Yesterday, Sheriff Joe* announced that he thinks President Obama's birth certificate is phony-baloney. I read the first 8 news articles on Google News about it, and they all went something like this:
"Nuh-uh, you're just mad 'cuz you're under investigation, neener neener, you racist."
That seems to be the level of professionalism in journalism these days. In every article, with one exception** the justice department investigation was brought up by the third sentence, usually in the first sentence, and usually stating it as the cause for the sheriff's investigation. And maybe it is.
But the problem I have is this, a press conference was called to discuss discrepancies found with documents put forth by our President. Not one of the reporters (I watched the live feed) asked a question about the substance of the investigation or its conclusions. And then I read their filed reports and saw that they had already made up their minds - this is a birther issue and it's already been debunked.
Not so fast. Rememebr when skeptics were originally asking to see the long form Hawaiian birth certificate? They were originally told that the short form*** is all that exists. Asking to see the long form birth certificate is the equivalent of asking to see one written in unicorn blood, you ignorant racists, it doesn't exist.
Then, after years of denying that such a form is possible to obtain, they don't exist, blah-blah, along comes the president provides the long form birth certificate that skeptics were asking for. The cheer from the left was "See, we told you!!" when they had spent 2+ years saying that it didn't exist.
So is it unreasonable to take a good long look at this document that doesn't exist but then suddenly does?
I know that some on the political Right will never believe regardless of the evidence, and some on the Left will never disbelieve. But once we've eliminated the fanatics who are worshiping their leaders, we're left with people who, hopefully, can be objective and look at evidence and ask reasonable questions.
*Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County Arizona. I like a few of the things he does, but some of the things he does to humiliate prisoners begs the question - If people are innocent until proven guilty, shouldn't those innocent people be treated with respect?
**Guess which news org did not bring up the justice department investigation until 8 paragraphs in? CBS, NYTimes, AP, FoxNews? Yeah, tough choice.
***Hawaii issues two birth related documents: a Certification of Live Birth and a Birth Certificate. The former is the one that was originally presented. The latter is the longer form that skeptics kept asking for.