Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: PM me to Join the Expat Muslims for Obama Club........
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Obama denies a rumor and questions the question
Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday batted down rumors circulating on the Internet and mentioned on some cable news shows of the existence of a video of his wife using a derogatory term for white people, and criticized a reporter for asking him about the rumor, which has not a shred of evidence to support it.
â€śWe have seen this before. There is dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mails and they pump them out long enough until finally you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about it,â€ť Obama said to the McClatchy reporter during a press conference aboard his campaign plane. â€śThat gives legs to the story. If somebody has evidence that myself or Michelle or anybody has said something inappropriate, let them do it.â€ť
Asked whether he knew it not to be true, Obama said he had answered the question.
â€śFrankly, my hope is people donâ€™t play this game,â€ť Obama said. â€śIt is a destructive aspect of our politics. Simply because something appears in an e-mail, that should lend it no more credence than if you heard it on the corner. Presumably the job of the press is to not to go around and spread scurrilous rumors like this until there is actually anything, an iota, of substance or evidence that would substantiate it.â€ť
So was it even acceptable to ask the question?
Before Obama could answer, communications director Robert Gibbs interjected: â€śYou just did.â€ť
â€śThat is my point,â€ť Obama said. â€śI just think people have to think about it before they ask.â€ť
NOTE: Obama's clearly right that this is how stories for which there's no evidence at all make it into the public eye. So I'm not linking or detailing the rumor, since there's just zero credible evidence for it. This is probably a silly old media vestige, of course; Google has no such standards. And Obama's discussion of it is, more broadly, news: As he acknowledged yesterday, beating back whisper campaigns is perhaps the central challenge his campaign faces.
ALSO: Reason's David Weigel examines the original source of the rumor and finds that he can't keep his story straight. (And yes, I'm now linking something that links the original. It's such an effective challenge to it that it seemed worth the cost.)