By Bill Press
Tribune Media Services
Which of the following statements is true? (1) There is no such thing as global warming. (2) September 11 was an inside job, engineered by George Bush and Dick Cheney. (3) American astronauts never landed on the moon. (4) You can balance the budget by spending cuts alone, with no new revenues. (5) The earth is 5,000 years old. (6) Contraception causes abortion. (7) Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
Congratulations! You got it right. Not one of the preceding statements is true. Those who believe President Obama was born anywhere other than Honolulu must also believe the moon is made of green cheese.
This silly issue was put to rest, once and for all, in a dramatic White House Briefing Room appearance by President Obama, which I attended, on Wednesday, April 27.
Earlier that morning, news had leaked of a major Cabinet shake-up. President Obama reportedly planned to nominate Leon Panetta to succeed Robert Gates as his new secretary of Defense — and General David Petraeus to succeed him, as director of the CIA. Reporters assumed that’s what was on tap when it was announced, shortly before 8 a.m., that the president would make a brief public statement at 9:45 a.m.
Imagine our surprise, then, when Press Secretary Jay Carney stepped into the Briefing Room at 8:45 a.m., accompanied by Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer — and the two of them proceeded to hand out copies of the president’s “long-form” birth certificate. Obama had finally had enough, they explained.
Irritated by so much media attention on the birther issue, he had directed his attorney to petition the State of Hawaii for access to his original “certificate of live birth” — which, by law, is stored in state archives and not available for inspection or released to anybody. But, in this case, special permission was granted. The president’s attorney flew to Hawaii, picked up the original birth certificate, and delivered it to the White House. Carney and Pfeiffer then duly distributed copies to the press corps, together with copies of correspondence between the White House and the Hawaii Department of Health.
With that, President Obama marched into the Briefing Room one hour later, guns-a-blazin’. He opened by taking a swipe at NBC’s Chuck Todd and other network correspondents in the front row, noting that networks would never break into their regular programming if he were talking about something important, like national security.
Like a stern schoolmaster, Obama then proceeded to lecture the press on their responsibility to exercise good judgment on what they covered and didn’t cover. His message: Come on, people; get serious. We’ve got important things to talk about, Obama reminded them. And we’ve got major problems to resolve. “But we’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts. We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.”
Obama didn’t have to mention Donald Trump by name, because everybody knew that’s who he was talking about: the biggest sideshow, goofball, carnival barker of them all.
“We do not have time for this kind of silliness,” Obama concluded. And, with three wars, a record debt and deficit, persistent unemployment, record housing foreclosures and sky-high gas prices, among other issues facing us — he’s right.
Nor do we have time for the next silly charge leveled by Trump, and already echoed by Pat Buchanan and others: that Obama was a “bad student.” How do they explain that Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and was president of the Harvard Law Review? They can’t. They don’t even try. They just lie.
So now we know the truth. I’ve seen the evidence. Barack Obama was born at 7:24 p.m. on Aug. 4, 1961, at Kapiolani Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is an American citizen. He is the legitimate president of the United States.
Of course, even production of this long form, which they’ve been demanding, will still not satisfy Donald Trump and other members of the Obama Hate Machine. You could show them Mrs. Obama’s afterbirth and they wouldn’t be satisfied. They don’t care about the truth. They’re just out to destroy Barack Obama.
But for 99 percent of the American people, this is it. Period. Finito. Shut the door. Turn out the lights. It’s over. Barack Obama’s an American citizen. And Donald Trump’s a big liar. End of story.
© 2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.