Birthing birthers

You’ve probably have heard of Donald Trump recently stirring up quite the controversy through the media by requesting U.S. President Barack Obama to show his birth certificate to prove he is an American citizen. Trump, who may be vying to be Obama’s opposition in the 2012 U.S. Presidential race, has been adamant that Obama was not born in America. He has also made remarks on how did Obama get into law school at Harvard, saying something along the lines of he has friends whose kids which have high marks and can’t even get into Harvard, so how could Obama, who according to Trump was “a poor student” get in.

This aside, the real issue Trump has is the first one, believing that Obama was not born in the U.S., thus making him illegible for the U.S. Presidency. This is the “birther” issue. You are a “birther” if you reside in Trump’s camp, which is that Obama

What is sad about Trump is I actually liked him before all this. I enjoyed the early seasons of his Apprentice TV series, that gave you an interesting glimpse of reality TV, of real people trying to make it in the business world. He seemed honest, open, and even with the silly scripted “You’re fired” thing, he seemed human. But that was all in the past. From a PR point of view it is clear what he is doing here. He is positioning himself as a champion of those  who want to question, undermine, bring him down and Obama’s character and stature as president. Obama, being a soft spoken non–Caucasian U.S. president, is quite an easy target, for Trump’s claims, which definitely have a racist tinge to them.

Another part of the problem is the role the media plays in providing Trump a stage. Traditional media, such as CNN, entertainment media like TMZ and social media like Twitter and Facebook, all come together to create what can be described as a highly sensational environment. This environment is one which I feel has hit a critical mass, especially in America, where the media helps elevate individuals agendas. Why? Because it makes money of course, and sensational headlines bring in viewers. With the rise of social media and the competition being as fierce as ever, traditional media has to pander to the tastes of the population. Take a look at  what Charlie Sheen is doing on Twitter as the perfect case and point. Over statured and overexposed in the media.

Back to Trump. This attempt is just something to dominate headlines, with him leading the fight against this supposed “injustice” as a way to accomplish this. Whether Trump, or Sheen are mentally inept, trapped in their ways of thinking or it is part of their PR strategy I have no clue. All I know is discovery is a good thing, however  ignorance is not.

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