Factchecking Obama’s birth certificate press conference 

President Obama claimed that the reason he released his birth certificate today is because the issue had become a distraction. Specifically, he blamed the conspiracy for drowning out his speech earlier this month attacking Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity. Obama claimed:

two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that will have huge consequences potentially to the country, and when I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt that we needed to invest in education and infrastructure and making sure that we had a strong safety net for our seniors even as we were closing the deficit, during that entire week the dominant news story wasn’t about these huge, monumental choices that we’re going to have to make as a nation. It was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that were represented here.

That is just plain false. Poynter.org reports:

[N]umbers provided by Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism — which tracks news coverage in its weekly index — contradict Obama’s claim.

For the week of April 11-17, the economy accounted for 39 percent of news coverage.

That same week, Donald Trump’s revival of citizenship questions accounted for ‘much of the attention directly on the Obama administration, at 4% of the newshole,’ PEJ reports.

Last week, Trump did receive more media attention, according to PEJ’s index. The 2012 election accounted for 8 percent of the newshole, making it the third biggest story, with 3 percent of the newshole specifically focused on Obama, primarily the question of where he was born.

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Conn Carroll

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