BIRTHERS

CNN Chief Calls Out Lou Dobbs

Was CNN president Jon Klein hoping for an off-screen Face Off with host Lou Dobbs? Klein sent "Lou Dobbs Tonight" staffers an email on Thursday saying that the controversy surrounding the legitimacy of President Obama's birth certificate—one of Dobbs' pet topics of late—is a "dead" story. In the email, Klein elaborated that CNN researchers had determined that Hawaiian officials tossed out paper documents in 2001—thus, Obama's long-form birth certificate no longer exists and a shorter certificate of live birth that has been made public is the official record. "It seems to definitively answer the question," he continued. On Friday, however, Klein softened his tone, saying that he wasn't ordering the staff to drop the story. "He's got more than 30 years as a television journalist, and I trust him, as I trust all our reporters and anchors, to exercise their judgment as various stories evolve," Klein said of Dobbs. Meanwhile, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a major civil rights group, has asked Klein to take Dobbs off the air for his role in perpetuating the conspiracy theory.