On Monday’s Special Report, Bret Baier reported in the Grapevine segment that Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, a Republican, threatened to remove President Obama from the Arizona ballot if Hawaii officials couldn’t prove the President was born there. Baier failed to mention that the President’s birth certificate has been produced and verified, that a newspaper announcement of his birth in a Hawaiian newspaper has also been produced and that there is no merit to the birther claims. This is not the first time Baier has slyly helped legitimize birtherism claims.
But as Media Matters reported, Baier has come under fire from various journalism veterans and ethics experts. For example: Tom Fiedler, dean of the College of Communication at Boston University said, “The problem lies in Baier’s failure to include one additional fact; that in due regards for the law in Hawaii, the President has released an official copy of his birth certificate stating as legal fact that his mother gave birth to him in Honolulu.”
Former NPR ombudswoman Alice Shepard said, “It’s your ethical duty as a reporter to point out that this is a false issue. Baier failed his viewers in not doing so.”
Kelly McBride, ethics instructor at The Poynter Institute called Baier’s actions “irresponsible.”
Ken Auletta of the New Yorker said Baier “ought to get his wrist slapped.”
Yesterday, Baier acknowledged Bennett’s apology but failed to offer any of his own. In fact, he pretended to have been debunking birther claims all along:
Arizona’s Secretary of State says the case is closed in the birth certificate kerfuffle stemming from his request that Hawaii provide additional verification President Obama was, in fact, born there.
As we have reported, Aloha state officials have repeatedly confirmed President Obama’s birth in the state, and last April, the White House released his long-form birth certificate.
Today, Secretary of State Ken Bennett in Arizona explained he only pursued the issue on behalf of constituent requests, adding, quote, Hawaiian officials ‘complied with the request and I consider the matter closed.’ Bennett said Tuesday, if his actions embarrassed the state of Arizona he was sorry.
But if you think that Fox won’t do this again, check out how, in its description given to this video, FoxNews.com, “asked,” Obama birth certificate case finally closed?
2/23/18 UPDATE: Media Matters video no longer available.
In the meantime, Fux Noise will focus on questions concerning the President’s secret Muslim faith.