I’ve mentioned below how Conservapedia have leaped back onto the Birther Bandwagon, but no discussion about the Birther debate would be complete without having a look at the right-wing nutters over at World Net Daily. Now this little bastion of insanity, featuring such literary luminaries as Joseph Farah (a man who looks as if he makes a living smuggling caterpillars on his top lip), Pat Boone (yes, that Pat Boone), and noted ass-kicker and plagiarist, Chuck Norris, really has a thing about Obama – especially his birth certificate.
These guys leaped onto the Birther Bandwagon, the way shore-leave sailors leap into whorehouses. So much so, in fact, that Farah spent money (possibly his own, more likely donations from gullible readers) to erect “Where’s the certificate?” billboards. Which just goes to show that the rabid right aren’t above being a blight on the landscape to make a point. To illustrate just how much WND cares about the certificate, here’s their main page from 1st May:
The top 14 stories ALL deal with the birth certificate, or Obama’s eligibility in one form or another. As far as WND is concerned, there is no other news happening in the world. Talk about obsessive! Still, this obsession needs to be paid for, and if you scroll a bit further down the page, you come across adverts such as:
- $500,000 of term coverage for less than $22 per month
- Learn fallout survival skills (Japanese reactor crisis renews interest in radiation preparation)
- Save up to 42% on healthy long-term food storage 25-year shelf life, emergency kits, survival items, MREs, 1000+ products! (perfect for those right wingers planning to retreat to their fortified compounds!)
- Eat this and the fat pours out of you!
- I had high blood pressure – now I don’t in 3 weeks! Rare natural nutrients flush plaque from arteries helping to lower BP
And so on. He’s even touted books on the New World Order. So, Farah isn’t above selling snake oil, if it keeps his – and his acolyte’s – rantings on the web. And it’s to one of these acolytes that I now turn my attention. However, to give the devil his due, Farah did at least tear Conservapedia and Andrew Schlafly a new arsehole, over their heretical Conservative Bible Project. And if Farah thinks you’re way out there, that’s saying something.
Jerome Corsi is a regular writer on WND, who also has a habit of writing books that cash in on the right-wing paranoia of the moment – starting with John Kerry’s military career (a book judged unfit for bookstores and “not helping the Republican cause”), and culminating so far in a book about the missing birth certificate, called (imaginatively) “Where’s the Birth Certificate.” Now there’s a few things worth noting about this – firstly, it’s being marketed through WND, so Farah has an interest in promoting it – indeed, it’s mentioned at least 4 times on the main page, and three times in a single article by Farah on the birth certificate. They also go on to tout him as the “Number 1 best selling author” and “the nation’s No. 1 best-selling author” – although the latter is admittedly in an attempt to sell tickets for WND’s Alaskan cruise – a trip which is already being hailed as the “worst vacation ever.”
Now it seems that Corsi’s book was number 1 on Amazon… back in December 2010. However, with a May 17 release date looming, there’s no sign of it on the Amazon bestsellers list, or even their hot new releases list. Not surprising really, seeing as the President has finally released his birth certificate, hoping that it would silence the rabid right, for once and for all. Given that WND even claimed “Obama’s Presidency won’t survive publication of book’s information,” it’s no wonder they don’t want it to go down the tubes. No that one demand had been met, taking the wind out of their sails, they made another – “Show us the kindergarten records!” I wish I was kidding, I really wish I was…
Of course not. Almost immediately, WND issues a demand to see his other records, starting with kindergarten and working up from there. First of all Farah leaps up claiming “It’s settled! Obama’s ineligible!” because his father was Kenyan and thus Obama has Kenyan citizenship and can’t be a naturally born citizen. It’s the same logic Schlafly’s borrowing and by their standards, the first few US Presidents probably wouldn’t qualify either. He also conveniently forgets that Obama’s mother was a US citizen and would thus confer US citizenship on him. Essentially, it’s just a long way of saying ‘He’s black, we don’t want him as our President.”
Corsi, on the other hand, faces a different problem. His much-hyped (well on WND anyway) book is suddenly null and void, because there is a birth certificate. So his plan now is to try and discredit the certificate, essentially calling it fraudulent, but not in so many words. To do this, he compares the Obama certificate against that of twins born in the hospital around the same time.
He starts off by asking the question, “is whether the Obama birth record the White House released Wednesday is an authentic photocopy of an original 1961 vital record or a modern-day forgery?”, before listing a number of differences in formatting and content, before raising questions about other marks on the Obama certificate. Now this is the typical tactic of “jaxing” – Just Asking Questions – but his aim is to call the certificate into doubt. I’m sure the fact that he has a vested interest in promoting his book, is purely coincidental.
However, one of the “differences” he raises, was so nonsensical, that I felt I had to comment on it. Corsi says about the birth certificates:
In the Nordyke twins’ birth certificate, in Box 20, “Date Accepted by Local Reg.” and Box 22, “Date Accepted by Reg. General,” the date is stamped “AUG 11 1961,” while the date is stamped on Obama’s birth certificate as “AUG -8 1961,” with a dash before the middle number designating the day.
Now this was such a silly thing to bring up, that I thought it worth mentioning, in my usual diplomatic, polite style. So I fired off an e-mail, in which I mentioned that the “-” was merely the placeholder for the tens unit on the rubber stamp, and that if he was going to such lengths to nitpick, would had to wonder if he had an ulterior motive. Then I sat back and waited for a reply from “the nation’s No. 1 best-selling author” – not really expecting anything, as in true conservative style they had never replied to any of my previous mails – such as the one to the moron who claimed that eating halal food was Islam’s sneaky way of getting you to pray to Allah.
To my surprise he did write back. And did not disappoint. It seems to be a conservative trait that what you cannot defend, or explain, you pass off with bluster. We’ve certainly seen enough of it from people like Conservapedia’s Brian Macdonald, and it’s comforting to know that in this regard Corsi would be write at home amongst the thugs that run Conservapedia. He reply, in full, reads:
“You rush to judgement — I noted a difference. I did not make the argument you imply I made, namely that the difference proves a forgery. Good-bye.”
Now, I never said he was proving a forgery. So it’s a bit of a guilty complex coming to the fore there methinks. Especially as he opens his article with the question “is the Obama birth record the White House released Wednesday is an authentic photocopy of an original 1961 vital record or a modern-day forgery?”
His lack of an answer, and general surliness – a tactic we are all well aware of from dealing with Conservapedia, would indicate that that’s exactly what he’s trying to do – prove a forgery.
After all, he’s got a book to sell.
And who needs integrity, when you can turn a buck?