Obama eligibility: media pressure

The Obama birth certificate. Why is this still accepted as valid? The Birther movement still matters, for the precedent.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Obama eligibility case took a nasty turn today. Lawyers for the Obama campaign demanded that videos of a New Jersey administrative-law trial come down. Those same lawyers admitted that they had removed their associate, Alexandra Hill, from the case.

The Obama eligibility case in New Jersey

Last Tuesday, the case of Purpura and Moran v. Obama, STE 4534-12, came to trial before Administrative Law Judge Jeff S. Masin. Nick Purpura of Wall, NJ, and Ted Moran of Toms River, NJ, said that Barack H. Obama should not appear on the ballot of the June 5 New Jersey Democratic Primary. They gave two reasons:

  1. Obama has never shown that he was born in Hawaii, or even who he is.
  2. Obama cannot qualify to be President because his father was a British colonial subject.

CNAV recorded the hearing. So, too, did Dan Haggerty of The Baer-Haggerty Offensive, a radio program that runs each Wednesday afternoon at Re-patriot Radio (WNJC, AM 1360).

Judge Masin concluded that Obama had not “failed in any obligation” to make any showing, either of his identity or that he was a natural-born citizen. Mario Apuzzo, attorney for Purpura and Moran, confirmed to CNAV that they will still appeal that conclusion.

But the part that has excited observers nationwide happened in the second hour of the hearing. Alexandra M. Hill, of Genova, Burns, Giantomasi and Webster, represented the Obama campaign at the hearing. Apuzzo called Brian Wilcox, an Internet document expert, to the stand, to attack the Obama birth certificate document that the White House served to the Internet on April 27, 2011. Ms. Hill then said that the PDF document was irrelevant to the case at hand, and conceded that Obama never once gave his birth certificate, or any good copy of it, hard or soft, to the New Jersey Secretary of State or the Division of Elections. Hill then claimed that New Jersey law did not force Obama to give anything to qualify himself for a primary ballot, and that New Jersey residents could nominate Mickey Mouse if they could get enough signatures to nominate him.

The Tea Party Tribune, and other media organs quoting them, construed this as saying that Alexandra Hill “admitted that the Obama birth certificate is a forgery.” That is not correct. But she clearly did damage enough to the Obama eligibility argument, and embarrassed the Obama campaign. Recent events have made this abundantly clear.

Obama lawyers demand: Take down those videos!

Mario Apuzzo, arguing the latest Obama eligibility challenge

Mario Apuzzo walks toward the Office of Administrative Law with his two clients. Photo: CNAV.

Jerome R. Corsi made the latest Obama eligibility issue famous with this story about the hearing. Then, on Tuesday afternoon, Alexandra Hill’s boss called Mario Apuzzo directly. CNAV heard first from Nick Purpura and then directly from Apuzzo.

Apuzzo received a call from a man identifying himself as Angelo Genova, the lead partner of Genova, Burns, Giantomasi and Webster. Genova was agitated and almost overwrought. He demanded to know why Apuzzo had videotaped the proceedings (a thing Apuzzo did not do), and then said that he would “move to strike the video from the record.” Genova also said that:

  • Alexandra M. Hill is not working on the case of Purpura and Moran v. Obama any longer. Angelo Genova has taken that case over and is handling it personally.
  • Death threats have come to the firm. Apuzzo told CNAV that Ms. Hill was the main target of these threats. Billy Baer also talked to Apuzzo, after CNAV called Dan Haggerty for comment. Apuzzo apparently told Baer that Genova never made clear whether the threatening person was threatening Ms. Hill alone or “the firm in general,” whatever that might mean.

Apuzzo offered to Genova to condemn the threats for the record, on his blog. Genova hastily declined. He then dwelt at length on the making of the video or videos and accused Apuzzo of making them without the court’s permission.

For the record

CNAV has long suspected that the Obama eligibility case has stalled because some person or persons is/are applying pressure to witnesses and media organs to keep quiet. Now CNAV finds itself a direct target, as is the Baer-Haggerty Offensive.

CNAV emphasizes that Mario Apuzzo did not commission CNAV to record the video footage of the Obama eligibility hearing. Neither did he so commission Baer or Haggerty, as both men confirmed to CNAV today.

The New Jersey Administrative Code says that anyone may record a public hearing. The judge may restrict such recording so that it does not disrupt the hearing. On April 10, before the hearing began, Judge Masin summoned Apuzzo and Hill to his chambers. There, as Apuzzo said later, the judge asked about persons wanting to record the hearings on video. Apuzzo knew that CNAV and Dan Haggerty had brought cameras. He had also given an interview to Station WHYY-TV (Channel 12, Philadelphia, PA), who told him they would come to the hearing. Judge Masin said that he would allow video cameras, so long as their operators mounted them on fixed tripod stands. Haggerty and CNAV agreed to this. (See also Commander Kerchner’s blog entry.)

CNAV and Haggerty recorded the entire hearing. WHYY-TV came in late, recorded for five minutes, then left.

Thus Judge Masin, acting according to law, let CNAV and Dan Haggerty record the hearing. At least, both our sets of videos are citizen observations of public hearings. They are also work products of the press. Therefore, the US Constitution and New Jersey law protect this content. For Genova to try to suppress this content a week after the fact is the silliest moment in the entire Obama eligibility saga. No court can “strike the content from the record,” because the content is not part of any court record. Nor can anyone enjoin a citizen journalist, or any other citizen, from recording a public hearing.

CNAV condemns, in the strongest possible terms, any threat that anyone makes against any lawyer, journalist, or other person taking part in the political or legal process, recording it for posterity, or simply watching it. This applies especially to any threats that anyone might or might not have made to Alexandra M. Hill or any member or employee of Genova, Burns, Giantomasi and Webster.

But CNAV also knows its rights under the Constitution and New Jersey law. Therefore, CNAV will not remove any video footage that it took at the New Jersey Obama eligibility hearing. Baer and Haggerty confirmed that they will not remove their footage, either.

Related:

CNAV footage in which Hill concedes that Obama has shown nothing to the New Jersey Secretary of State:

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Footage from the Baer-Haggerty Offensive:

ARVE Error: need id and provider

ARVE Error: need id and provider

ARVE Error: need id and provider

Editor-in-chief at | + posts

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

35 Responses to Obama eligibility: media pressure

  1. […] Obama eligibility – Pressure on conservative media – The Obama eligibility case in NJ.  See this news story by Conservative News and Views in NJ: https://www.conservativenewsandviews.com/2012/04/18/firstamendment/obama-eligibility-media-pressure/ […]

  2. […] Read: https://www.conservativenewsandviews.com/2012/04/18/firstamendment/obama-eligibility-media-pressure/ […]

  3. It appears now that the Obama camp publicaly refuses to acknowledge that their crap stinks. Perhaps the birthers and Constitutionalists are beginning to witness Obama’s eligibility nakedness being undressed!

  4. Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

    Since this is just the most recent place you’ve repeated this odd claim, I’m addressing it here.

    You keep making more than is warranted of Obama’s attorneys’ legally correct argument that the birth certificate was irrelevant in this case. Acknowledging as you do that their theory of the case is that the validity of the nomination is according to the NJ statute, which doesn’t require any documentation of citizenship, not that anything would satisfy you anyway, and indeed doesn’t even require the putative candidate’s consent, it’s no surprise that they’d respond that the birth certificate is irrelevant. Judge Masin agreed:

    “It is thus the case that a nominating petition endorsing a particular person for the Presidency can be filed without the consent of the person indorsed. That being the case, it appears that at least at the time that the petition is filed with the Secretary of State, there is no obligation upon the person indorsed to prove his or her qualification for the office.”

    I would assume NJ would treat a judgment rendered in administrative court the same as any other for res judicata purposes. So unless these petitioners successfully appeal Judge Masin’s decision, that’s that. Disagree all you like. You have an obligation to report it neutrally and not take the kinds of strong (and legally unsupportable) positions you’re taking.

    How in the world you conclude that the associate’s “admission” that the birth certificate was irrelevant did any damage at all to Obama’s opposition to a campaign of harassment in the form of frivolous lawsuits across the country is beyond me. It’s all the more baffling because, like in every single other birther case, these individual’s objections were found to be dead bang losers.

    Finally, I find it odd that you call this “journalism” yet you’re taking sides on what I would very very charitably characterize as contested issues of fact and law. You should consider the difference between advocacy and news reporting.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Just one remark: if I shoot footage of a tornado tearing up somebody’s house, I’m not going to pretend to have no sympathy for the plight of the owner of that house.

      And when I see a political tornado tearing up my country, the same applies.

      • Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

        Fair enough as to the tornado scenario to the extent that best practices in journalism do seem to be moving toward allowing a reporter to present a sympathetic take on a story like this, though I think it’s still wholly inappropriate for the reporter to openly state his own opinion.

        But your characterization of a factual claim that’s at least disputed to have any merit as a “political tornado tearing up my country” is premised on a false analogy. No reasonably sane person except maybe an editor would object to a reporter offering his own sympathetic opinion in the tornado story even if it’s not ethically permissible (assume it is for the purpose of discussion).

        A reporter offering an opinion that’s contra every single decision rendered by a court in the entire United States in the history of birther litigation is not sympathizing with the victims of a “political tornado” that only exists according to one side of the story.

        I just found a very interesting article that discusses a similar issue. Have a look and tell me what you think. http://www.journalismethics.info/feature_articles/does_caring_require_advocay.html

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Yeah, well, hey: nine out of every ten journalists support Obama and make no bones about it. To them, caring does require advocacy. I’m just taking the same license they take.

          • Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

            No you’re not. You’re a partisan and you’ve injected yourself into the very dispute itself with these columns by uncritically repeating claims you favor and denegrating Judge Masin’s decision with, respectfully, no personal knowledge of the law, which you’re getting wrong.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Sure, sure. Me and every other journalist out there. The difference being that those other journalists are on your side, and I am against you, and that sticks in your craw.

    • Nathaniel Roubideaux: Re: Your April 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm comment reply:

      I think of myself as plain spoken. Perhaps, I am missing something in your comment reply that should be obvious, but I think that your reply remarks are somewhat ambiguous.

      Nathan M. Bickel

      http://www.thechristianmessage.org
      http://www.moralmatters.org

      • Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

        I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear.

        My point is that there’s a huge distinction between the circumstances Mr. Hurlbut conflated.

        On the one hand you have something nearly 100% of people agree on as to which nobody cares if the reporter expresses an opinion.

        On the other hand you have something that at least a huge percentage of people disagree on and both sides would object to a non-neutral presentation of the story that they didn’t agree with. Under the circumstances, a reporter taking a position one way or the other is advocating. That’s not journalism.

  5. Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

    Nathan Bickel wrote: “Perhaps the birthers and Constitutionalists are beginning to witness Obama’s eligibility nakedness being undressed!”

    I find it odd that armchair lawyers toss around statements like this without providing any analysis when the reality is that birthers are getting nowhere and they’re witnessing nothing but losing in court. Birthers have yet to raise a single argument in any of these cases that came close to “undressing” this “eligibility nakeness.”

    Take as a queue that if a party or attorney in any of these frivolous cases continued filing them, there’s a possibility he’d be sanctioned, as Taitz was. Call it a conspiracy if you like, but the birthers are going to need to provide something more than the bald assertion that these judges’ legal analysis was motivated by an ulterior purpose to protect Obama by ruling incorrectly. That necessarily starts with some good legal analysis showing that they were wrong in the first place.

    I’m sorry to be somewhat harsh since you seem like an awfully nice man from everything I’ve read while lurking on the site. I hope that you understand that my comments are directed at your statement, not you.

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      If that is a threat, then prepare either to carry it out or withdraw it.

      • Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

        Where’s the threat? I certainly didn’t intend to make any.

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          It was more like repeating someone else’s threat than making one of your own.

          • Nathaniel Roubideaux says:

            What’s the threat though?

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            Of fine, imprisonment, or both.

          • rpeh says:

            Nathaniel Roubideaux hasn’t used the word “fine” or “prison” so I have no idea what point you’re trying to make here, Terry.

            The only people who have mentioned fines are the judges who have warned Orly Taitz and people of her ilk for wasting courts’ time.

            The simple fact is that no lawsuit has passed the laugh test. Every court in which your claims have been tested have stated that Obama is eligible to be President.

            New evidence is required, because otherwise you’re doing nothing more than flogging a horse that’s been dead for months.

  6. observer says:

    Great article, keep up the good work so we can get this ‘precedent’ out.

    I’ve never seen such an ill-begotten experiment go so awry.

  7. […] report from Conservative News and Views confirmed that attorney Mario Apuzzo has been threatened by Obama’s lawyers for supposedly […]

  8. […] Obama eligibility: media pressure: Lawyers for the Obama campaign demanded that videos of a New Jersey administrative-law trial come do… […]

  9. Anonymous says:

    […] […]

  10. […] birth certificate and his possible ineligibility to appear on the New Jersey presidential ballot. A report from Conservative News and Views confirmed that attorney Mario Apuzzo has been threatened by Obama’s lawyers for supposedly […]

  11. […] Obama eligibility: media pressure: Lawyers for the Obama campaign demanded that videos of a New Jersey administrative-law trial come do… […]

  12. […] A report from Conservative News and Views confirmed that attorney Mario Apuzzo has been threatened by Obama’s lawyers for supposedly filming the court hearing. The lawyers went on to claim that they would have it scrubbed from the public domain. (rewriting history) Jerome R. Corsi made the latest Obama eligibility issue famous with thisstory about the hearing. Then, on Tuesday afternoon, Alexandra Hill’s boss called Mario Apuzzo directly. CNAV heard first from Nick Purpura and then directly from Apuzzo. […]

  13. […] report from Conservative News and Views confirmed that attorney Mario Apuzzo has been threatened by Obama’s lawyers for supposedly […]

  14. […] Media pressure […]

  15. […] A report from Conservative News and Views confirmed that attorney Mario Apuzzo has been threatened by Obama’s lawyers for supposedly filming the court hearing. The lawyers went on to claim that they would have it scrubbed from the public domain. (rewriting history) Jerome R. Corsi made the latest Obama eligibility issue famous with this story about the hearing. Then, on Tuesday afternoon, Alexandra Hill’s boss called Mario Apuzzo directly. CNAV heard first from Nick Purpura and then directly from Apuzzo. […]

  16. […] Media pressure […]

  17. […] Media pressure […]

  18. […] Media pressure […]

  19. […] Obama eligibility: media pressure: Lawyers for the Obama campaign demanded that videos of a New Jersey administrative-law trial come do… […]

  20. […] Obama eligibility: media pressure: Lawyers for the Obama campaign demanded that videos of a New Jersey administrative-law trial come do… […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.