What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 25, 2010

Camille Paglia's a Birther??

Every now and then I wander through World Net Daily (aka "crazie central") to see what the fringe of the fringe has to say. There's the usual blather about predatory Muslims and ACORN and every now and then there's something birther this way comes.

Stumbled across WND's list of prominent birthers this morning. Here's the list:
Leaders on a growing list also are asking question, including Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Ron Ramsey, Hawaii state Sen. Will Espero, U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former House majority leader Tom DeLay, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., feminist icon Camille Paglia, New Hampshire State Rep. Laurence Rappaport, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., and prominent commentators Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, Lou Dobbs, Peter Boyles and WND's Chuck Norris and Pat Boone.
Usual suspects at first glance then I went:

Huh? Camille Paglia's a birther?

This I had to see. Here's Camille from November of '08:
In the closing weeks of the election, however, I became increasingly disturbed by the mainstream media's avoidance of forthright dealing with several controversies that had been dogging Obama -- even as every flimsy rumor about Sarah Palin was being trumpeted as if it were engraved in stone on Mount Sinai. For example, I had thought for many months that the flap over Obama's birth certificate was a tempest in a teapot. But simple questions about the certificate were never resolved to my satisfaction. Thanks to their own blathering, fanatical overkill, of course, the right-wing challenges to the birth certificate never gained traction.

But Obama could have ended the entire matter months ago by publicly requesting Hawaii to issue a fresh, long-form, stamped certificate and inviting a few high-profile reporters in to examine the document and photograph it. (The campaign did make the "short-form" certificate available to Factcheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.)
Curious part is that had she actually read the Factcheck posting she linked to, she would have read:
In June, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document's authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is "fake."

We beg to differ. FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.
Not only that, but they have an update, dated November 1 - 11 days before Camille's Salon posting. It reads:
Update, Nov. 1: The director of Hawaii’s Department of Health confirmed Oct. 31 that Obama was born in Honolulu.
Here's Camille a few months later in April '09:
Yes, there were ambiguities about Obama's birth certificate that have never been satisfactorily resolved.
So the official position of the State of Hawaii isn't good enough?

And then last September where she's quoted as saying this on NPR:
First of all, I reject the idea that the “birther” campaign is motivated by racism. There may be racism among it, but there are legitimate questions about the documentation of Obama’s birth certificate.
I used to be a fan of Camille's. Didn't always agree with her but I always thought there was a huge brain behind that mile-a-minute voice.

Now I know she's just nuts.


Maria said...

Told you she was a joke.


Dayvoe said...

Yes, yes you did.

Consider this blog post my mea culpa.

spork_incident said...

I read "Sexual Personae" back when she first hit. Or I should say, I read 1/3 of "Sexual Personae" then tossed it aside thinking, "grad school sure turns out some dimwits".

That she still plagues us two decades later is something to marvel at.


Maria said...

Just to really seal the deal: she also wanted The Sopranos to be taken off the air.


EdHeath said...

You know, I ended up doing way more research on the birther thing than I should have (in the last year and whatever). I learned that the original (pre-seventies) birth certificates were microfilmed and destroyed. The State of Hawaii now keeps a database of the information from the original birth certificates and generates a form on request, the supposed "short form". The State has a process in place for people who need specific information from the microfilmed original birth certificates, for example to prove native ancestry for certain State benefits, where a State health department official views the microfilm. As a courtesy to Obama, the Hawaiian Secretary of Health did exactly that, viewed the microfilmed version of his original birth certificate. That I know all this is way more information than I should have, and indicates that Paglia should have answers for all her questions.

But can you imagine what would happen if Hawaii said that all they have is a microfilm of Obama's original birth certificate? If they printed a copy of it? The "birthers" would go ballistic (From GhostBusters):
Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Meanwhile, I have never understood the appeal of Camille Paglia. Apparently (from my choice of movie references) I am illiterate.

Maria said...

As a public service, some real feminist icons' thoughts on Paglia:

Molly Ivins on Camille: She wrote a scathing review of Sexual Personae in which she accused Paglia of historical inaccuracy, demagoguery of second-wave feminists, egocentrism, and writing in sweeping generalizations. Ivins concluded her review with this passage: "There is one area in which I think Paglia and I would agree that politically correct feminism has produced a noticeable inequity. Nowadays, when a woman behaves in a hysterical and disagreeable fashion, we say, 'Poor dear, it's probably PMS.' Whereas, if a man behaves in a hysterical and disagreeable fashion, we say, 'What an asshole.' Let me leap to correct this unfairness by saying of Paglia, Sheesh, what an asshole."

Naomi Wolf on Camille: In The New Republic, Wolf labeled Paglia, "the nipple-pierced person's Phyllis Schlafly who poses as a sexual renegade but is in fact the most dutiful of patriarchal daughters" and called Paglia's writing "full of howling intellectual dishonesty."

Katha Pollitt on Camille: She called Paglia "the Charles Murray of sex. You know, "There's nothing you can do about it."'Pollitt also accused Paglia of "glorify[ing] male dominance".

Source here

The Expatriate said...

What amuses me is that conservatives who previously would never have looked at Paglia twice are embracing her now that she's started chirping their twaddle.

Jonathan Potts said...

Despite what Paglia would have us believe, I don't think the mainstream media has done nearly enough to dispel this smear. Then again, when some people insist there is a liberal bias at Factcheck.org, no amount of reasoning will convince them.