Accuracy in Media

NBC “Meet the Press” Host David Gregory berated House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday because members of the public and the Congress have doubts about President Obama’s professed Christian faith and alleged birth in the United States. Gregory wondered if all the doubts about Obama were undermining his legitimacy as President. He wanted Boehner to denounce these questions and concerns as “ignorance.” Boehner refused to do so.

“There was something that caught my eye this week that was on Fox News on the Hannity program, a focus group with voters in Iowa led by Frank Luntz, the Republican strategist, and he had this exchange with them,” he told Boehner.

The videotape that followed showed several people declaring that Obama was a Muslim.

Gregory was flabbergasted. He said to Boehner: “As the speaker of the House, as a leader, do you not think it’s your responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance?”

In fact, as AIM has noted, calling yourself something is not the same thing as proving it is the case. Obama’s Christian claim deserves to be scrutinized, even when it involves a sensitive and personal matter such as religious belief. Our media are supposed to question the statements of those in power.

The facts show that there is no evidence that Obama was baptized in a traditional Christian sense of the term. Indeed, Muslims could join the church in Chicago that Obama attended.

Boehner said that it wasn’t his job “to tell the American people what to think” and that he accepts the President’s claim that he is a Christian. Gregory said such a response was playing “fast and loose” with the “obvious facts.” Boehner replied, “I just outlined the facts as I understand them. I believe that the President is a citizen. I believe the President is a Christian. I’ll take him at his word.”

Here are the facts, from Obama’s own perspective. Obama acknowledges in Dreams from My Father that his grandfather was a Muslim (page 104) and that he spent two years in a Muslim school in Indonesia studying the Koran (page 154). In The Audacity of Hope, he says (page 204) that “my father had been raised a Muslim” but that by the time he met his mother, his father was a “confirmed atheist.” His stepfather was not particularly religious and his mother professed “secularism,” Obama wrote (pages 204-205), but as a child he went to a “predominantly Muslim school,” after being first sent to a Catholic school. His mother, he said, was concerned about him learning math, not religion.

Refusing to provide the facts about Obama’s Muslim upbringing to his audience, Gregory moved on to the birth certificate issue.

Gregory was particularly concerned that “a new tea party freshman who was out just yesterday speaking to conservatives…said, ‘I’m fortunate enough to be an American citizen by birth, and I do have a birth certificate to prove it.’”

“That was Raul Labrador, a new congressman from Idaho. Is that an appropriate way for your members to speak?” Gregory demanded. He wanted to know why Boehner isn’t standing up to “misinformation” and “stereotypes.”

With this comment, Gregory proved not only that he is a sycophant for Obama, but that he doesn’t have a sense of humor. Labrador’s comments to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) were obviously in jest, although he was making a serious point. Pro-Obama journalists have consistently ignored questions about the constitutional eligibility of the current occupant of the oval office.

Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

As we have pointed out, the problem is that this provision does not require public disclosure of detailed information, in the form of a birth certificate with the names of the parents, hospital, and attending physician, and it does not mandate who makes the decision as to whether a particular candidate is constitutionally eligible to be president.

Our media should be performing that function but they refuse to do so. They have simply accepted a vague “certification of live birth” from the Obama campaign as legitimate.

David Gregory is the ignorant one.

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