Birther Bill: an Explanation for KPHO and the Associated Press

It's no secret that state Representative Judy Burgess is hell-bent on making Arizona the laughing stock of the entire country with her "Birther Bill" currently making its way through the state legislature...again. That said, we'd like to take this opportunity to explain to KPHO what the "Birther Bill" actually is, because the CBS affiliate and the Associated Press appear to have no idea.

Earlier this week, KPHO ran an AP story with the headline "Birther Bill in Limbo, Voting Postponed." Given our coverage of the absurd potential law, it peaked our interest. We were laughing our asses off a little confused when the story under the aforementioned headline was about the "Birth Right Bill," also making its way through the legislature.

Check it out here.

We thought "hey, maybe KPHO just blew it on the headline," which, as most journalists know, can happen from time to time. But the story attached to the headline, credited to the AP, blew it, too.

The lede of their piece is as follows:

"The so-called birther bill making its way through the state Senate

You'd think that after a "day of debating" the person who wrote the article -- and the headline -- would know what they were talking about. You'd be wrong.

It may come as a shock to KPHO producers, but just because two bills have the word "Birth" in the name, doesn't mean they're the same bill.

Allow us to explain:

The "Birther Bill" would require anyone who wants to run for president or vice-president to prove their U.S. citizenship before their name's allowed on the ballot in Arizona -- even though it happens to already be a federal requirement to land either job. It's in direct response to the wing-nut conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen.

The "Birth Right Bill" challenges the automatic U.S. citizenship for children of illegal immigrants born in the U.S. -- as spelled out in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Glad we could clear things up.

James King
Contact: James King