The birther stuff is extreme, sure, and is extremely easy to
refute. But then let’s run down the GOP dogma, the things no Republican
politician could ever say in public without getting lynched, perhaps
even just metaphorically: (1) global climate change is a serious crisis
caused by human activity; (2) the mainstream media is not committed to
electing Democrats; (3) a spending freeze in a severe recession is
insane; (4) Rush Limbaugh is rather a blowhard (to quote Rush’s latest,
from Armbinder, “Rush Limbaughclaimed today that
Obama “has yet to prove that he’s a citizen”); (5) Osama bin Laden and
Saddam Hussein were never remotely in cahoots; (6) Barack Obama is not,
in point of fact, a “socialist”; (7) the government is not about to
send agents into your house to take your guns; (8) gay marriage is no
big whoop… need I go on?
The only thing keeping Serious Journalists from worshiping the
“birther” garbage as the Legitimate Wisdom of Heartland Voters is that
it’sdéclassé. That it’s, empirically speaking, bullshit, has no bearing.
Thers hits on something interesting here, which I’m sure all the Serious Journalists would deny. This is a choice, to cover the less extreme GOP bullshit and not the birther bullshit when really they’re of a piece. I don’t know if it’s the intensity with which they talk about the same nonsensical shit but after a while it just sounds like one big hash of stuff that isn’t true. Giving credence to some ingredients in that hash and not others is a conscious choice.
On the other hand, the thing that does make the birther nonsense bubble up occasionally is that it’s fucking hilarious.