Feathered Bastard

KFYI's Barry Markson Eats Birthers for Breakfast, and Orly Taitz's Online Law Degree

With KFYI 550 AM being the home of conservatard puddin' head and "birfer" (yeah, I'm spellin' it right) J.D. Hayworth, whodathunk it that KFYI would also prove to be the voice of reason in the birther debate?

At least that was the deal when Phoenix legal beagle Barry Markson was sitting in for far-right alter kocker Barry Young on July 28. On that day, Markson, with the assistance of Young's usual sidekick Michelle Larson, took on a veritable batalion of local idgits who believe President Obama is not a U.S. citizen and therefore not qualified to be the Prez. (You can listen to the podcast, here.)

That's despite this little thing called the 2008 election, and despite the fact that Obama was born in Hawaii, as is attested to by his Certification of Birth, the declaration of Hawaii's health director Dr. Chiyome Fukino, and two notices that ran in Hawaii newspapers shortly after Obama entered this world.

As Markson correctly pegged it throughout the show, the birthers despise Obama, which is why they're willing to believe any conspiracy theory, any rumor or urban legend, as long as it tears down the legitimacy of Obama's presidency.

"All it is, is searching for the answer that you want," Markson observed at one point. "And the answer you want is, he's not a citizen, he's not qualified to be the president."

Markson was merciless. With caller after caller, he refused to let them throw out half-truths and canards without challenge. He rejected one lady's assertion that someone is not a U.S. citizen unless both parents are citizens, telling her plainly, "If you were born on the ground of the United States, you are a United States citizen."

As for those who quibble about the Constitutional phrase "natural born citizen," Markson insisted that this simply meant someone was born a citizen -- instead of, say, being naturalized. When the issue came up again, and some nitwit named Tommy began discussing the 14th Amendment, and insisting that there was "an implied law" that says both parents have to be somehow "registered" before a child could earn birthright citizenship, Markson knocked this errant nativist ball out of the park.

"Tommy, there are no implied laws," said Markson. "There are laws, and there are not laws. And it does not say that anywhere."

Someone brought up the interview with Obama's step-grandmother, who reputedly said she was at Obama's birth in Kenya. Markson informed the individual that this was bogus, that Obama's step-granny confirmed Obama was born in Hawaii, and that the birthers had cut that part of their interview out to make it seem more convincing. (DemocraticUnderground.com has more on this, here.)

Concerning a travel ban to Pakistan people say existed at one time for Americans, and which should have prevented Obama from visiting the country, Markson debunked this by asserting (once again, correctly) that such a ban never existed.

To those wondering why Obama didn't just cough up the original, Markson indicated that the psychology of the conspiracy theorists themselves argued against it.

"Just because people who hate [Obama] bring it up as an issue," stated Markson, "doesn't mean that the President of the United States has to produce this. Especially, when faced with facts and evidence that some of these statements that people are making are false, as I just mentioned, people go to the next thing. They just keep finding something else.

"So why would the President of the United States feel the need to dance through those types of hoops and then just have the next thing come up? So what happens after he shows you the birth certificate, and then the next people say, `Well, it doesn't matter because your father was a Kenyan...and therefore you can't be [a  U.S. citizen]'? Now he has to refute that? He'll spend his entire presidency going through this. It's crazy."

Markson's no Democrat or liberal. Do you think uber-rightist Barry Young would let a lefty babysit his show? And Markson's not the only conservative to take on the birthers. He has the National Review, Karl Rove and Ann Coulter for company, to name a few. But unlike, say, KFYI saliva jockey J.D. Hayworth, Markson is intellectually honest, and he knows that ceding ground to the birfer moonhowlers will only server to make the G.O.P. look like a Planters bridge mix.

Kudos to Markson for the effort. Now I would suggest he go on hayseed Hayworth's show and debate the subject with J.D., who has done much to stoke this conspiracy twaddle, such as give wackos like Carol Kane-lookalike Orly Taitz the time of day and treat them as if they're experts of some sort. Experts in insanity is more like it. (BTW, for more on Orly, check out the feature article done by our sister paper OC Weekly in June, "Meet Orly Taitz, Queen Bee of People Obsessed With Barack Obama's Birth Certificate.")

When J.D. interviewed the bizarre Ms. Taitz on July 15, he kept referring to her as "Doctor Orly Taitz, Esquire." What he didn't mention is that she's a dentist, not some tenured Professor of Law. Far from it. In fact, records show Taitz received her law degree from Taft Law School in Santa Ana, California, which specializes in "distance learning law programs to qualified students around the world."

Taft's Web site also indicates, "Certain programs utilize a telecommunications learning modality while others employ an independent study learning modality. (In the Juris Doctor Programs, students can select either system.)"

In other words, it ain't Stanford, bubbee.

Sure, she's a lawyer, but just barely. These are the sorts of Froot Loops Hayworth treats with deference, which, of course, only indicates that Mushmouth Hayworth is an even bigger idiot than these space cadets by comparison.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons