The New York Times today runs a book review by Michiko Kakutani of a new book, The Backlash, by Will Bunch. The Times review includes a sentence claiming that Mr. Bunch attributes the rise of the Tea Party in part to "'The electronic media' — including the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and local talk radio imitators, as well as social networking forces like Facebook and Twitter — which have enabled 'like-minded Obama naysayers' to come together 'without actual journalists intervening to filter out untrue information like the canard about the president's birth certificate.'"
The review goes on to associate Mr. Beck with "birthers" a second time:
By far the most compelling, if not terribly original, arguments in "The Backlash" concern the current media environment, which has amplified the loudest and most partisan voices, and helped spread fact-free theories about President Obama's not being born in the United States or wanting to take away people's guns. Mr. Bunch invokes Neil Postman — who argued in his seminal 1985 book, "Amusing Ourselves to Death," that the entertainment values promoted by television are subverting public discourse — to explore the phenomenon of Mr. Beck and his shameless emotional appeals to his audience's deepest fears about change and the threat of the Other (be it a black president, Mexican immigrants or East Coast liberals).
But for an author and a reviewer on a high horse about "actual journalists intervening to filter out untrue information," there sure seems to be a failure here to check on Mr. Beck's actual position on President Obama's place of birth. It's readily available here on the Beck Web site. There's little to no ambiguity; Mr. Beck calls the claim that Mr. Obama was born outside the U.S. "the dumbest thing I've ever heard."