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Newsweek Insults Barack Obama As an 'Anchor Baby'

In a list of famous Americans with a parent (or both) born in another country, the un-bylined last page "Back Story" of this week's Newsweek listed "BARACK OBAMA (Kenyan Father)" on the page headlined: "What's So Scary About an 'Anchor Baby'?" The brief text below the headline, and on top of the diaper, made clear the magazine's attempt to undermine those suggesting citizenship should no longer be automatically conferred on anyone born within the United States:

There's a movement afoot to alter the 14th amendment, the one that guarantees citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil. Combine this with anti-immigrant policies like Arizona's and you begin to question the idea of America as a melting pot - as a nation of mothers and fathers welcomed here to seek better lives. But the country has benefited richly from their sons and daughters (right).

An "anchor baby" is a child born to parents in the U.S. illegally, so is the magazine suggesting that Obama's father, as well as parents of the 32 others in their list, were all illegal aliens at the time of the births of their famous offspring? Talk about flinging scurrilous allegations and encouraging the "birther" crowd.

Larger jpg image of the page (50 Kb), full size jpg image (1 Mb). I scanned the page and the blotches/darkness within the white areas are from bleed through from the other side of the very thin paper Newsweek uses.

Imagine the reaction of the left and Newsweek if a conservative figure had called Obama an "anchor baby." They certainly would consider it one more insult to add to the right's "lies" about Obama.

The "anchor baby" list with Obama appeared in the very same Newsweek, the September 6 issue, featuring a cover story by Jonathan Alter on the "lies" told about Obama:

The outlandish stories about Barack Hussein Obama are simply false: he wasn't born outside the United States (the tabloid "proof" has been debunked as a crude forgery); he has never been a Muslim (he was raised by an atheist and became a practicing Christian in his 20s); his policies are not "socialist" (he explicitly rejected advice to nationalize the banks and wants the government out of General Motors and Chrysler as quickly as possible); he is not a "warmonger" (he promised in 2008 to withdraw from Iraq and escalate in Afghanistan and has done so); he is neither a coddler of terrorists (he has already ordered the killing of more "high value" Qaeda targets in 18 months than his predecessor did in eight years), nor a coddler of Wall Street (his financial-reform package, while watered down, was the most vigorous since the New Deal), nor an enemy of American business (he and the Chamber of Commerce favor tax credits for small business that were stymied by the GOP to deprive him of a victory). And that's just the short list of lies.

The 32 on the list (not online) in addition to Obama:

Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Alex Rodriguez, Frank Sinatra, Joan River, Fred Astaire, Dean Martin, Vera Wang, Bobby Jindal, Colin Powell, Olympia Snowe, Frank Zappa, Henry Mancini, Eugene O'Neill, Henry Heinz, Groucho Marx, George Gershwin, Leonard Nimoy, Nikki Haley, Rene Zellweger, John Cassavetes, Ray Bradbury, Michelle Kwan, Spiro Agnew, Joan Baez, Oscar Hijuelos, Ralph Nader, Norah Jones, Larry King, Eric Holder, Benny Goodman and Narcisco Rodriguez.

Spiro Agnew ("Greek Father")? Not a name you'd think Newsweek would tout.

Earlier, my post on Newsweek's previous edition: "Newsweek Ranks U.S. the 11th 'Best Country' - Bush's Fault, But Obama Can Stem the Slide"

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.