Was at a Tea Party When a Birther Rally Broke Out
Former Reasoner David Weigel is covering the Nashville Tea Party convention for the Washington Independent and reports on this argument between World Net Daily's Joseph Farah and Big Hollywood/Government/Journalism's Andrew Breitbart over Farah's speech, which went long on discussions of Obama's birth certificate:
During WorldNetDaily Editor-in-Chief Joseph Farah's Friday night dinner speech, which spent around 10 of its forty minutes on questions about Barack Obama's citizenship, Andrew Brietbart was among the conservatives in back of the room grumbling audibly about what he was hearing. After he introduced the evening's closing entertainment — a film titled "Generation Zero" — Breitbart walked outside to the convention hall. There, I heard Breitbart criticizing Farah, and briefly talked to him about it before I noticed that WorldNetDaily's Chelsea Schilling was already talking to him, holding up a voice recorder. I backed up to allow her to continue her interview, which consisted of questions on why Breitbart didn't think Obama's citizenship was a legitimate issue.
"It's self-indulgent, it's narcissistic, it's a losing issue," Breitbart told Schilling. "It's a losing situation. If you don't have the frigging evidence — raising the question? You can do that to Republicans all day long. You have to disprove that you're a racist! Forcing them to disprove something is a nightmare."
"Wouldn't you say," asked Schilling, "in this case, that Farah is asking Obama to prove something rather than his disprove it?"
Breitbart rejected the premise. "When has a president ever been asked to prove his citizenship?"
After a few minutes Breitbart ended the conversation and Schilling started interviewing Tea Partiers about the speech, finding a little less skepticism. (I found some Tea Partiers, like Rita Grace of Virginia, who said they didn't appreciate Farah's speech.) I spotted Farah and asked him if his speech had been approved by Tea Party Nation.
"They asked me to speak," said Farah. "They didn't ask me, 'What do you want to speak about?' No, this operates like a free and open society, not like the kind of Marxist society you would apparently like to be a journalist for."
Though I would like to know what Joseph Kennedy listed as his occupation on Jack Kennedy's birth certificate, I do find the birthers (like the "after birthers" who continue to sniff around for Trig Palin's placenta) to be a couple of bricks shy of a full deck of a bag of hammers.
I don't know what the scene is like in Nashville, but I do know that I didn't hear any birther weirdness at the 9/12 demonstration held last September in Washington, DC. Rather, it was pretty conventional stuff: People pissed at a government that made Mary Todd Lincoln and Nancy Reagan (or even budget-buster Ronald Reagan) look thrifty.
A reminder that PJTV is streaming live from Nashville, including Sarah Palin's speech in an hour or so.