Bad idea. I sympathize with him wanting to protect CNN from negative press but the surest way to feed a conspiracy theory, needless to say, is to try to suppress it. This is like Roger Ailes issuing a communique ordering Fox News not to cover 9/11 Truth. What is he hiding?

TVNewser has learned CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein sent an email to a handful of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” staffers last night regarding the coverage of the so-called birthers and the validity of Pres. Obama’s birth in the U.S.

In part, Klein writes, “It seems this story is dead- because anyone who still is not convinced doesn’t really have a legitimate beef.” Klein asked CNN researchers to dig into the question of why Obama couldn’t produce the original birth certificate. The researchers contacted the Hawaii Health Dept. and confirmed that paper documents were discarded in 2001 when the department went paperless. That reportedly includes Pres. Obama’s original birth certificate.

Dave Weigel, who’s been tracking the Birther phenomenon for months, floats a new story today about Team McCain having investigated the rumors last year and found nothing to them. Possible lines of Birther attack: McCain’s vetters were too dumb to find the smoking gun; even if they found the smoking gun, McCain’s eligibility was also in question at one point due to his being born in Panama so he couldn’t use it; McCain’s a RINO and wanted to lose so even if he did find the smoking gun, he probably destroyed it to help Obama out.

As a capper to Birther Week, here’s Matthews beating the dead horse once more with G. Gordon Liddy. Come for Liddy’s misinformation about what Obama’s grandmother really said about his birthplace, stay for E. Steven Collins’s embarrassing swooning over The One.