Obama Chides Media For Role In 'Birther' Controversy The president released his birth certificate to quell persistent rumors he was not born in this country. In doing so, he said that for too long the nation has been distracted from weighty matters by "sideshows and carnival barkers."
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Obama Chides Media For Role In 'Birther' Controversy

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Obama Chides Media For Role In 'Birther' Controversy

Obama Chides Media For Role In 'Birther' Controversy

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MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

President Obama had some choice words this morning for the press corps as he released his birth certificate. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik has that story.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK: There comes a moment in almost every American presidency when the commander-in-chief turns media-critic-in-chief. Let's go back to what you just heard, how Mr. Obama started his remarks today.

BARACK OBAMA: Let me just comment first of all on the fact that I can't get the networks to break in on all kinds of other discussions.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I was just back there listening to Chuck.

FOLKENFLIK: That's MSNBC's Chuck Todd.

OBAMA: He was saying it's amazing that he's not going to be talking about national security. I would not have the networks breaking in if I was talking about that, Chuck, and you know it.

FOLKENFLIK: NBC's Meredith Vieira and ABC's Christiane Amanpour acknowledged those remarks passively. Amanpour did not challenge the Reverend Franklin Graham when he said this...

FRANKLIN GRAHAM: The president, I know, has some issues to deal with here. He can solve this whole birth certificate issue pretty quickly. I don't know why he can't produce that.

FOLKENFLIK: Today, President Obama said that during the budget battle two weeks ago...

OBAMA: The dominant news story wasn't about these huge monumental choices that we're going to have to make as a nation, it was about my birth certificate.

FOLKENFLIK: Of late, Fox News anchors have explicitly thrown cold water on skeptics of Mr. Obama's birth. Here's Shep Smith on Monday.

SHEP SMITH: Fox News can confirm the president of the United States is a citizen of the United States, period.

FOLKENFLIK: CNN just sent correspondent Gary Tuchman to interview on camera the Republican former Hawaiian secretary of state, who had examined the actual birth certificate, and another person born on the same hospital wing at the same time. Mark Whitaker is CNN's new managing editor for Global News Gathering.

MARK WHITAKER: We've spent a lot more time, to the degree that we've covered this story, a lot more time focused again on what the real facts are with reporters on the ground, as opposed to just what Trump was saying.

FOLKENFLIK: Whitaker has brought a renewed emphasis on in depth reporting to CNN. In this case, Whitaker says, CNN helped discredit Trump, yet immediately after President Obama stopped speaking, CNN cut to - who else, Donald Trump.

WHITAKER: The alternative is to ignore him, right? To ignore the news, which is not something we do.

FOLKENFLIK: David Folkenflik, NPR News.

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