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Trump and Birther Revisionism

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Donald Trump has been a consistent proponent of the loony conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was born in Africa. He is by far the most prominent birther. Despite the campaign statement he’s told the press to ignore, he still is. So we have a media test: any reporter or pundit who says that Donald Trump has renounced birtherism is a massive hack. And anyone who says that Trump is no longer a birther but Hillary Clinton is should be fired.
…heckuva job, cable news!

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  • NewishLawyer
    • I initially read this as “Jason Voorhees is not buying it” and became momentarily excited.

      .

      • veleda_k

        Same here.

      • LeeEsq

        That’s certainly one solution to our political problems.

  • NewishLawyer
    • Charlie S

      I’m curious why you say that. The article seems to take Trump to task.

    • ochospantalones

      That doesn’t seem very hackish to me. The lede isn’t exactly High Broderism:

      You’d think this wouldn’t be too hard a question: Was Barack Obama, the president of the United States, born in the United States? On the one hand, there’s a thick stack of documentation, from official records to newspaper announcements to eyewitnesses. On the other, there’s no evidence and a great deal of racism.

      Later:

      The statement is a remarkable farrago of falsehood and frivolity.

      Concluding:

      That’s the vise Trump has set for himself. When a campaign is constructed on a foundation of racist dogwhistling, it’s hard to disavow racist dogwhistles.

  • CP

    Has Trump actually said that he’s not a Birther anymore, or is this just media projecting their wishes onto him again?

    • Alex.S

      This is his entire statement-

      Now, not to mention her in the same breath, but Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it. You know what I mean. President Barack Obama was born in the United States period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again. Thank you. Thank you very much.

      He then fled from the press.

      • Alex.S

        Note: This was after a 25 minute infomercial on how awesome Trump’s hotel was. Following this is a photographer and cameraman (but no press) touring the hotel.

      • This has to be a problem for him. The corporate media, stooges though they are, cannot fail to point out that he was calling the birth certificate a fraud as recently as last year and refused to say that Obama was born in the U.S.A. until today. Also that the canard did not, in fact, originate with the Clinton campaign.

        At the same time, his followers will feel betrayed. Maybe he could shoot somebody on 5th Ave. and not lose any votes, but this has got to hurt.

        • Joe_JP

          This has to be a problem for him.

          One hopes so. I’m curious how things will go in the final month and a half, the sprint to Election Day.

        • Captain Oblivious

          This will make zero difference to any voter. Only the press and poli bloggers care.

          Racist wingnuts (yeah, that’s redundant) will vote for whoever is running against whoever is the Dem nom. They’ve already brushed off Trump’s utter moral depravity, his lies about everything, his waffling on key issues, and his connections with crime figures and foreign governments. They’ll rationalize this away just as easily.

          • randy khan

            I don’t think the statement itself will make any difference to a lot of voters. I think the press reaction – based on what I’ve seen so far – may be much more important. As a group, they seem to be using this to pivot to the point that Trump always lies. And, honestly, part of it is that he used the event to publicize his new hotel and then ran out all of those veterans, rather than doing what he said he was going to do (which, apparently, included a promise to take questions). They’re ticked off (and he was stupid enough to time it so that the Sunday gab shows would end up talking about it). That’s a big deal.

          • Brad Nailer

            Sad, but true.

            Talk to your TrumpFriends, listen to Kellyanne Conway: Nothing that appears in the press will change people’s minds. They have an answer for everything.

            • Brad Nailer

              And that answer will invariably be, “But Clinton is worse, and let me tell you how.”

        • CP

          The corporate media, stooges though they are, cannot fail to point out

          The corporate media: “Challenge accepted!”

      • Yes, we know what he means.

      • John F

        I dunno, it may be enough for him to lose the Orly Taitz vote…

  • NewishLawyer
    • NonyNony

      The surprising thing in that story was this tweet from Patrick Reis:

      CNN first to cut away, anchor explains CNN got duped into covering event’s open.

      That has got to be a first, right?

      • cleek

        CNN first to cut away, anchor explains CNN got duped into covering celebrity huckster’s entire campaign.

        /in a parallel universe

      • BiloSagdiyev

        I wish they would cut away to footage of Mussolini, and a horse’s ass. I suspect Woody Allen would grant them the rights for that.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kW5y7RM4BuE

          Refresher training, the Mussolini/horse scene is at 1:35:26. I had misremembered it as a horse’s ass.

          Journalistic objectivity requires that they do such montages for Donald.

  • On the front page, CNN.com asks, “Death of Birtherism?” and the story headline is, “Trump: ‘President Barack Obama was born in the United States'”

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/15/politics/donald-trump-obama-birther-united-states/index.html

  • Hayden Arse

    I’m waiting for the flood of “Clinton’s failure to hold a press conference and be as up front as Trump on this critical issue is another example of her untrustworthy nature.” articles.

    • rea

      The actual headline I saw (as I pointed out in another thread) was “Clinton Slams Trump with Harsh Word”

  • DrDick

    Frankly any “journalist” who does not say that Trump is an insane, fascist hatemonger who is unfit for public office is committing journalistic malpractice.

    • LosGatosCA

      That’s the absolute truth.

      I think today’s bait and switch with the press may have pushed the media over the edge.

      But it’s hard to beat addiction:

      When you know she’s no high climber then you find your only friend
      In a room with your two timer, and you’re sure you’re near the end
      Then you love a little wild one, and she brings you only sorrow
      All the time you know she’s smilin’ you’ll be on your knees tomorrow, yeah

      You go back, Jack, do it again, wheel turinin’ ’round and ’round
      You go back, Jack, do it again

      • (((Hogan)))

        He’s never early, he’s always late
        First thing you learn is you always gotta wait
        I’m waiting for my man

        • postmodulator

          There she goes, there she goes again. She calls my name, pulls my train. No one else could heal my pain, and I just can’t contain this feeling that remains.

  • anonymous

    If they had to bet their life on it, vast majority of birthers would admit that the evidence overwhelmingly shows Obama was born in Hawaii.

    Birtherism was always a troll operation to antagonize Obama supprters. But in their hearts they knew it was rubbish. It was never intellectually honest.

    • Karen24

      I wish I could agree with you. The ones I know were completely convinced he was Kenyan. I actually pointed out that Kenya was still a British protectorate in 1961, so Obama would have had Commonwealth, aka English, citizenship had he been born there. (Kenya became independent on December 12, 1963.) That didn’t matter. He was Not White, which was enough of an indictment.

      • so-in-so

        Short of mind reading or hypnosis, it’s hard to determine they are “completely convinced” as opposed to “committed to the alternative way of calling him the ‘n’ word”.

        More to the point is the old saw about being hard to argue someone out of a position he didn’t think himself into in the first place.

        • Karen24

          That’s a good summary of their opinion. The important part was that he wasn’t One Of Us and everything else followed from that.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        It seems like it was eight years ago, I remember thinking, “Oh geez, when they find out that his mother was a WHITE WOMAN who got knocked up by THE BLACK MAN”, they’re going to flip the fuck out.

        I posit that they have flipped the fuck out, but never said that directly. But I’m sure it’s a log on their mental bonfire.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      Then there’s the segment who insist that Hawaii never became a state because of some missing punctuation mark in a document.

      They’re closely related to the ones who claim the fact the flag has a fringe invalidates the Constitution, or something.

    • Brad Nailer

      Lawrence O’Donnell said last night that the debate moderators should ask Trump about those agents he sent to Hawaii who “couldn’t believe what they were finding” about Obama’s birth certificate. What did they find? Who were these agents? Und so weiter.

      He’s right of course, but I’ll take bets on that not happening.

  • PotemkinMetropolitanRegion

    NYT news alert:

    “Donald Trump Backed Off Birther Claims: ‘President Barack Obama was born in the US, period.'”

    Jesus Christ

    • lunaticllama

      At least in the article they say that Trump’s claim that HRC started the birther thing is false:

      Mr. Trump also falsely accused Hillary Clinton of having first raised questions about Mr. Obama’s birthplace during the 2008 Democratic primary.
      . . .
      During the 2008 Democratic contest, Mrs. Clinton’s senior strategist at one point pondered, in an internal memo that was later leaked, the ways in which Mr. Obama’s personal background differed from many Americans. But contrary to Mr. Trump’s assertion, neither Mrs. Clinton nor her campaign ever publicly questioned Mr. Obama’s citizenship or birthplace, in Hawaii.

      No “stretching the truth” this time, which I suppose is an improvement.

      • LeoFromChicago

        NPR is doing the same thing — saying that Trump’s claims about Clinton are ‘false’.

        Kind of incredible.

      • Davis

        More than that, from what I’ve read, she herself rejected that possible strategy. Mark Penn wrote the memo.

    • Thom

      They have a “news analysis” piece headlined “Unwinding a Lie: Donald Trump’s Long Embrace of Birtherism.” Below that , a piece “Trump Drops Claim but falsely accuses Clinton of starting it.”

      • Thom

        Even CNN.com is reporting it this way.

  • Alex.S

    The Trump campaign’s press pool (the reporters who follow the campaign for individual media organizations and go to all the events) just voted to erase the tape of the “hotel tour”.

    • LosGatosCA

      Even the stenographing click whores have their limits, however ridiculously soft they might be.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        I’ll believe they’ve changed if they don’t come crawling back tomorrow on their knees saying they’re sorry.

  • Nick never Nick

    Trump’s method is chaos . . . (chaos mixed with hotel promotion, that is). Sure, this event is probably going to spark a certain amount of revulsion in the press, particularly since it has been heavily criticized lately for not doing its job. So, Trump is going to be pounded a bit.

    Trump’s response will be this. 1) make fun of the media for criticizing him AFTER he agrees with them that Obama was born in America. And, the kicker, he’ll be correct. They let the racist stuff slide for years; now they’re pissed because Trump makes them look like morons for ignoring that. So it’ll be “What are they griping about? I just said what pretty much everyone agrees with, NOW I’m getting flack?”

    2) Word salad against Clinton, with a few vague non-factual facts thrown in that will be drawn from various heated parts of the 2008 campaign. The media will feel compelled to check these out.

  • junker

    “Trump, Clinton disagree on whether Clinton started birther conspiracy.”

    • Snuff curry

      Yes, who can say? Not the people with evidence, anyway, because much like that birth certificate, one in three choosy moms are Asking Questions and producing Shadows of Doubt, or some such.

      I would love it if during one of the earliest debates somebody coaxed Trump into advancing this conspiracy theory about HRC being mother to birtherism so that they can ask him why–given that he is not and cannot dispute his role in popularizing the paranoia, only that he is not author to it– he thinks he was so easily led astray by a mere woman and whether this is a sign that he is too weak-willed to become POTUS, that he’ll become a puppet for Big Government rather than the outsider cum maverick he positions himself as.

  • Denverite

    OT post request — can we get a Lemieux post about Buffalo’s decision to fix its serious and deteriorating defensive problems by firing its offensive coordinator?

    • Rob Patterson

      Yeah OK but their offense has also sucked and NFL coaches generally don’t fire themselves (or their twin brothers).

      Everyone has their sports pet peeves; mine is handing off up the middle from a tight formation on 4th and inches.

      • Denverite

        Not to engage in an off topic discussion (I was just requesting a post!) but they were a top 10-12 offense last year (depending on what you’re looking at) and they just put up 31 points last night.

        • Rob Patterson

          They had one defensive TD and one TD in garbage time Thursday, so more like 17-ish points. They were bad on Thursday and atrocious last Sunday (160 yds. total offense). I don’t disagree that the defense was much worse, that the offense was decent or good last year, or that Rex Ryan is an idiot.

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