Too Good To Check at the RNC

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 9 2010 8:02 AM

Too Good To Check at the RNC

Dr. Ada Fisher was the first member of the Republican National Committee to call for Michael Steele to give up his chairmanship. This was back in March 2009, after he'd been on the job for around six weeks. And this has presented a delicate problem for reporters. It's usually news if a member of a party committee calls for the head of the chairman, and it was news that Fisher, one of the only African-Americans at her level in the RNC, wanted Steele out. We haven't paid much attention to her since then, though. Why not? Well, on Saturday, Fisher e-mailed a short YouTube video to members of the media titled "Not Natural Born— TRUTH MATTERS," adding this commentary:

This tape should be investigated and verified. I am not an expert ontapes but if this isn't doctored we have a constitutional issue ofhumongous proportions to deal with.

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The video is obviously a clip job, opening with snippets rearranged from an Obama town hall to make it sound like he's indulging the darkest conspiracy theories about himself. Freedom1776Flag, who uploaded the video, admits in the description that it "starts out with some content from obamasnippets.com, which, of course is contrived."

If it was a story when Fisher called for Steele to go, is it a story that she believes in this? Well, there's gullibility here, and there's also an explanation of why the "birther" theory refuses to die. (This video has more than 1.2 million views since being uploaded in May.) Fisher, who didn't support Steele's RNC campaign, could care less about Obama's race. She frets about Obama's love for America, and looks at birtherism for clues that he's not American enough.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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