Kitty Pilgrim of CNN lies, smears over Obama certificate issue (John Avlon and Errol Louis lie)
On the video from CNN at dailykostv.com/w/001945, Kitty Pilgrim attempts to "debunk" the Obama citizenship issue and shows that she's simply a dissembling mainstream media hack. The discussion features Orly Taitz and Alan Keyes on one side, and John Avlon and Errol Louis on the other. Rather than trying to get the facts of the matter, Pilgrim persistently engages in mockery, as do Avlon and Louis.
Pilgrim first leads off with a summary of the issue; here are the problems with what she says:
* She refers to Obama's "birth certificate", saying it shows he was born in Hawaii. See this for why that's misleading.
* She says the Hawaiian governor (Linda Lingle) and other officials have "backed that up". She's lying; see the only statement they've released. That statement doesn't say where Obama was born, nor does it verify that what they have on file matches what's shown on his site.
* She references the two newspaper announcements, without mentioning that neither indicated where or in which hospital Obama was born and without mentioning that no one has ever provided proof that those announcements could have only come from Obama's birth hospital.
After Pilgrim's stock and highly misleading intro, Keyes states basic, non-conspiratorial facts about this case and then Taitz mentions the Hawaiian state law that allows those born outside Hawaii to get valid Hawaiian birth certificates.
The remainder of the segment is simply childish mockery, as Pilgrim smirks at the mention of the Hawaiian law (!) and then Louis and Avlon do nothing more than fill space with smears. None of the three even attempt to make any sort of counter-argument.
If you want to do something about this, leave comments on future entries here: thedailybeast.com/author/john-avlon
UPDATE: Avlon offers a recap of his appearance at thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-07-20/the-obama-haters-next-move. In addition to a disreputable smear of Taitz, he lies:
Before going on air, Keyes had his eyes closed as if in prayer while Taitz was jumpy and pie-eyed, like a patient off her meds. Anchor Kitty Pilgrim then went through a thorough 3-1/2 minute dismantling of the Birther arguments, including the long-ago issuance of Obama’s August 1961 certificate of live birth, its validation by Hawaii’s Republican Gov. Linda Lingle, and two birth announcements published in Honolulu papers. (Both FactCheck.org and Snopes have published detailed investigations and refutations of the non-scandal.)
His "certificate of live birth" was never "validated" by Lingle. FactCheck isn't credible; see the links above. Snopes can't get their story straight on which hospital Obama was born in. (UPDATE: Also, it's a picture of a "certification of live birth", not a "certificate").
UPDATE 2: I misspelled his name as "Jon Avlon", now corrected.
7/24/09 UPDATE: I'm still trying to get the state of Hawaii to confirm this and to let me know whether they'll be asking CNN for a correction. The only thing I've received so far is the following form letter in which they indicate that it would be against their laws for her to verify that Obama was born there:
7/24/09 UPDATE: Errol Louis has moved on from just content-free ridicule to outright lying, offering "Obama's critics launch the birth of a nutty nation" (link):
The candidate's official Hawaii birth certificate was posted online, its authenticity vouched for by Hawaii officials up to and including Republican Gov. Linda Lingle (who supported Obama's opponent, Sen. John McCain)... The archives show that two different Hawaii newspapers, The Honolulu Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin, printed Obama's birth announcement in 1961... Exactly why Obama's family and/or Hawaii hospitals would take the trouble to place false notices 47 years ago is never explained.
Like Pilgrim, he's lying: Lingle never said Obama was born there. The announcements part was dealt with above; note the stock strawman argument in which he fails to come up with other explanations for those announcements.
Birthers denounce the notion that Obama was born in Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961, despite court rulings and statements by Fukino and Hawaii's Republican governor, Linda Lingle.
The letter from Lingle follows:
Governor Linda Lingle's office has received your email. We apologize for any delay in response. We strive to answer the high volume of inquiries we receive daily at the earliest possible opportunity.
We appreciate hearing from engaged members of the public and thank you for taking the time to write to our office.
Neither the Governor's office, nor any other office in the State of Hawai'i, can provide information concerning birth certificates, or produce birth certificates, to anyone except those who are listed in the law governing vital statistics records. Vital statistics records, such as birth certificates, are protected by strict confidentiality requirements.
Specifically, pursuant to section 338-18, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), the Department of Health, which maintains these records, may not allow the inspection of a birth certificate, or issue a certified copy of a birth certificate, or disclose any information contained in a birth certificate, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record:
(a) To protect the integrity of vital statistics records, to ensure their proper use, and to ensure the efficient and proper administration of the vital statistics system, it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained in vital statistics records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of any such record, except as authorized by this part or by rules adopted by the department of health.
(b) The department shall not permit inspection of public health statistics records, or issue a certified copy of any such record or part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record. The following persons shall be considered to have a direct and tangible interest in a public health statistics record:
(1) The registrant;
(2) The spouse of the registrant;
(3) A parent of the registrant;
(4) A descendant of the registrant;
(5) A person having a common ancestor with the registrant;
(6) A legal guardian of the registrant;
(7) A person or agency acting on behalf of the registrant;
(8) A personal representative of the registrant’s estate;
(9) A person whose right to inspect or obtain a certified copy of the record is established by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction;
(10) Adoptive parents who have filed a petition for adoption and who need to determine the death of one or more of the prospective adopted child’s natural or legal parents;
(11) A person who needs to determine the marital status of a former spouse in order to determine the payment of alimony;
(12) A person who needs to determine the death of a nonrelated co-owner of property purchased under a joint tenancy agreement; and
(13) A person who needs a death certificate for the determination of payments under a credit insurance policy.
You can find the complete statute at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol06_Ch0321-0344/HRS0338/HRS_0338-0018.htm
Office of Governor Linda Lingle