Letter from the Editor 

Finding hypocrisy in politics isn't difficult, but it's seldom been easier to point out than in the recent case of U.S. Army Maj. Stephen Cook. Cook has refused orders to redeploy to a war zone with his unit, because he believes President Obama was born in Kenya, which would mean he is not a natural-born U.S. citizen and unqualified to be president. Cook is what's come to be called a "birther."

click to enlarge obama-birth-certificate.jpg

Nevermind that Obama's birth certificate was certified as genuine by the state of Hawaii or that it's on the Internet or that the local hospital has confirmed his birth or that his birth notice was in both Honolulu papers a day after he was born. (A look at FactCheck.org or Snopes.com confirms all of this.) In Birther World, everyone's in on the cover-up, including fact-checking websites, and until Obama "produces" his birth certificate, he's an alien.

It's a no-win situation, and the administration has wisely avoided engaging these morons. I have no doubt that if Obama walked on stage with a copy in his hand and passed it around, birthers would say it was fake.

It's pretty nutty stuff, but there always have been loonies and conspiracy theorists among us. It's a proud American tradition. So if some whackos want to believe that a Honolulu hospital and two newspapers were somehow in on a conspiracy to falsify a child's birth announcement in 1961, there's not much any of us can do about it.

What really bothers me is, as I said, the hypocrisy. When some U.S. soldiers advocated withdrawal from Iraq a couple years back, Rush Limbaugh labeled them "phony soldiers." Several Fox News pundits, including Ann Coulter, called them "traitors." When decorated war veteran Representative John Murtha raised objections to the Iraq war, Coulter said he should be "fragged." Now, Cook is refusing deployment to a war zone. Surely, that's a phony soldier's traitorous act, worthy of fragging, right?

Nope. Instead, Fox News has been broadcasting at least one birther story every day. (A recent one featured an accompanying picture of Obama in native Kenya garb, taken during a trip to Africa a few years back.) Cook is treated as a patriot, standing up for what he believes. The suits at Fox must believe that the more credence they can lend to this absurd story, the better their ratings. As I said, there have always been loonies and conspiracy theorists among us — they just never had their own "news" network before.

Comments (20)

Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-20 of 20

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

News Blog

Bike, Pedestrian Projects Win $2.2M in Grants

The BruceV Blog

Your Weekly Danziger

Tiger Blue

#15 Cincinnati 87, Tigers 74

Fly On The Wall Blog

Conservatives Have an Identity Problem. It's Called Their Identity

News Blog

Start Seeing Trolleys (But Not Ride Them)

Hungry Memphis

All-day Breakfast Bar, More, Planned for S. Main

News Blog

Memphis Pets of the Week (Feb. 23-March 1)

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

  • Vendor in the Grass

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks. — William Shakespeare

    Is there such a thing as "bad activism"? I'm asking because I'm seeing a lot of criticism of the folks who are protesting the Memphis Zoo's encroachment onto the Greensward at Overton Park.

    • Mar 31, 2016
  • Serious Christians

    What is the picture on your computer's desktop screen? Your kids? Your dog? Maybe a memorable vacation photo? Mine is a shot I took one October morning in 2012 as I was about to wade into the Little Red River. A mist is coming off the water, lit golden by a rising sun. The streamside trees are glowing yellow and red and that pale, dry green that says autumn is here. The photo captures everything I like about being on a stream. I put it on my computer so I'd see it each morning when I began to work — a reminder of the beauty that's so easy to lose sight of in the hustle of everyday life ...
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • Memphis Makes a Change

    So, Memphis has a new mayor-elect. While many people were surprised at last week's election results, those with access to various local political insiders were not. Polling numbers had been bandied about sotto voce for weeks, numbers that suggested Jim Strickland had a substantial lead over two-term incumbent A C Wharton. But none of the polling numbers I heard suggested a result in which Strickland would basically double Wharton's percentage of the total vote ...

    • Oct 15, 2015
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation