Batboy Could Not be Reached for Comment
The risible conspiracy theories about President-elect Barack Obama’s American heritage never really reached the mainstream media. There were some local news reports on the lawyers behind frivolous anti-Obama lawsuits, and some coverage of the first suit that the Supreme Court declined to hear, and that was it.
Lucky for the Obama conspiracy theorists— “birthers,” as they hate to be called—supermarket tabloids haven’t gotten bored yet. The Globe tabloid has put the Obama conspiracies on its front page for the second time in a month. In its mid-December cover package, the American Media tabloid quoted two-time Obama opponent Alan Keyes (once in a U.S. Senate race, and in 2008 as a fringe presidential candidate) as an authority on Obama’s family history.
Particularly telling is the fact that not one single person has come forward—not a doctor, not a nurse, not a hospital administrator, nor anyone else—to state that he or she was present [during Obama's birth].
This week’s cover hooked an even smaller fish—Phil Berg, a notorious filer of junk lawsuits (two against the Bush administration for its “role” in 9/11), and whose multiple attempts to get the Supreme Court to nullify the election (based on phony evidence of document forgery and “witnesses” to Obama’s birth) have been laughed off.
What’s the Globe have to gain? Sales, obviously. The paper’s cover stories on Obama conspiracy theories are its most-linked and most-discussed. And the stories are written by staffers like Paul Bannister with weasel language (“the suits claim” … “outraged people claim”) that protect them from libel suits.
And it’s not like the Obama birthers are hard to string along. They spent New Years eve buzzing that Ed Hale, a host on far-right Plains Radio, was going to reveal a “divorce decree” for Obama parents that revealed, once and for all, that Obama’s 18-year-old mother had flown to Kenya to be with her husband’s unapproving family when her child was born. Hale made his announcement on December 30. The “proof” arrived on December 31. On January 1, Hale announced that his hard-won secret documents revealed… well, nothing. Not that people should stop listening to the Plains Radio roster of Obama conspiracy talk shows!
On the December 26 episode of The Lion’s Den, Hale told listeners that it would be “time to pick up guns” if Congress verified Obama’s victory, as it will do on January 6.