Fox Goes Birther
Today on Fox & Friends, eccentric billionaire Donald Trump appeared to recite his intensely disturbing birther theories, as the Fox & Friends co-hosts on the curvy couch sat idly by. It wasn't exactly the first time the blatant birther crowd has been chosen to speak up about their theories on Fox News; indeed, over the past week, Fox News has relentlessly hyped Trump's recent embrace of birther conspiracy theories, with Sean Hannity going so far as to spend a week defending birthers and apparently attempting to legitimize the movement.
From the show:
DONALD TRUMP: They asked John McCain for his birth certificate. They've asked others for their birth certificate. They asked Bush for his birth certificate, by the way. I just found out over the weekend. And they would ask me for my birth certificate and by the way, it's sitting on the top of my desk. They give you a certificate of live birth, which anybody can get, just walk into the hospital, and you get a certificate of live birth. It's not even signed by people. Now, this guy either has a birth certificate or he doesn't. And I didn't think this was such a big deal, but I will tell you, it's turning out to be a very big deal because people now are calling me from all over saying, please don't give up on this issue. If you weren't born in this country, you cannot be president.
CARLSON: Do you think he was born in this country?
TRUMP: I am really concerned. And I will tell you, when this all started a week ago, I assumed, hey, look, you have no doctors that remember. You have no nurses - this is the President of the United States - that remember. That ad that was placed in the Houston paper, that was placed in the paper days after he was born. So he could have come into the country, and they did it for social reasons they put it in! They did it for whatever reason. There are a lot of reasons you could have put an ad in. But he could have been born outside of this country. Why can't he produce a birth certificate and by the way, there is one story that his family doesn't even know what hospital he was born in!
DOOCY: Yeah, I've heard that as well. Donald, before you go, what about the mainstream media counts of this dust up over the last week, where they're trying to paint you as you know the mayor of crazy town for bringing this up?
TRUMP: Well you know, it's amazing. I start off every time I talk about the birthers, I start off by saying, and it's very interesting, I was a great student at the best college in the country. You know? I want to let people know. I'm a smart guy. Because what they do to the birthers, and I don't even like the term, the birthers. I think it's unfair to them. These are people that want to see a birth certificate. They want to know that the president was born here!
CARLSON: But--But, why would you go down this path, Donald? A lot of people were asking that last week as well. Why would you decide to do this if, in fact, you decide to run for president?
TRUMP: Because if you're not born in the United States, you cannot be president. And, there is a real question. And if this birth certificate exists, you know what I get a kick out of? The Governor of Hawaii says, “I remember when he was born 50 years ago.” I doubt it. I think this guy should be investigated. I doubt it. He remembers when Obama was born? Give me a break! He's just trying to do something for his party. The fact is, if you're not born in the United States, you cannot be president. He is having a hard time -- he spent millions of dollars trying to get away from this issue, millions of dollars in legal fees trying to get away from this issue. And I'll tell you what, I brought it up just routinely and all of a sudden, a lot of facts are emerging, and I'm starting to wonder myself whether or not he was born in this country.
KILMEADE: So it's not going away in your mind. Donald Trump, who we all know was born in this country, all you have to do is read the side of his building.
DOOCY: Which one?
KILMEADE: I know! Many of--Donald, “celebrity apprentice” going well. Thank you for joining us. We look forward to this every Monday.
As seen in the transcript, Trump makes claims more outlandish than ever before, and none of the Fox & Friends co-hosts bother to correct or challenge him. They merely sit quietly as Trump goes on and on about how “unfair” the term birther is. “These are people that want to see a birth certificate,” Trump exclaimed. “They want to know that the president was born here!”
Not surprisingly, Trump's claims are easily debunked. First, his suggestion that Obama hasn't produced a birth certificate or certificate of live birth, as he said, is patently false. Obama's campaign made public a copy of Obama's certificate of live birth, which was published on the Internet by numerous media outlets. Many experts, including a team from FactCheck.org, reviewed the document in person and determined it was authentic. On July 27, 2009, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, certified that she had personally seen Obama's birth certificate in the original records maintained by the Hawaii government. In fact, it was this “certificate of live birth” that had the birthers all in a tizzy; they've been demanding for years that Obama release his “long-form” birth certificate, since they deem the certificate of live birth to be insufficient proof. So, Trump can't even get his birther talking points straight.
Further proof of this can be seen in his absurd suggestion that the Obamas planted a birth announcement in a “Houston paper...days after he was born,” conveniently giving Obama's parents plenty of time to sneak him back into the country. In fact, the Obamas placed their birth announcement in a Honolulu newspaper, not a Houston paper, and, seriously? Why would it be strange that the announcement appeared “days after he was born?” Does Trump have no idea how newspapers work? Did he expect the president's mother to write a birth announcement in advance of actually giving birth, accurately predicting the day she would have her first child, then demanding that the paper publish the announcement on that very day? Take a look at the other birth announcements published on that day's paper--all of the newly announced births took place on dates ranging from July 30 to August 6. Did all of those people, too, have their child out of the country, only to stealthily smuggle their babies back into the U.S. to then publish birth announcements in the local paper, “for social reasons?”
Trump's rant also included the idea that the president “spent millions of dollars trying to get away from this issue, millions of dollars in legal fees trying to get away from this issue.” Although it has been reported that the president has spent nearly $1.7 million in legal fees since 2007, nowhere does it say that the fees have been allotted to citizenship or birth certificate related matters. Like most of Fox News, Trump has his facts wrong.
Previously, Fox hyped Trump's birtherism, and prime-time host Sean Hannity has relentlessly promoted birther conspiracies over the past week, falsely stating that it's “not true” that Obama has shown his birth certificate in addition to holding a week-long campaign promoting the idea that the president is not a legal citizen of the United States.
The question remains - how long will this parade of Fox birther conspiracy march on? Brian Kilmeade seems to have put it best: “We look forward to this every Monday.”