Diana West

Roger Kimball may have tagged it first: The real news out of Chicago this week wasn't Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's arrest on cartoonishly lurid charges of corruption stemming from his alleged attempts to sell President-elect Barack Obama's now-vacant U.S. Senate seat. The real news out of Chicago this week was that President-elect Barack Obama had nothing to do with it.

And I mean nothing to do with any of it. There was an almost comical aspect to the spectacle of journalists across the mainstream media (MSM) suddenly, as if on command, assuming pretzel positions in a contortionist's effort not to seem at all curious, for instance, about the discrepancy between David Axelrod's recent declaration that the president-elect had discussed Senate-seat replacements with Blagojevich, and Obama's more recent declaration that he had done no such thing.

The MSM instantly agreed: Obama had nothing to do with it. Such a message took Obama out of the story even before the story itself was clear.

This mantra, this strategy should be familiar by now. Whether it is Jeremiah "G -- d -- - America" Wright, William "We didn't do enough" Ayers, or now, Rod "F -- - him" Blagojevich, Obama is never a player, never even a responsible presence in controversies involving associates past and present. In the media-filtered version of events, he's just not even there. But in no story is what we may one day come to think of as Obama's invisible man-hood more obvious than in the still-roiling controversy over Obama's birth certificate.

What controversy? Anyone who relies solely on MSM outlets (and most conservative outlets) may not even know that Obama has, to this day, not authorized the state of Hawaii to release his Certificate of Live Birth -- the "long form" -- to prove that he is a "natural born citizen" (NBC), a Constitutional requirement of all presidents. Instead, We, the People, have online access to an Obama document known as a Certification of Live Birth, which, as Randall Hoven explains at American Thinker blog, is a computer-generated short form that is not even accepted by the Hawaii Department of Home Lands as adequate verification of Hawaiian identity. (The Home Lands Department requires "information that is found only on the original Certificate of Live Birth," or long form.) Further dimming the online document's Holy Grail aspects, it has been altered -- the certificate's number has been redacted -- which, according to a statement printed on the document, actually invalidates it.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).