- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
Inspired by the Helen Thomas hubbub, this week’s FP Explainer took up the question of whether it’s possible for the White House to revoke a reporter’s press credentials. In the piece, I mentioned some of the more dubious members of the White House press corps who’ve been allowed to stick around year after year. One of these is intrepid WorldNetDaily correspondent, Baltimore radio host, and all-around crazy person Les Kinsolving. I see from Politico that Kinsolving was in fine form today:
In the last question of the day, Kinsolving asked Gibbs "why the president is using a Social Security Number reserved for Connecticut applicants" – alluding to a popular conspiracy theory among some who question the president’s citizenship.
Gibbs began to reply, saying he was "amazed" by the question, before interrupting himself to ask directly: "Do you think the president was born here, Lester? Do you think the president was born in the United States?"
"I don’t know," the conservative correspondent answered, adding he wants to see Obama’s birth certificate.
Wait… so Obama is secretly from Connecticut now? This followed a June 1 briefing in which Kinsolving asked Gibbs why Obama has never protested the fact that there’s no memorial to Confederate war dead at Harvard.
Obviously, it does seem a little strange that Helen Thomas was forced to resign over one comment while Kinsolving says this kind of thing every time he’s called on but gets to renew his White House pass every year. But as Matt Yglesias smartly observed about the double-standards arguments surrouding the Thomas case:
Mike Huckabee’s support for cleansing the entire area west of the Jordan River of its Arab population is disgusting but doesn’t somehow make Thomas’ view that Israeli Jews should be deported to Poland okay. Which is to say that with hypocrisy we should be trying to level up—to hold everyone to higher and better standards of conduct—rather than to level down by using observations of hypocrisy to minimize bad behavior
Need even more Kinsolving in your life? This Baltimore City Paper profile from 2005 is a great read.