Dobbs Joins 'Birthers,' But CNN Pushes Back

CNN’s Lou Dobbs rarely lets the facts get in the way of defaming immigrants, so perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us that he has also jumped on the “birther” bandwagon by suggesting that President Barack Obama has yet to prove he’s a U.S. citizen.

“The first thing is to determine whether or not his birth certificate is valid,” Dobbs said on the July 15 edition of his radio show. “And what I don’t understand is why that has not been released and given over to the public record.”

That wasn’t a throwaway comment, either. As Media Matters for America documented, Dobbs repeatedly questioned the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate last week on both his radio show and television program. In doing so, he aligned himself with a far-right fringe movement that claims Obama hasn’t shown he is eligible to serve as president. The so-called birthers have filed numerous (thus far unsuccessful) lawsuits questioning Obama’s citizenship.

Problem is, Dobbs’ own colleagues at CNN have refused to give credence to the suggestion that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii.

CNN.com called it a “debunked theory” in a June 11 report, and CNN contributor Dana Milbank mocked it during the Dec. 8 edition of CNN’s Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull, according to Media Matters. And, on Dec. 5, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called the questions about Obama’s eligibility “total bull.”

They’re not the only ones. On July 17, CNN’s Kitty Pilgrim thoroughly knocked down the birth certificate myth in an appropriate setting — while sitting in as guest host of Lou Dobbs Tonight. Questions about Obama’s place of birth “have been asked and answered many times,” Pilgrim said in her report. She continued: “CNN has fully investigated the issue, found no basis for the questions about the president’s birthplace, but the controversy lives on, especially on the Internet.” She went on to recite a litany of evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii, including an investigation by the nonpartisan Annenberg Political Fact Check, a statement by Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, (a Republican and a McCain supporter) and a letter from the director of the Hawaii Department of Health.

Maybe this time Dobbs needs to heed the words he once uttered during a 60 Minutes interview: “If we reported it, it’s a fact.”