Today in an online chat, Washington Post reporter Ben Pershing was asked why “birthers” and other conspiracy theorists such as those claiming that former top Clinton White House aide Vince Foster was murdered “get play on the real media” while others such as the “9/11 Truthers” don’t. But instead of denouncing the birther nonsense, Pershing appeared to justify the mainstream media’s attention on this (non)issue:
Ben Pershing: Perhaps because there is an actual videotape of the planes hitting the World Trade Center that billions of people around the world have seen, while there is no videotape of Obama being born in Hawaii or Vince Foster committing suicide.
Also, for what this is worth, there is no bill in Congress declaring 9/11 to have been a giant conspiracy. But there is a bill in the House calling for presidential candidates to provide proof of citizenship. And there was a congressional investigation of Foster’s death.
While it is unclear how video of Obama’s birth would prove he was born in Hawaii (do doctors and nurses who deliver babies in Hawaii wear leis?), actual proof (birth certificate and birth announcement in local newspapers) exists. That should be enough.
Pershing wrote to ThinkProgress informing us that later in the chat, a reader asked him about his comment:
New York: “there is no videotape of Obama being born”
Same goes for every single president in the history of this country. Yet Obama is the only one who has been doubted and the only one who has ever been asked to prove his nationality. Wonder why.
Ben Pershing: I agree. Was being facetious.
Also, who’d want to watch a videotape of Obama being born?