How not to report on Birtherism

28 Apr 2011 07:44 pm
Posted by: Donna

First, there’s the headline: “Obama’s birth certificate doesn’t end speculation” I realize reporters don’t usually pick headlines so I’m not faulting writer MaryEllen Resendez for that but this lede suggests that the post birth certificate release speculation is reasonable and not pure and utter racist batshittery, not to mention moving goalposts. But I’d be willing to let that slide if not for the inexusably shoddy journalism displayed here:

That may be the case, as now Obama’s father’s citizenship is being called into question.

“Obama is born to two parents, one of a foreign nation i.e. Britain and may have bifurcated dual citizenship which by definition is not natural born citizenship,” said Seel.

Seel added, if the President’s father was not a U.S. citizen when he was born in Hawaii, that would make the President a naturalized citizen, not natural born.

And that’s it. No follow-up and no fact checking. Seel is flat wrong here. That President Barack Obama is a natural born citizen of the United States is not a matter of opinion or interpretation. It is not he said, she said. It is established legal precedent. President Obama, having been born in the state of Hawaii in 1961, is a natural born citizen and that is a fact. The provenance of his parents is irrelevant since neither were foreign diplomats. He’s a natural born American citizen and he proved it years ago with the legal copy of his Hawaii birth certificate. It is inexcusable for ABC15 to allow Seel to make a crackpot assertion about “bifurcated citizenship” and not set the record straight for readers.

1 Comment(s)

  1. Comment by Michael Bryan on April 28, 2011 10:40 pm

    Actually, the United States recognizes two types of “natural born” citizenships: those born in US territory are citizens regardless of their parentage, and those who are born to at least one American parent (irrespective of where they are born in the world). If Obama was born in HI (as he was) he is natural born both ways. Even if he was born in Kenya (which he was not) or even on the Moon, his mother was indisputably American, which also means he’s a natural born citizen and eligible to be President. There is not just no issue as to Obama’s birthplace, there is no possible issue as to his citizenship because he was born to an American.

    Rep. Seel is a total idiot and simply wrong about the nature of American citizenship. These people should be absolutely excoriated by an responsible media – which says volumes about America’s corporate media.

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