CNN has been positioning itself as the cable news channel that sticks to the facts, which it says distinguishes it from rivals MSNBC on the ideological left and and Fox News on the right.
But CNN host Lou Dobbs has put his employer on the defensive in recent days by repeatedly focusing on unfounded claims that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States — despite reporting by CNN and other outlets confirming that he was.
There’s a reason this matters. If the president, whose father was Kenyan, had not been born in the U.S. and was then somehow not a natural-born citizen, he would not be eligible to be president.
“This is nonsense,” says FactCheck.org director Brooks Jackson, a former senior investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal and CNN itself.
FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan outfit associated with the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center. Its researchers examined and held candidate Obama’s Hawaiian certificate of birth during last year’s presidential campaign. Jackson says President Obama was born where he says he was.
“As a former CNN reporter, I believe this episode is an embarrassment to CNN,” Jackson said. “They have an anchor on there saying one thing and their reporters saying quite another.”