Huffpost Denver
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jason Salzman Headshot

Rosen Shouldn't Slam 9News for Its "Coffman's Birther Moment" Headline

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

Just when you thought birthers were running away from their inner birtherness, a new birther jumps out of the closet on the op-ed pages of The Denver Post.

That would be the ever-rational Mike Rosen, of the Mike Rosen Show on KOA.

Rosen wrote a column last week, titled "Mike Coffman was right about Obama in the first place," defending Coffman's statement, first aired on 9News May 16, that he doesn't know if Obama is a U.S. citizen or if our president is an American "in his heart."

The funny part is that, even as Rosen defends Coffman for saying these things, Rosen is still birtherphobic when it comes to accepting that both he and Coffman are birthers.

Rosen wrote: To set the record straight, in his remarks at the Elbert County Fairgrounds on May 12, Coffman did not challenge the legitimacy of Obama's natural-born citizenship. This was not, as 9News falsely captioned it on-screen in its slanted report, 'Coffman's Birther Moment.'

(Incidentally, 9News acknowledged its story was stimulated by a tip from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.) In fact, Coffman separated himself from 'birther' activists who express certainty that Obama wasn't born in the U.S. On that matter, Coffman said, 'I don't know.' Neither do I. I'm not certain Obama's birth certificate is a fraud, but I'm suspicious."

Mike, you don't know Obama is a citizen, and you still think his birth certificate might be a fraud. If you hold these beliefs, you can't say, categorically, that the president is a citizen. That means you're a birther.

And the Oxford American Dictionary agrees with me, defining a birther as:
"A conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama's U.S. birth certificate."

At risk of repeating myself, but I can't resist: By definition, if you don't know for sure that Obama's birth certificate is valid, and you don't know whether he was born in our country, then you're "a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama's U.S. birth certificate."

Thus, I hate to tell you, Mike, you're a big old birther just like Coffman was during his "birther moment," as correctly labeled by 9News.

It was "Coffman's birther moment," because Coffman told 9News that he misspoke. If you believe Coffman's apology, it was Coffman's moment of birtherness.

9News didn't label its video "Birther Coffman," or something like that, which would have unfairly attributed permanence to Coffman's birther statement. 9News was accurate.

It's true, to be fair, that if you research this topic, you'll find different definitions of the word "birther." Some claim the word means an absolute belief that Obama is not a natural-born citizen. But legitimate sources, like the one above, support my view and 9News' use of the word.

But you can be sure of one thing. You'll find plenty of birthers who will argue about how they define themselves. And they'll cite 17 million pieces of evidence to support one definition of "birther," corroborated by nine million pieces of missing evidence.

Other birthers will find ancient newspaper clips and numbers to support their position on "birther."

And the birthers will argue about what it means to be a "birther."

But there's one thing they will agree on. Like Rosen and Coffman (for a moment), they're at least not yet sure that Obama is a natural-born citizen. They're birthers.