Oh, television. Last night, comedian and budding political pundit Joy Behar had Orange County's own Orly Taitz on her new HLN show. Whereas past cable news appearances for Taitz have seen our "eligibility" activist in panic mode from the mere few seconds of air time she was given and the decibel level of the hostile hosts, Behar gave Taitz nearly a full nine minutes to do her best to come off as a sane dissident. Watch:
I hope you'll indulge me stepping out of my normal "impassioned Taitz chronicler" stance and getting something off my chest...
Joy Behar, you dun fucked up.
Look, it was good of you to try and do some research before the interview. You even tweeted about how much Taitz-learning you had done!
But you were completely unable to stand toe to toe with this woman, and for a reason. Taitz, despite how much people might draw hilarious pictures of her and call her a dingbat, is actually pretty good at what she does (other than that whole "being a lawyer" thing). I alluded to it in OC Weekly's original profile of her: The dentist can make you really feel nervous about the President when she lays her entire argument out there.
And so if you're going to give her a full nine minutes to spin her tale, you need to be really prepared to call her on each and every way that her claims are (charitably) misleading or (unchartiably) complete bullshit. Even if you pull that off, don't expect Taitz to concede a single thing. But at least you won't come away appearing humilitated and ignorant like you, Joy, did tonight.
I mean really: Every time Taitz drops one her grade-A untruths, you blatantly tried to switch gears into fluff mode. Taitz holds up the eminently irrelevant "Law of Nations" as evidence that Obama isn't president, and you try to change the subject to George W. Bush? Really?
So, Joy, listen up. You too, other journalists covering this eligibility adventure. And, hell, maybe I can help out some birther agnostics as well.
Here are three big things that Taitz should have been challenged on.
- The trial date. The good dentist acted as though Judge David Carter has said that there will, no questions about it, be a jury trial on Obama's eligibility starting Jan. 26. The truth is that Carter is still considering how to rule on last week's argument, presented by the Department of Justice, that Taitz's Barnett v. Obama lawsuit should be dismissed. In the courtroom, Carter seemed to be seriously considering dismissal. Even Taitz has admitted that. Carter did schedule tentative, best-case-scenario-for-the-plaintiff trial dates back in September, and the court did recently "finalize" them -- but Taitz has taken that to mean that Carter has ruled on the motion to dismiss. He hasn't. Watch for it any day now.
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- Taitz: "He was asked to provide information -- what's the name of the hospital, what's the name of the doctor?" This makes it sound like some legal or political authority asked Obama for that info and he just threw the short-form printout at them. Not true. The only people asking for the info from the long-form are the birthers. Why not publish the longer birth certificate? It's a valid question, but that's all it is -- a question. Not evidence of anything. My bet is that it's he doesn't respond to the birthers because doing so wouldn't make them go away but would lend them a smidge of legitimacy. And it's handy to have your opposition lumped in with people widely considered to be lunatics. Why would Obama want to get rid of the birthers? By the same token, what would he gain by trying to appease them?
- Taitz: "Did you know that the State of Hawaii allows foreign-born children of Hawaiian residence to get Hawaiian birth certiicates?" This is a big one! Pay attention. There is a law (read it here) like the one Taitz describes. It was passed in 1982. Taitz is claiming that the items in Hawaiian newspapers announcing Obama's birth in 1961 were generated from Obama's birth certificate, which, Taitz seems to say, was obtained under this law. That's impossible without a time machine. There's some idiot on the internet who's been going around trying to discredit my earlier mention of this fact, claiming the 1982 law was "retroactive." Which is true in the sense that it allowed people whose parents used to live in the Hawaii to obtain a Hawaiian birth certificate. But that's irellevant. If Obama obtained a certificate when he was born in 1961, as the birth announcements placed in newspapers of that time indicate he did, then he didn't obtain it under this law. ALSO: Even if through some time warp he did register his birth under this law, his Hawaiian birth certificate wouldn't invent a birthplace for him. If he was born in Kenya but went in 1982 to get a Hawaiian certificate, there's no reason to think that certificate wouldn't indicate he was born in Kenya. The short-form certificate Obama published on the Internet and gave to FactCheck clearly says his birthplace -- Honolulu -- and the date the information was registered: August 8, 1961.
Ok, that's it for now. Taitz makes a number of other colorful comments during the interview that deserve some rebutting, but it's all been said before. As always, I advise anyone curious about the eligibility issue to visit ObamaConspiracy.org and read through the arguments and Dr. Conspiracy's thorough, fact-based debunkings. Don't trust him, don't trust me, really really don't trust Taitz. Read the supporting documentation. Trust the evidence.
And really, Joy, better luck next time. "We're at a checkmate, then," you said when you couldn't argue anymore. Think you meant "stalemate." Checkmate means someone won, which sadly turned out to be true in this case.