Yesterday, American journalism reached a new low when James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal published legal propaganda that appears to blatantly lie to readers. In discussing the issues surrounding Obama’s birth to an alien father, Taranto added text to a US statute which does not contain such text. Here is the offensive passage:
“Someone born overseas and after 1986, but otherwise in identical circumstances to Obama, would be a natural-born citizen thanks to a law signed by President Reagan.”
No such law exists.
The words “natural born citizen” do not appear in the statute discussed by Mr. Taranto. In fact, the words “natural born citizen” do not exist in any US statute. Those words only appear in the Constitution - Article 2 Section 1 – and only as a requirement to be President.
§ 1401. Nationals and citizens of United States at birth
(g) a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years…
The statute does not use the words “natural born citizen”.
Mr. Taranto needs to get back to Hogwarts fast and try a new spell. His magic wand didn’t add new text to the US Code overnight.
Had Mr. Taranto made the focus of his article the issue of whether persons who obtain citizenship at birth by statute are also natural born citizens for purposes of meeting the Presidential requirements of Article 2 Section 1 Clause 5, such a discussion would have been proper. His legal analysis as stated in the article would be wrong, but stating such a question presented and taking a position thereto is a correct form of editorial.
But that’s not what Taranto has done.
Taranto and The Wall Street Journal have done something far more damaging and nefarious than simply mis-analyzing the law. He’s written – and they’ve published – a piece of propaganda here which makes it appear as if the text of the law contains words which are not there.
Let’s call that what it is – propaganda. They weren’t content to ask a legal question and honestly deal with both sides of the argument from a non-partisan and pure journalistic intent. No. This article is an attempt to trick readers into believing laws exist which do not exist.
The statute does not include the words “natural born citizen”. Regardless, those who read Taranto’s article are left with the impression that the statute includes those words.
And that is journalistic evildoing personified.
Statutes that grant citizenship – at birth or later in life via naturalization – provide rescue to those people whose citizenship is not self evident at birth. If you’re born in the US to parents who are citizens then you are a natural born citizen and you do not need a statute to create your citizenship which is natural and self evident.
Statutory citizenship does not give rise to natural born citizen status – which is not a right but a requirement to be President. All citizens have the same rights, but not all “citizens” can be President. Not even all “natural born citizens” can be President. The Constitution put the requirements for President in the Document to exclude persons from eligibility, not include them.
Taranto’s article is a gauntlet thrown down in your face. The fourth estate has signaled – through this blatant propaganda attack on the law – that it is willing to lie to your face – IN YOUR FACE – Amerika.
Perhaps all other measures to control this issue are failing. And perhaps my constant pessimism that this blog isn’t doing any good to wake people up is misguided. Blatant propaganda tells me somebody somewhere is getting desperate to make this all go away.
The Wall Street Journal via propaganda agent James Taranto has taken a drastic course of action from which the point of no return is clearly mapped.
We aint in Kansas anymore, people.