Birther claims are the logical outgrowth of a persistent argument on the right that the mainstream media failed to fully “vet” then-candidate Obama when he ran for president. To quote’s careful semi-disclaimer: “[T]he complicit mainstream media had refused to examine President Obama’s ideological past, or the carefully crafted persona he and his advisers had constructed for him.” A legitimate argument can certainly be made that Mr. Obama got better treatment from the mainstream media than, say, Hillary Clinton or John McCain. But the birthers’ claims have been debunked by a plethora of news outlets – “investigations” like Arpaio’s notwithstanding – and there is simply no way a dispassionate consideration of the evidence could result in the conclusion that Mr. Obama is not constitutionally eligible to lead the country.

But that isn’t going to stop the birthers, who invariably respond to the overwhelming evidence against their claims by alleging that biased news outlets are simply covering for the president for their own nefarious purposes.