism, according to some right-wing pundits, was a liberal media conspiracy and the only reason the story lived on was because the Obama-loving press wouldn't stop writing about it in hopes of making the president's opponents look like "right-wing nutjob kooks." (Hint: They didn't need any help.)

The claim, of course, was pure fiction. Last year, it was Fox News that went all-in on the birther story and gave Donald Trump a national platform to embarrass himself with his birth certificate expedition.

Nonetheless, right-wing commentators were in heated agreement: Talk of Obama's birthplace was a deliberate "distraction" cooked up by the press and the White House to keep people's minds off the real issues of the day.

If so, then is now part of that vast left-wing conspiracy, as the site has morphed into a clearinghouse this week with scores of blog posts about burning questions that surround Obama's birthplace. Or at least the burning question that surrounds a 1991 pamphlet that mentioned his birthplace.

Team Breitbart is making all the strenuous claim that by raising questions about Obama being listed as "Born in Kenya" on an old publishing pamphlet, and blogging about the topic incessantly, they're not wallowing in birtherism. But it's a distinction without a difference, really. Either you purposefully feed this conspiratorial jibberish or you don't.

This week there has been lots of feeding going on and naturally it's been loudly promoted by professional birthers, such as Joseph Farah, who heralded the Breitbart pamphlet story as a "breakthrough." (Although Farah was upset the Breitbart crew was "still reticent about publishing this blockbuster for fear of being labeled 'birthers.'") contributor Pam Geller also held up the pamphlet story as validation of her previous birther nonsense.

Last year, Karl Rove and Bill O'Reilly, two birther non-believers, were lamenting the story's astonishing staying power when Rove noted, "Every moment that conservatives talk about this, they marginalize and diminish themselves in the minds of independent voters."

Rove and others please take note, it wasn't the liberal media or the Obama White House that forced the entire right-wing blogosphere to, once again, wallow in questions about Obama's birthplace this week. That dubious distinction came from within the heart of the conservative movement,

UPDATED: According to a Breitbart post today, the press is now ignoring, or covering up, the site's birther scoop. So, last year the press protected Obama by hyping the birther story. Now the press is protecting Obama by not hyping the birther story.


Joseph Farah
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