On Saturday, David Freddoso was the latest in a series of bloggers and pundits to find similarly (sizable) minorities (at least according to polls) of Republicans who buy into “birther-ism” as there are Democrats buying into “truther-ism”:
Politico’s Ben Smith notes something I’ve brought up several times in this space and had the opportunity to discuss once on MSNBC. People have made much of the surprising share of Republicans who will tell pollsters they buy into the fantasy that President Obama is really a foreigner in the Oval Office (a logical consequence of birther-ism).
But just a few years ago, you could get an equally, surprisingly large number of Democrats to tell pollsters they believed that George W. Bush either allowed 9-11 to happen, despite having foreknowledge, or else actually conspired to make it happen.
To be sure, this comparison does help us see that folks on both sides of the political aisle are susceptible to conspiracy theories.
There is, I should note, another comparison which also works in this context. And not to understand the susceptibility of political partisans to conspiracy theories about their adversaries, but instead to show the mainstream media apparent indifference to gaps in the president’s biography.
That comparison is the way the mainstream media, particularly CBS News, reacted to the immediate past president’s National Guard service. There were supposedly gaps in the records and suggestions (mostly brought up by his political opponents) that George W. Bush has shirked his duty. So, CBS devoted years to an investigation.
Now, if reports in the conservative media are correct, Barack Obama’s team is spending hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, to keep the long-form birth certificate under wraps. You’d think a media wishing to hold politicians to account would be investigating to see if the Democrat is hiding anything.
That said, as I wrote in a previous post on the matter, quoting conservative writer Peter Wehner, “If the president has not spent this much [money] trying to keep the long-form certificate under wraps, then there is much less to the story than Donald Trump alleges.” Much, much less, indeed, nothing at all.
So, the real question for now is, did the president spend as much as $2 million to prevent the birth certificate from being made public? If he didn’t spend that much — or even a fraction that much — then the story should end there. If he did, we should be wondering at the mainstream media’s deplorable lack of curiosity.
NB: Tweaked the post to improve its flow.