Gail Kerr's misleading Tennessean column (+a challenge)

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Gail Kerr, columnist for the Tennessean newspaper, offers "Lawmakers look dumb for reviving Obama hoax" (link). It concerns a lawsuit that four TN legislators are involved in seeks to find out whether Barack Obama is indeed eligible to be president. Whatever the details of the case (I'm not familiar with it), Kerr makes several misleading statements in the column. She substitutes mockery for reason and presents no counter-argument whatsoever, and I hope that after reading this post you won't trust anything Kerr tells you and you'll also send her a polite email at gkerr *at* tennessean.com to let her know.

For those who aren't familiar with this issue, please review the Obama citizenship page for all the facts that are known about where Obama was born. For those who doubt this site's discussion of this issue, here's a challenge. Pick up the phone and call Hawaii and see if they'll verify what you believe.

1. She says that "Obama's campaign put [Obama's "U.S. birth certificate"] on their Internet site". However, no agency has ever verified that picture. (You might have been told otherwise, but, once again: no agency has ever verified that picture). The open-minded person will be forced to admit that Kerr's standard of proof is: "If Obama puts it on his site, it must be true". She should explain all the things that have been changed or gone missing from his various sites and the various lies and misleading statements such as omitting key parts of quotes from Obama and others. That doesn't mean the picture on his site is fake. It just means that it isn't proof.

2. She also says that he "was born on Aug. 4, 1961, in Hawaii." Where he was born has never been definitively proven. He probably was born in Hawaii, but all the evidence so far provided has so many holes that no one can say definitively where he was born. If you think otherwise, please review the evidence with an open mind, bearing in mind that various persons and groups (like FactCheck) have conducted a disinformation campaign about this issue and have attempted to lie about the evidence that's been provided.

3. She says, "How on earth could the man have gotten a driver's license, Social Security card and the keys to the White House without being a U.S. citizen?" That's the same argument Politifact uses, and it won't wash. That's highly similar to what those who are taken in by hoaxsters say. That doesn't mean that Obama is a hoaxster, it just means that what he's been able to receive in the past isn't definitive proof.

4. She says, "Even Snopes.com, the last word in what urban legends are true and which are false, says this one is just flat-out wrong." Snopes is not in any way a reliable source; see their name's link. They also didn't do any original research but simply synthesized what FactCheck and others had said (see #5 here). Think about this: Gale Kerr wants to substitute the opinion of a non-credible private website for the authority of governmental agencies that are charged with verifying where someone was born and which are governed by a series of written laws, oversight boards, and so on.