John King Justifies Bringing On Birther Orly Taitz: Our Job Is Not Just To Cover Things We Know To Be True

John King knew he was going to be criticized for bringing in birther queen Orly Taitz during a segment which began with talking about whether or not Gov. Jan Brewer is going to sign Arizona's birther law which just made its way through their state
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John King knew he was going to be criticized for bringing in Birther queen Orly Taitz during a segment which began with talking about whether or not Gov. Jan Brewer is going to sign Arizona's Birther law which just made its way through their state legislature.

Here's the damage control from King at the end of the segment from the criticism he knew he had coming:

KING: I'm going to end the conversation now. People are entitled to go to your Web site and I hope we can talk again. But I'm going to end this conversation tonight right now.

Listen, I sit in meetings for those of you at home and I'm going to pick this up and read it all.

For those at home who says, you know, you crazy jerk, why are you even going down this road? I'm going down this road because our job is not just to cover things that we know to be true. It's our job is to cover things that people are talking about in politics. And to try, to try to have rational conversations about why people believe what they believe, even if our reporting suggests what they believe is not true.

And we will continue to do that. I can assure you, we will never be perfect, but we try to do it in a respectful way.

There's nothing "respectful" about spending at least half of the 12 minutes of a segment of your show allowing some discredited Birther nut like Taitz to rant and rave and spew conspiracy theories that you know aren't true. Well, at least someone on CNN admitted what we already knew was true: Facts don't matter much in their reporting. If some wingnut politician or political figure says something, they must cover it in the name of being "fair and balanced."

King went on to ask if the White House is somehow more worried about the Birther nonsense than they're letting on and if they're trying to "at least use a subtle message to rebut this." Yeah, that's it, John. They're speaking to the Birthers in coded messages that the rest of us somehow missed.

Transcript of the portion via CNN below the fold.

KING: OK. Let me -- let me Cornell -- stay with us, please. I'm sorry. But stay with us.

I just want to let Cornell into the conversation -- because when you listen to that, you can say, if you want, you can say, crazy. You can say absurd. However -- however, you're in the polling business, and a chunk and not an insignificant chunk of the American people believe this.

Let's look at our latest poll. Was Barack Obama born in the United States? Definitely yes: 46 percent. Probably yes: 26 percent. Probably no: 15 percent. Definitely no: 10 percent.

Ten percent of all Americans think their president is not born in this country.

CORNELL BELCHER: And I wonder what party they --

KING: Well, you say what party. So, let's look it. Let's break it down by party.

Was Barack Obama born in the United States? Forty-three percent of Republicans say probably or definitely not. Twenty-three percent of independents say probably or definitely not. But this one jumps out and surprised me -- 11 percent of Democrats say probably or definitely not. Does the president have to do something more proactively to clean this up? Or as he said yesterday with this interview with George Stephanopoulos, you know, I don't do conspiracy theories. Is that enough?

BELCHER: No.

KING: Is that enough that in a close election, this controversy, we at CNN have done a lot of work on this and we think it's bogus, but 43 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats have doubts.

BELCHER: Forty-three percent of Republicans is what you want to focus on, quite frankly. As someone who did polling work for the Obama campaign, it's not something that's new to me and something that sort of has a direct relationship with their inability to sort of accept Barack Obama.

The problem here is this: it is so categorically insane and you have so many sort of rational people, you know, not wanting to accept the truth. You have to ask: what is it about this president that makes them not want to accept the truth? Why are so many people vesting so much in something that is categorically --

KING: Orly, I think the question Cornell is asking, he's trying to ask it more politely. Let me ask it bluntly. If Barack Obama were white, would we be going through this?

TAITZ: Absolutely. And as a matter of fact, when President McCain ran for office, the Senate --

KING: President McCain said -- Senator McCain, excuse me, Senator McCain said, take this off the table. He is an American. I believe he is an American. Let's talk about his views on taxes. Let's talk about his views on Social Security. Let's talk about his views on national security.

TAITZ: Let me answer. When Senator McCain wanted to run there was a hearing, a senatorial hearing, and it was Senate resolution 511 whereby it was decided that he was a natural born citizen. And as a matter of fact, what I believe is there is a political correctness that went haywire that allowed Barack Obama to get in the White House with a stolen Social Security number. Here, I have documents that the nation needs to see. This is --

BELCHER: Senator McCain -- here's the problem. You've dominated the time.

(CROSSTALK)

TAITZ: No, no, sir.

BELCHER: You've dominated the time. I'm going to talk. Senator McCain is a guy who wasn't born in this country and you don't have the same sort of fervor going around saying anything --

(CROSSTALK)

BELCHER: What's the variable? What is the variable here? The variable here is you've got an African-American president.

TAITZ: No. No.

BELCHER: None of this ever came up (INAUDIBLE) African-American president. That's the only variable here.

And when you have this sort of ill logic, there is nothing the president can do to sort of prove this. You have a birth certificate. You have an announcement. They reject the truth. They don't want the truth to be true. Why do they want this truth to be true in this case with this president?

KING: Let me play -- I'm going to play devil's advocate here. Hold on one second. Just one second. I will let you answer. Hold on one second.

My name is in the funny lights behind me. I get to talk just a little bit.

I want you -- this is the cynic in me, Cornell, that the White House says they don't worry about this, but every now and then, you start to hear things where I think that somebody quietly is trying to at least use a subtle message to rebut this.

Listen to this recent little -- several little snippets of the president and things around him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're all Americans. And that spirit of patriotism.

This isn't a Democratic or a Republican idea, it's patriotism.

This is what America is all about, everybody from different places, enjoying those things that bind us together.

The thing about America is that is great is that we're bold. We're tough.

We show the world that all things are possible in the United States of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BELCHER: That's who he is. I mean, that's not new. That's going back to the very beginning of this campaign.

Look, we've got a fairly good percentage of Republicans last time around who voted for us, I mean, somebody, I think even Ike's daughter voted for us because of this idea of American exceptionalism. There were articles after articles sort of saying this president reminds us of Ronald Reagan because of his exceptionalism.

TAITZ: Sir, I mean, look, this is ridiculous.

BELCHER: The ideals this guy believes that we are one and sort of patriotic. Patriotism isn't a Republican ideal. It's a Democratic ideal as well.

KING: Orly, we've been waiting.

TAITZ: Let me respond to this.

KING: Let me ask you a question. We've been waiting -- Donald Trump, the businessman who says he may run for president. We're waiting -- he's supposed to do a live event down in Florida. That's the event right there where he's supposed to come out and talk to reporters.

He has - he has risen in the polls among Republicans to second in our recent poll behind Mike Huckabee, tied with Mike Huckabee at 19 percent. He has jumped up in the polls the last few weeks because he has been beating this like a drum. Would you vote for Donald Trump for president?

TAITZ: Absolutely. And it's not only because of the Social Security issue. Not only because of the birth certificate. Barack Obama is committing Social Security fraud. The biggest crime ever committed --

KING: You're accusing the president of the United States of committing a felony.

TAITZ: Absolutely. Yes. And he's not a legitimate -- he's not legitimate president. Here is selective service certificate that can be seen on my Web site OrlyTaitzESQ.com, and it was filed with the courts.

KING: I'm going to end the conversation now. People are entitled to go to your Web site and I hope we can talk again. But I'm going to end this conversation tonight right now.

Listen, I sit in meetings for those of you at home and I'm going to pick this up and read it all.

For those at home who says, you know, you crazy jerk, why are you even going down this road? I'm going down this road because our job is not just to cover things that we know to be true. It's our job is to cover things that people are talking about in politics. And to try, to try to have rational conversations about why people believe what they believe, even if our reporting suggests what they believe is not true.

And we will continue to do that. I can assure you, we will never be perfect, but we try to do it in a respectful way.

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