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Email: "Quietly Obama's Citizenship Case Reaches The Supreme Court"

May 13, 2010 4:11 pm ET

The following email has been widely forwarded and has been reposted numerous times on conservative blogs. Media Matters Action Network has written a response to the text below. Please feel free to copy and past it and send it to your friends.

Quietly Obama's Citizenship Case Reaches The Supreme Court

[note - all mistakes below are original to the text]

Response

Hey, thanks for sending this my way.

That Associated Press article is pretty intense stuff! I decided to go look it up for myself. And I'm glad to tell you that the Associated Press never wrote any such article.

If our president wasn't actually born in the country, that would be a huge problem. But it isn't true. That email makes up an "April Fools" article with some explosive allegations, but nothing of the sort has actually happened.

It turns out that FactCheck.org has looked into the article you sent me. (Do you use FactCheck? They're nonpartisan, and they do a great job of pushing through the nonsense from both sides in Washington to get to the facts.)

Here's what FactCheck.org says about the whole thing. (You can read the full take on it here: http://www.factcheck.org/2009/05/was-obama-born-in-the-usa/index.html)

April Fake

We contacted The Associated Press just to confirm what should be obvious, that no such news story ever appeared on the news agency's wires. Jack Stokes, the AP's manager of media relations, gave us this statement:

AP: The story purported to be from The Associated Press on April 1 is fake. 

CBS News has looked into these charges, too. And they decided that it's just not true. CBS concluded that since you can actually see the president's Certificate of Live Birth online (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/51/BarackObamaCertificationOfLiveBirthHawaii.jpg) AND some non-partisan fact-checking organizations have investigated this stuff thoroughly (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2008/jun/27/obamas-birth-certificate-part-ii/) that the issue is settled. Barack Obama is as American as you or me. PolitiFact.com even had one of their employees from Hawaii bring in her birth certificate to compare it, and they say it looks exactly the same as the president's!

So I guess some people with a wicked sense of humor, or an axe to grind with President Obama, put together a pretty sneaky April Fools joke and started sending it to their friends. A month later, it's still bouncing around, partly because the fake article sounds so convincing!

FactCheck.org goes on to debunk each of the pieces of the article, one by one:

No Fulbright: Contrary to what this e-mail claims, Obama's scholarship wasn't a Fulbright. It's true that many foreign students come to the U.S. under the Fulbright program, sponsored by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. But Fulbrights for foreign students are primarily intended for graduate students studying for masters' degrees or Ph.D. degrees, not for college freshmen and sophomores.

No "Soetoro": Another false claim is that Obama attended and received financial aid "under the name Barry Soetoro," using the surname of his Indonesian stepfather Lolo Soetoro. The college's Director of Communications Jim Tranquada told us there's no record of that. He told us in an e-mail:  

Occidental spokesman Tranquada: Contemporary public documents, such as the 1979-80 freshman 'Lookbook' published at the beginning of President Obama's first year at Occidental, list him as Barack Obama. All of the Occidental alumni I have spoken to from that era (1979-81) who knew him, knew him as Barry Obama.

So it's pretty clear from looking around a little bit that this stuff just isn't true. Maybe you could send this email to everybody else who's gotten that fake AP article? I hate to think of people being lied to about such an important issue.

Thanks. Talk to you soon,



 


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