Exclusive: To Bill O’Reilly: Show it or Fold

by MARGARET CALHOUN HEMENWAY August 1, 2009
On Bill O'Reilly's FOX News show, O'Reilly reassured his viewers that there is nothing to the Obama birth certificate controversy, that it is bogus, and so forth  He said,  
 
".....The Factor investigated.  Found out that it's bogus.....and again, we found that President Obama was born in Hawaii.  We sent (for) the documents....."   
 
Later in the same show, O'Reilly repeated this assurance after a segment with Ann Coulter:  
 
".....As we mentioned, The Factor debunked the whole Birth Certificate deal more than a year ago. It was easy. The State of Hawaii sent us a copy of the document.  End of story."  
 
We expect better than this from the cable news network that promises us "fair and balanced" reporting and which has been a large reason up until now that FOX has been drawing viewers away from the liberal networks that used to dominate the television airwaves.  We expect even more, however, from Mr. O'Reilly who proudly labels his program the "No Spin Zone."  I don't know about you - but I think lately he's spinning like a top. 
 
I recently received an email from a proud "birther", Bob from New York, a Democrat who voted for Mr. Obama and believes that he should end this unnecessary controversy over his "natural born" status by publicly releasing his vital records.  Bob is the type of person who has practically made Chris Matthews (who worked as a staffer for liberal Massachusetts Democrat, former House Speaker Tip O'Neill, before launching his journalism career) foam at the mouth (as opposed to tingling in his leg). 
 
Bob points out a major discrepancy between O'Reilly's boast that he's seen the goods, and CNN's Lou Dobbs' explanation of restrictions under Hawaii law about the “goods”, which he articulated on his own show: 
 
"There have been repeated requests from some of the president's skeptics about the release of his original Birth Certificate.  Hawaii Law, however, prevents the actual release of the document to a third party....."  
 
In fact, Hawaii officials have repeatedly avowed that state law prevents them from releasing the birth certificate to anyone without a tangible interest which they, amazingly, interpret to mean any US citizen or voter.  One would assume this would include Mr. O’Reilly.
 
So, how did O'Reilly get his documents from Hawaii, if indeed he did?  Did some Hawaiian official violate state law and sneak Bill O'Reilly a bootlegged copy of the birth certificate - and does it offer up Obama's doctor and hospital since that critical, identifying information is missing on the "online" version, the Certification of Live Birth (not to be confused with an actual "long form" or "vault" certificate)?   Besides, why did Mr. Obama have his vital records, his passport file and his school records all sealed and vaulted at considerable expense by his legal defense team? 
 
As Bob notes,
 
"If that's the case, then O'Reilly should do precisely what Lou Dobbs and countless others are doing – that is, demand of the  President (82% in a recent AOL poll) to ‘Show us the birth certificate.’  So, let's see Mr. O'Reilly's evidence - the copy of the original birth certificate.   We are all calling his hand.  Show it or fold. "  
       
O'Reilly seemed to imply on this program that the reason Lou Dobbs keeps talking about  the birth certificate issue is...due to ratings.   As Bob points out in his email, 
 
“My goodness, does O'Reilly mean that television viewership/advertising dollars are all about ratings?  So, after months of ducking the issue, why is O'Reilly now running the story more than once?  Because of the ratings?  I’m shocked! Programs generally cover the issues that viewers want to hear about ...and viewers are what advertisers pay for.  Because the birth certificate scandal - to the dismay of Obamaphiles - has become one of the hottest issues around, especially on the internet which competes for viewership time; and because the birth certificate issue has now burst into the mainstream media, numerous shows on CNN, MSNBC,  and CBS... and now including Bill O'Reilly's…are covering it.”  
 
And it isn't going to go away, because the resolution to the controversy is so simple that it makes you perplexed as to why Obama is putting up such stiff resistance to the obvious, which is merely to release his original birth documents. (He could release his under-lock-and-key school and other relevant documents as well, while he’s at it.)  If this isn’t about his much-vaunted transparency initiative, I don’t know what is.
 
Each and every one of us (including American children wanting to participate in organized sports) has to comply with this simple request: "Show us the birth certificate."  Now, it's being demanded of O'Reilly since he's mimicking the Obama team's legal defense.  Does he show us the proof he's received from Hawaii, or fold his hand?  I don't know about everyone else, but I'll be tuning in to Lou Dobbs to try to get some answers. 
 
Bob kindly provided a list of the show's advertisers, in the event that any "birthers" should decide to contact them to express their disappointment with the lack of facts on "The Factor" concerning this important Constitutional question of Obama's "natural born" status:
 
"Here are the advertisers of the 7-29-08 O'Reilly's program (in order of appearance). Do let them know your feelings:
1) Golden Corral, 2) ADT Security (Home), 3) Capital One, 4) IHOP (Hawaiian Pancakes), 5) Walmart, 6) Lipitor, 7) The New York Times, 8) SERVPRO (Cleanup), 9) DIRECTV, 10) Neckline Slimmer, 11) GEICO (geico.com), 12) BMW, 13) 1-800-641-1806, 14) Liver Aid (liverite.com), 15) Expedia, 17) SAM (getasam.com) 18) Optimum Business, 19) Drunk Driving (Ad Council), 20) Westchester Toyota, 21) WaterJet (buwaterjet.com), 22) State Farm. " 
 
We had long ago trusted Mr. O’Reilly to be fair and balanced…and accurate. Now his credibility is on the line.
 
 FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Margaret Calhoun Hemenway spent fifteen years on Capitol Hill, in both the House and Senate, and five years as a White House appointee serving President Bush at both DoD and NASA.
   

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