Kitty Pilgrim of CNN lies, smears over Obama certificate issue (John Avlon and Errol Louis lie)

On the video from CNN at, 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 FactCheck, which is not a credible source. Some of their problems are described at that link, on the main Obama citizenship page, and here.

* 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.

* She references Politifact; if you trust their "debunkings", see this.

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:

UPDATE: Avlon offers a recap of his appearance at 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 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.

8/2/09 UPDATE: On 7/28/09 or 7/27/09, Dan Nakaso of the Honolulu Advertiser also lied about the Lingle aspect (link):

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

Office of Governor Linda Lingle


I don't care about birth certificates. I want to see college transcripts from Oxy and Harvard and some white paper written by our first boy president. He is a dumbass, that is what he is hiding. Worse than Bush, if that is even possible. When the academics can promote a scam artist like this, you know you are in for some financial pain. This guy hides behind FERPA and HIPAA, yet he leads this great country. He is not fit, so why not get him on a technicality like citizenship? After all, he is the usurper-in-chief. God damn Chicago.

The people who run the birth certificate office in Hawaii will not answer the most important questions by claiming that there are privacy restrictions. But they could answer whether or not their office has a program of changing the background and changing the seal for the purpose of being able to detect forged COLB's. An admission by them that they have such a system puts a burden on them to use their system. What is the point of having such a system if they are not using it to detect forgeries. They can hide under the cover of privacy with respect to telling the public what is in Obama's file, but they cannot claim privacy with regard to forgery detection. It would be like the US Treasury putting anti-counterfeiting marks on the $20 bill and then refusing to tell merchants how to detect bad money. You don't have to disclose Obama's private information, but you do have to verify authentic COLB's from forged COLB's.

Shouldn't Obama produce the requested documents out of common courtesy? Or to ease everyone's misgivings and demonstrate a little fidelity to his country, his employer, at the same time? Perhaps everything is in order and just as he claims it to be. We'll never know, because instead of showing us any courtesy or compliance, he obstructs all access to his history via the courts. Even if his actions are legal and there is nothing to hide, it's still very disappointing. And very rude. What a disagreeable and insubordinate employee we have hired.

The dazed and confused right does exists! Rock on!

Not confused... Mad and not gonna take it anymore.

If people who question Obama eligiblity are called "birthers" what do you call the people who deny eligibility verification? "Coolers"? Short for cool aide drinkers who trust but never verify and simply believe what they're told.

OK, birthers. Let's take this again. For what you are implying to be true, the following would have to be true: An 18-year-old woman, nine months pregnant, would have to fly to Kenya FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER, despite the fact that Kenya had undergone severe political turmoil and violence over the past year and the fact that air travel can be hazardous to a fetus in the late stages of pregnancy. She would have to travel without leaving any record, give birth in Kenya outside of a hospital, and fly immediately back with a newborn child who had no paperwork and was not in possession of a passport. While this was happening, her mother, a bank vice-president with no association with the Hawaii Department of Health, would have had to register his birth with the State of Hawaii and collude with the Department of Health to place the birth announcement in the papers. She would do this despite the fact that Barack Obama would have already had American citizenship through his mother, the fact that she would be risking a promising (and rare, considering she was a woman in the early 1960s) career in banking by committing fraud, and despite that fact that again, all of this is taking place for NO REASON WHATSOEVER. As Obama grew older and went to college, law school, and became a state senator, Senator and ultimately President, the levels of conspiracy that would be necessary to make would require enormous bipartisan support at all levels of at least three different governments, as well as begin on the exact day of birth of a mixed race child in 1961, three years before the passage of the Civil Rights Act that would make segregation illegal. All of this on the off-chance he would achieve the ONE office that requires your birth to be in the United States. There is no way that any of these factors could be different and have what you're saying be true Is what you're saying impossible? No. In the quantum physics sense of the word, nothing is impossible. However, it is so unlikely as to be a complete impossibility. You complain that all you receive is ridicule for your concerns. This is because every time one of your points is refuted (the Indonesian adoption, the travel to Pakistan, etc.) you immediately ignore that evidence and dig elsewhere. You want to know why he doesn't release a "long-form certificate"? It's because that piece of paper no longer exists in physical form. NO "long-form certificate" for the State of Hawaii exists in physical form any more. Hawaii went paperless in 2001, as you can see here: Let me explain the concept of going paperless to you. It means that in 2001, the State of Hawaii hired people to go through their records one by one, enter them into a computer, and then destroy the originals. Want to prove me wrong? No problem. There must be birthers in Hawaii. Find one who has a "long-form" certificate issued after 2001,

While Hawaii may have gone paperless, I seriously doubt the state department does not have a long form certificate on file given our first boy president's travels abroad (Pak-ee-stan) which predates it all. A little digging would resolve the issue, but your boy (and our government) is hiding something, for certain. Using his teenage mother's travel schedule is just a red herring to the underlying issue. But you jackasses keep repeating the same tired drivel. The truth will come out someday. The guy may or may not be a citizen, but if he is one, he sure isn't a good citizen.

First, the State Department doesn't keep long-form birth certificates on any American citizen. Birth certificates are issued by the States. And Hawaii transferred all their files to computer in 2001. That's what "paperless" means. Second, his late mother's "travel schedule," as you call it, isn't so much a red herring as it is the only possible way your theory could be correct. See, this is what happens when you base your entire argument on the absence of facts rather than the facts themselves. You have to come up with a plausible way events could have unfolded that corresponds with the evidence in front of you. Now, your argument is, it played out the way I described above, and any evidence to the contrary is the result of a massive cover-up, by Democrats and Republicans, over the course of nearly fifty years and began on the day of his birth. You think that's how it played out, and that's fine. I'm just trying to explain to you why no rational person takes you seriously.

Stop tying yourselves in knots. Just produce the legitimate document. Simple.So Simple. Why NOT just do it?

Mary, Let me explain the concept of "paperless" to you one more time. Paper = the "long-form birth certificate." Less = a worker, hired by the state of Hawaii, transcribes the information required by the state into the computer, then shreds the original document, thereby making it ex-paper. This process is repeated with every single birth certificate in the state of Hawaii. Read the Fukino statement again: "I as Director of Health for the State of HawaiÂ’i, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the HawaiÂ’i State Department of Health has Sen. ObamaÂ’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures." They have the original birth certificate ON RECORD. The computer record that was created when Hawaii went paperless in 2001. So no, releasing the "long-form birth certificate" is not so simple. Not without a time machine. But hey, if you do get a time machine and go back to '01, warn them about the 9/11 attacks. We could get rid of birthers and truthers in one fell swoop.

If, as you state they have the original "on record" ,why not release it? Come to think of it why doesn't he release his college records and health records too? I would have to produce as much when applying for a regular job yet he won't as President? No, his actions regarding that soldier who cited his ineligibilty especially throw a blanket of suspicion over this "Manchurian candidate." I'm not from Missouri but I still want him to SHOW ME! Enough controversy-just DO IT !

Hey, my birth certificate (as issued to me by ID) has less info than Obama's on it. Maybe I was born in Kenya too? See how that logic thing works? Not only are the birthers demonstrating complete intellectual incompetency by arguing from negative evidence, They also lay the groundwork for some angry, disturbed person to commit violence. Don't think so? Hearst Paper editorials helped get McKlinley shot.

Do't take this personal, but your logic does not compute Gee, wonder why Bush wasn't shot???? Millions could have studied the playbook in the movie that illustrated just that. Not to mention outright ugliness expressed by liberal loons like yourself all over the place But ssssshhhhhhh, no one, NO ONE is allowed to EVER criticize The ONE, The Messiah, The Great Black Hope!!!! BLECCHHHH

Wow, another one who doesn't understand the concept of arguing from negative evidence. See, I've got this special rock in my pocket that keeps away tigers. I know it works because I see no tigers. Get it? Silly enough to offer money for it?

Think we need to stop and think? most can't so have fun inside the new world order. By the way I have a birth certificate that goes back to 1947, on it the date my father and mother married the names of my grand fathers and mothers the place I was bron the date/time of birth/place of birth; and i hell of alot more like the fact my father was a Army vet from world war two, so why can't obama come up with some real birth certificate becuase he is not really an American and has no right to be inside this country. good news people are starting to get what obama is and the pigs inside his own party are in fact listing to the people and are starting to get real horrify of what may come to the follows of a fascist dictator like obama. All obamas bills will disappear within the next 12 weeks and this little monkey obama will just keep out of the way he will become the main black leader of his time and disappear from a freedom loving countrys political landscape.

I hope you are right Fred! If I live long-by the way- it won't be becuase of Obama and his liberal creeps. Luckily I had my open heart surgery last year, and since I'm over 50 Obama and his minions would have decided my fate......So glad I didn't have to rely on them! They can leave my body and those of my family alone! It isn't enough that they are destroying my country now they want to go for the jugular and and attack our very beings. Let them experiment first with TED Killer Kennedy.

Why would multiple local Hawaiian newspapers contain announcements of his birth? Come on. Enough is enough.

oh, so an 'announcement' is credibal enough for you? Guess he can't produce it huh? Pathetic.

The birthers will NEVER listen to reason. I wish every single one of them would go to the county where they were born, or the state, or the hospital, and DEMAND to see THEIR OWN ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE. Of course they will not take this simple step, because they KNOW something is wrong when a black family is in the White House. Idiots, every one of them.

Really? Well I could see Thomas Sowell in the White House, and he is BLACK , so I guess once again your logic is bourne of your own racist beliefs. How many more soldiers will now resist going to Afghanistan since the President can't back up his eligibility?

What is wrong with you people? Do you honestly think that a birth announcement in a 1961 newspaper was a "fake"? That it was part of a vast conspiracy stretching over the past FORTY-EIGHT years? President Obama has done all that is legally and morally required of him to verify his eligibility. It is not his fault if you refuse to accept fact.

Oh yeah we can trust Newspapers! DUH. That is not a Birth Certificate Wacko!

Once again, not ONE of you Birthers have a single shred of evidence that Obama was born in Kenya. There is NO affidavit from his step grandmother claiming he was born in Mobassa. It as a phone conversation where she continually says that HE WAS BORN IN AMERICA! This is all about paranoid, racist xenophobia! "FEAR THE BLACK MAN! FEAR THE BLACK MAN!"

Are you a black whiner? YOU are the one who has no proof Show us the birth certificate!

I'm not saying he was born in Kenya. What I am saying is when someone has an army of lawyers to prevent disclosure something so relevent, there is something being hidden. We don't know what is being hidden because this boy president is not transparent. You can be on the side of tyrants, but us patriots will stick a pitchfork in your side when you decide not to be a coward and come out of the shadows. You can wax poetic with every red herring in the book, but until there is a certificate of live birth, stating who the parents are, the doctor, the hospital, etc., some Dan Rather-esque document does not constitute valid evidence, nor does some grainy birth announcement. I want to see something that constitutes evidence under the Federal Rules. As a citizen, we can compel such a document. Obviously obfuscating the facts leads me to believe that the anti-birthers are just paid for from campiagn contributions from the messiah.

So where, exactly, is the evidence that "an army of lawyers to prevent disclosure something so relevent" actually exists? You nuts are simply repeating LIES that you want to believe. STUPID. THE STATE OF HAWAII HAS PRODUCED HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE. Suck. On. That.

"I want to see something that constitutes evidence under the Federal Rules" Well, obviously that has already happened because HE WAS ISSUED A PASSPORT! That means the relevant documentation HAS ALREADY MET THE FEDERAL RULES! Also: The birth certificate issued to me by my state of birth has none of the info on it you seem to think is relevant. WAS I BORN IN KENYA TOO? And Mary: what is exactly a "black whiner?" I'll bet you can't explain that one without sounding like a Dixiecrat.

I can't believe we're even still discussing this issue. I hate to break it to all of you, but the rest of the world has MOVED ON. If you want to criticize him, do so on his policy or his actions. Have a debate for crying out loud. But this is just nonsensical grasping at straws by the tiniest segment of the population who just so happen to be the angriest for reasons far from legitimate. That's all I'm going to say because people that subscribe to the birther theory clearly can't be persuaded with facts or common sense. Recap: Calm Down. Move On. Have a real debate.

Mary is right, and mary i am 62 you will live to see obama running down the road like the little rat he is and we will someday see a really free America, I Have put my down payment on a new plantations with 10,000 retainers if you know what i mean? after all i have a lot! of cotton to pick..obama will be my new political leader and head retainer if you know what i mean?

24, it must really suck to get pwned on your own blog.

"after all i have a lot! of cotton to pick" Not only are you incapable of using correct grammar and punctuation, you are obviously a racist cracker-ass cracker. Or maybe your grammar is "correct" and it's just that I don't speak FUCKING CONFEDERATE! The racist/cracker South lost in 1865, figure it out and get over it!

Two simple questions for all those here who say there's nothing to the issue: 1. What was the name of the hospital? 2. Who was the attending physician? Both data points are on the original B/C. Revelation of both could independently confirm (or refute) Hawaii birth. Neither data point is on the COLB that Obama's defenders deceitfully call "the birth certificate." No, it's not. The COLB was first created in 2007. The B/C was created in 1961, at or near the time of the event by a person with first hand knowledge, which is what defines an authenticated document. A 2007 computer generated document signed and certified by no one fails this basic test and must therefore be discarded as definitive proof of the birth. Let's see the B/C that existed between 1961 and 2007. THAT's the document which counts. Given the stakes involved, I can think of no legitimate reason why Obama would not simply produce it. But, I can think of many illegitimate reasons why he would not. Now, back to my two questions. Anyone out there have the answers? ....of course not. Now, what does that tell you?

Wow. Just amazing to see the patriots are also intelligent. Party on. Palin/Bachmann 2012.

1. What was the name of the hospital? 2. Who was the attending physician? That information in not provided on my BC as provided by the State of ID. Yet the document they issued to me with very little information was more than enough to satisfy the US State Dept when I was issued a Passport. By the logic presented here, I am suspect as well. Plus: my birth announcement was in only one newspaper. This is all about racist xenophobia, a conspiracy theory pushed on by a bunch of cracker-ass crackers who can't handle the fact that the president is not a white guy. How about joining the rest of us in the 21st Century.

Pure baloney. I voted for Obama and am delighted the color line has finally been broken at our nation's highest office. My B/C has the information I asked about, and here's the important point: Hawaii's long form B/Cs have it, too. The computer generated abstract does not. If you calm down from your race-baiting and namecalling to contrast the two documents, you will see this to be true. Under our form of government, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It lays out three requirements for assumption of the office, and one of them is that the person be a natural born citizen. I didn't write it, but I can read it. You aren't suggesting that we not follow the law, are you, Erik? Any legitimate or honest aspirant to that office would willingly and happily provide affirmative and conclusive proof that he or she has met the three requirements of Article II, Section 1, Clause 5. After all, it's a pretty low bar to clear: 35 years old, 14 years residency, natural born citizen. If you're not going to answer either of the 2 questions I posed about hospital or attending physician, maybe you can give me one legitimate reason why Obama would not simply produce the long form B/C and put an end to all of this discussion. Instead, he spends over a million in legal fees to block all attempts to have it examined? Does that make any sense or does it make you wonder if he has something to hide? By the way, Panamanian Strongman Juan McCain had the same problem. So did Barry Goldwater. Neither was eligible to take the oath of office. The Constitution doesn't prevent someone from running or even being elected; it prevents them from taking office. You can look it up.

" I voted for Obama and am delighted the color line has finally been broken at our nation's highest office. " Pretty irresponsible reason to vote for a president. Shabby.

Mary, you earn low marks for reading comprehension. I did not vote for him BECAUSE he was black. Had McCain been black, it would not have inclined me more or less against him in deciding not to vote for him. Had Obama been female, I would have lauded the advent of our first female president, but it would not have driven my vote. I vote based on policy, platform and outlook.

Pure Baloney? Of course not. What you fail to understand is that what I am illustrating that under the standards you set for Obama to prove his citizenship, I fail as well. The fact that my birth announcement was only in one newspaper is less evidence for my proof of citizenship. And now WorldNetDaily is offering $$ for a witness to Obama;s birth? All the attending medical staff at my birth are DEAD. And I'm only 40. The BC vs COLB argument is a made up argument. Do you really follow the lead of someone like Orily Taitz, who is so ignorant of Constitutional Law, she thinks BOTH parents have to be citizens for a child to be a natural born citizen. Wow, she's a GREAT lawyer! The Birther movement is based on ignorance and fear.

At least I knew enough NOT to vote for that CharlaTAN !

The only "clunker" I want replaced is sitting in the White House!

mary, mary, mary, why do I have the suspicion you live somewhere in the south and LOVED Sarah Palin?

No, I live in Kennedy country, TAXAchusetts , and will ALWAYS remember Teddy Kennedys horrendous and shameful actions at Chappaquiddick. His killing of Mary Jo Kopechne is a black mark on the state and how he retains honored status amongst liberals is the single biggest reason to reject their agenda. I do love Sarah Palin-(present tense)Translation-Know enough to judge her for myself and not through the eyes of a frightened, left leaning, liberal hating media.

I judged her for myself, too. Republican bimbo. Their favorite kind of woman. Her "farewell" speech sounded like a Miss America contestant.

I'm NOT a Republican. I am an Independant. You know, someone who thinks both parties SUCK! And you are a sexist.

Umm, no, I consider myself a feminist with a low tolerance for bimbos who let themselves be used by men. Face it, Sarah Palin was in WAY OVER HER HEAD when McCain picked her as his running mate. He did it for his own selfish motives, because he was told it would help him win. Probably he was told that she would siphon off the Hillary voters. What a joke. No matter what Obama is able to accomplish, I feel that we have avoided a potentially disastrous situation if this totally unqualified, uneducated, willfully ignorant person had been elevated to the vice presidency. McCain and his advisors have a lot to answer for in her downfall from a more or less acceptable governor of a tiny, unimportant state. They are the ones she should be mad at, not the media who just followed her around (at her invitation) and recorded her activities and her speeches. I actually feel sorry for her, because she doesn't know what happened to her. I especially feel sorry for her and her family if the rumors of her impending divorce are true. I hope she has the good sense to go back to looking after her family, without any illusions about her potential position in national politics. Those kids need her.

"I feel that we have avoided a potentially disastrous situation if this totally unqualified, uneducated, willfully ignorant person had been elevated to the vice presidency." Joe Biden???? Obama IS accomplishing a lot,Pretty soon he will have destroyed a great country unless Americans wake up! Oh,yeah so she is only a Governor? Obama has far less experience and no common sense nor love of country....three things Palin does have that far exceed Obamas . Obama is merely a well spoken figurehead who not only isn't making policy but doesn't even read what he signs!!! A pathetic, leftist communist. Todays his birthday..GOOD TIME to finally reveal his birth certficate which is required under the constitution. By the way Palin does have a valid birth certificate Oh, and the divorce rumor is yet another example of lying ,obsessed media spin.....

I believe Barak Obama is a far greater threat to America than Nikita Kruschev ever was.Kruschev would have had to overcome the US military.Obama is in charge of it.