In a predictable turn, conspiracy theorists are now rallying behind a bogus claim that President Obama's long form birth certificate is a Photoshopped forgery -- with a huge helping hand from one of conservative media's biggest names.
The fringe theory's rapid spread within hours of the certificate's release presents almost a perfect example of one of the White House's justifications for taking on the birther issue -- namely, that thanks to the internet, conspiracy theories can migrate quickly from the fringe and into the mainstream if left unchecked.
In this case, it took only hours. The forgery claim appeared to have first started as an offbeat blog post from an Atlanta-based art director at an ad firm, Bryan Michael Nixon, less than two hours after Obama's statement. By the end of the day it had become a headline on Drudge Report, one of the single most trafficked news sites on the internet. The debunked forgery revelation drew thousands of comments on messageboards, migrated to birther and truther conspiracy guru Alex Jones' site, while a video explanation was viewed over 160,000 times on YouTube.
Here's the Youtube:
Here's another Youtube, this one of Mitch Romney wanting to "hang the misery index around Obama's neck"
I'm no great fan of Obama, but this stuff - pandering to the white racists who can't accept Obama as American, or to references to hanging a black man, are intentional, and designed to subliminally create dread of Obama.