Anderson Cooper lies about Obama's "certificate" (Montana, Bob Wagner, "Birther")

Yesterday, Anderson Cooper of CNN interviewed Montana state representative Bob Wagner about the Obama citizenship issue and - no big surprise - Anderson Cooper lied about the basic, indisputable facts of this matter. Obviously, Obama fans like Cooper don't care about getting the facts right, but if you do and you want to find out how Cooper tries to mislead you, keep reading.

Video of the appearance is attached [1] First, here's what Cooper said, followed by why he's lying to you:

Here's the president's official certificate of live birth from the state of Hawaii [on screen: what appears to be the picture from Obama's site]. This is the official document from the state of Hawaii. It's what they send you when you ask for a birth certificate, it's valid at the passport office as a form of identification. It's got the signature stamp and raised seal [on screen: two pictures from FactCheck].

Hawaii's Republican governor, when the controversy erupted, said, quote, "it's been established he was born here." She said she had her health director actually go and view the original electronic copy of the birth certificate in their records.

And, here's the birth announcement ran in both Honolulu newspapers. Today, on another network, another reporter saying that the papers would get their information directly from the state health department. So, those are the facts.

1. The first graphic in the video certainly looks like a "Certification of Live Birth" ("COLB"). However, it's not in any way "the president's official certificate of live birth". It's a picture, not the document itself. And, it's a picture with an uncertain "chain of custody". In order to believe that what CNN is showing you is an accurate copy, one would need to trust both CNN and Barack Obama. Considering that both have repeatedly lied about this and unrelated matters, that perhaps would not be a wise choice. On the video, Cooper gives off the aura of someone trying to sell a car with questionable title online using a picture of a pink slip, or of someone trying a similar scam.

2. That barely-legible picture - if we assume that it matches what Obama uploaded to his site - isn't official for the additional reason that the state of Hawaii refuses to authenticate it. Anderson Cooper told you it's the official document, yet the state that supposedly issued it won't authenticate it.

3. The picture on Obama's site says right at the top that it's a "Certification of Live Birth". On the video, Anderson Cooper continually refers to it as a "certificate", and he's done the same in other interviews. To many Obama fans that doesn't matter, but try getting the name of a document wrong in a legal filing or using the wrong form when dealing with a government agency. Anderson Cooper is obviously trying to mislead his viewers into thinking that the COLB is the same as what most of us think of when we hear "birth certificate".

4. The pictures of the supposed COLB that FactCheck uploaded to their site were later edited without notice. Yes, that's right: FactCheck uploaded large images containing original camera data (EXIF) and then later - without posting any sort of notice - uploaded recompressed pictures that were missing that EXIF data. FactCheck's main document about this issue ("Born in the U.S.A") also blatantly lied about the 10/31/08 statement by Chiyome Fukino. They've also lied and misled for Obama about unrelated issues. And, they're funded by the same general group that funded Obama's Chicago Annenberg Challenge. They are not in any way a credible source.

5. The statement by "Hawaii's Republican governor" (Linda Lingle) that Cooper references didn't take place "when the controversy erupted" but in May, 2010. In that radio interview, Linda Lingle lied about what her state Health Director said. She did state that she'd had Health Director Chiyome Fukino "view the birth certificate in the birth records of the Department of Health", but I don't believe she stated that it involved an "original electronic copy" as Cooper states. And, of course, any original copy wouldn't be in electronic form. Note also that Lingle doesn't claim to have seen any documents herself, and that before the statements in that radio interview she sent out a form letter saying that under Hawaiian law she couldn't reveal the details of someone's birth record. Lingle isn't a credible source: credible sources don't make false statements and then refuse to correct them.

6. The announcements aren't proof. I don't know which "reporter" on which "network" Cooper is referring to, but there's an excellent chance they didn't have their facts right. See the discussion in #3 here; until contemporaneous documentation of procedures or first-person testimony of someone who was employed by the Health Department at the time is produced, the word of "reporters" and current Health Department employees means nothing.

If the above hasn't convinced you that Anderson Cooper is a liar, I invite you to leave a comment below defending his specific statements. I don't expect that, because that's not how "Anti-Birthers" operate: the truth means little to them.

[1] On another video page (link), the video uploader makes unverified legal claims disputing some of what Cooper and Jeffrey Toobin say on the video. Verifying those is left as an exercise. My issues are with Cooper's other claims. Note also that Toobin was forced to apologize for smearing another "Birther". Neither he nor Cooper are credible - or in any way impartial - sources.