We have a problem in America. I speak of the lack of investigation by journalists to dispel rumors. Fox News recently demonstrated the need for investigative journalism by unmasking ACORN as frauds.
Like the 9-11 conspiracy theorists known as “Truthers,” another theory labeled as a paranoid lunatic fantasy is making the rounds.
Unlike the theory putting the U.S. government behind the attacks of 9-11, disproving this latest theory would require minimal effort, if it turns out to be false. Yet no one seems willing to investigate the facts, an unwillingness which only fuels the fire of the conspiracy theorists known as, “Birthers.”
The legitimate news used to come from the network news, newspapers and radio. Today we seem to believe whatever it is our partisan cable news channel or favorite web page tells us. The current President demonstrated complete comprehension of this fact.
Canada Free Press published a story last week identifying a very bizarre detail from last year’s election. Inexplicably the Democratic National Committee signed not one, but two letters of certification at the Democratic National Convention last August. The letters declared then-Sen. Barack Obama the nominee of the Democratic Party for President and then-Sen. Joe Biden the nominee for Vice President.
There is nothing strange about this, right?
If, and I do mean if, the story is factual, one of those two letters omits the clause: ” . and that the following candidates for President and Vice President of the United States are legally qualified to serve under the provisions of the United States Constitution.”
The story fueling the theory gets worse. The writer was only able to find one state possessing the letter containing the all-too-important clause. Let me say this again, one.
I am not stupid enough to say simply because someone wrote and published this story it must be true. For all I can tell it is no more reliable than any blog written by any one of you. However, therein lies the problem.
If this story is true, the mainstream media, the peripheral media and even the man’s political enemies completely dropped the ball during the election. No surprise there, not many people are less consistent in their behavior than politicians and print journalists.
The environment in America, thanks largely to a declining public school system, sensationalist media, political polarization and an economy which is beyond the point of resuscitation, is one which would not tolerate a scandal of this nature without serious and devastating violence from coast-to-coast.
If the Supreme Court heard the case, and found the president unqualified constitutionally for the office he holds, the uproar would be deafening.
The portion of the voting populace who wept with joy on election night last year would attack every conservative in eyesight, accusing them of conspiring to invalidate their newest best hope.
Yet they would be wrong to do so and these facts are irrelevant. Why has no one in the mainstream media investigated this, if for no other reason than to scoop the story of the groundless conspiracy theory?
If the report is true, blame falls on the Democratic National Committee, which is comprised of politicians with histories of avoiding responsibility for their actions.
I find the lack of accountability in Washington D.C. abhorrent. Americans supposedly learned during the Nixon administration not to trust politicians and especially not national politicians, yet any trivial investigation would serve to silence the majority of questions.
This is a huge problem, America. Not the story, there is simply no way this becomes anything more than a series of unfortunate truths. There is a problem when one ideology is unwilling to accept their party leadership’s culpability in perhaps the greatest fraud in American history.
We have witnessed a group of politicians in D.C. who created a non-repayable national deficit; they destroyed the Bill of Rights with the PATRIOT Act and have us in not one, but two unwinnable foreign wars.
Yet we still trusted these people to do their jobs. Why do they not want to clear the air?
Seth Stern is a senior journalism and sociology major and a political science minor. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.