Christiane Amanpour's interview with Franklin Graham has sparked only a small amount of attention. The son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, Franklin has taken up the torch of his father's worldwide ministry. He's also claimed the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated every level of the Obama administration and had made disparaging remarks about Muslims, in general. Of Obama's birthplace, he told Amanpour:
"I was born in a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, and I know that my records are there. You can probably even go and find out what room my mother was in when I was born. I don't know why he can't produce that." ...
At Mother Jones, David Corn writes:
[Amanpour] devoted more time to whom Graham fancies among the potential 2012 GOP candidates. After Graham remarked that celebrity mogul Donald Trump might be his candidate of choice, Amanpour asked whether Trump's unrelenting advocacy of birtherism bothers Graham. Not at all, Graham replied, adding that the president "has some issues to deal with here" regarding his birth certificate. Graham also questioned whether Obama was truly a committed Christian—though he did acknowledge that "God is the only one who knows his heart."
And that was it. Amanpour allowed Graham to drop a birther bomblet without forcing him to defend his remarks, as well as squeezing in some doubt about the authenticity of the president's Christian beliefs. The interview was an Easter gift to those on the right who believe the president is a secret Muslim plotting the end of the United States of America. ABC News had provided a much-coveted platform to a fellow who has publicly said Obama's government is riddled with Muslim Brotherhood agents at the most senior levels—that is, someone who promotes conspiratorial crackpottery.
Graham's birther-friendly remarks did catch some attention on the Intertubes. But there was not much controversy about his appearance on the show. On Monday afternoon, at the daily White House press briefing, I asked press secretary Jay Carney if the White House was concerned that a national religious leader was charging that Obama has been shifty about his birth records and has allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to penetrate his administration. Carney offered this in reply: It was "unfortunate" that Graham "chose Easter Sunday to make preposterous charges." There was a touch of anger in Carney's voice, but just a touch, and he did not elaborate. He then left the lectern and departed the briefing room.
Obama has been quite kind to Graham's ailing father and has prayed with the elder and younger Graham. Despite that, Franklin Graham spreads conspiratorial swill about the president—without much challenge from the media. And the White House obviously calculates it can only go so far in publicly denouncing Graham. Consequently, there's not much disincentive for Graham to change his ways.
One is spurred by Graham's preposterousness to ponder whether his view of what makes a committed Christian includes not bearing false witness on national television.
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At Daily Kos on this date in 2005:
He's so busted, and the story is spreading.
The airfare to London and Scotland in 2000 for then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was charged to an American Express card issued to Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist at the center of a federal criminal and tax probe, according to two sources who know Abramoff's credit card account number and to a copy of a travel invoice displaying that number.
DeLay's expenses during the same trip for food, phone calls and other items at a golf course hotel in Scotland were billed to a different credit card also used on the trip by a second registered Washington lobbyist, Edwin A. Buckham, according to receipts documenting that portion of the trip.
House ethics rules bar lawmakers from accepting travel and related expenses from registered lobbyists. ...
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