Pssst. Pass It On

by digby

It doesn't matter if it's true or not. It's "out there":

Foes Use Obama's Muslim Ties to Fuel Rumors About Him

In his speeches and often on the Internet, the part of Sen. Barack Obama's biography that gets the most attention is not his race but his connections to the Muslim world.

Since declaring his candidacy for president in February, Obama, a member of a congregation of the United Church of Christ in Chicago, has had to address assertions that he is a Muslim or that he had received training in Islam in Indonesia, where he lived from ages 6 to 10. While his father was an atheist and his mother did not practice religion, Obama's stepfather did occasionally attend services at a mosque there.

Despite his denials, rumors and e-mails circulating on the Internet continue to allege that Obama (D-Ill.) is a Muslim, a "Muslim plant" in a conspiracy against America, and that, if elected president, he would take the oath of office using a Koran, rather than a Bible, as did Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the only Muslim in Congress, when he was sworn in earlier this year.

No, those aren't the opening paragraphs of a Townhall hit piece. That's the Washington Post recycling anonymous wingnut email trash and calling it "rumors." I guess we should be grateful that the paper allowed Obama to "dispute" and "deny" the "charge" but considering that he isn't a Muslim, it might have been a teensy bit more responsible if they'd simply written that it's a lie and let it go at that. Instead, it blandly suggests this will hurt him more than the Romney since the polls show that even more people won't vote for a Muslim than a Mormon --- failing to note that Romney is actually a Mormon and thus could be expected to suffer from these prejudices more than someone who isn't actually a Muslim!

According to the Washington Post "Republicans say Barack Obama is a Muslim and Obama says he isn't" is a legitimate story. Modern campaign journalism in all it glory.

Update: Chris Hayes actually did some real reporting on this and it's much more informative than this piece of drivel. There is a story there if the Washington Post had cared to publish it.