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Not a birther, just plays one on TV

October 20, 2011 - Jim Anderson
What to do about bad behavior?

Some child development experts advise that bad behavior should be ignored and good behavior rewarded.

Ignoring bad behavior can be a problem, however. One doesn’t want to be too tolerant, and sometimes there are potential victims to protect.

It’s complicated.

The age-old dilemma of reward vs. punishment came to mind the other night when Fox’s Sean Hannity blurted something about President Obama growing up in Kenya. Birtherism — or the loopy notion that Obama wasn’t born in America — is ultimately Obama’s fault, Hannity inferred. (The legal birth certificate Obama made public back in 2008 was suspect because ... well, because.)

Then Hannity delivered his curious line about Obama growing up in Kenya and tossed his foam football to cue a commercial. (The football, I believe, is a toy allowed to Sean by the Fox producers as a reward for keeping his hair nice.)

Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. (Even Sean Hannity concedes that, even though he sometimes has odd ways of showing it.) Barack Obama grew up in Hawaii and — for a few years — Indonesia. Obama was well into his 20s when he first visited Kenya, the homeland of his biological father.

So maybe Hannity misspoke. Maybe he’s confused. Or maybe he lied.

Perhaps the best thing to do is set the record straight — again. And otherwise ignore Hannity’s behavior.

The folks at Fox, meanwhile, will keep taking care of Sean’s rewards.



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