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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Conspiracy theories about Obama

    by Sunny on 3rd November, 2008 at 5:44 AM    

    Politico had a good article yesterday on the nastiest rumours about McCain and Obama that most of the press didn’t bother covering because they were so stupid and untrue. For example:

    Probably the most widely e-mailed Obama “tip” at the moment alleges that he isn’t a natural-born American citizen and thus isn’t eligible to run for president. This began in the die-hard pro-Hillary section of the blogosphere, which spent part of the summer discussing laws that deal with the citizenship of a child with one American parent born abroad.

    A third popular Obama “tip” has to do with Raila Odinga, the Kenyan prime minister and former opposition leader who claimed that Obama was a distant cousin. The reports surfaced after a political crisis in Kenya in which many international observers believed the vote was stolen from Odinga….

    I pointed out earlier that the existence of a free media alone doesn’t quash conspiracy theories, largely because nutjobs convince themselves that the media is dominated by the opposition. What’s required is for the MSM to apply a higher standard of journalism than blogs, investigate these theories and then disregard them if they’re false. And largely, apart from Fox News, they have done. What I wanted to highlight was the fact that MSM journalists in the UK - especially Melanie Phillips - were more than happy to run with this craziness.

    For example, here she is writing on her blog about the Odinga theory. In fact Mad Mel has been churning out Obama conspiracy theories for months now, talking loudly about his “Muslim heritage” as if that alone indicates he should be under suspicion. Of course, the American MSM ignored her conspiracy theorising and linking to the “respected” academic Daniel Pipes for obvious reasons.

    The bigger question is - why is this woman still considered a mainstream journalist when she has so clearly gone off the deep end and lost any sense of journalistic standards? Why does the Spectator Magazine allow its space to be used for the kind of rubbish generated in the stupid part of the American blogosphere?

    Filed in: Current affairs

    • Gege
      i too, worry about MP. something has gone wrong with her blog.
    • Golam Murtaza
      Something's gone wrong with her brain cells. She needs to be sectioned.
    • de soto
      perhaps we'll also need an obam-a-meter for mad mel's page cf http://caesious.beasts.org/~chris/tmp/naziomete...
    • Laban
      I've just finished Steve Sailer's fascinating new Obama biography, which sayeth :

      "As far as I can tell from piecing together their respective family trees, Odinga‘s claim to be Obama’s first cousin is likely false"

      Sailer thinks that its "in Odinga's interest to persuade other Kenyans that he enjoys the support of the man who may become the most powerful figure in the world".

      The Sailer book is biography informed by an exegesis of Obama's 1995 "Dreams From My Father : A Story of
      Race and Inheritance". Have you read it, Sunny ?

      Because in Sailer's excerpts Obama comes across, not as the first post-racial or transcending-race politician, not as the guy for whom "trying to bridge the gap
      between different kinds of people .. is in my DNA", but as a guy absolutely obsessed with race and worried about exactly how black he is (the poor guy also seems to have had two (highly intelligent) parents from hell).
    • yo mama
      VOTE McCAIN!
    • Sid
      but as a guy absolutely obsessed with race

      Sounds like Steve Sailer's autobiography...
    • Sid
      Great article on Smelly Mel:

      Melanie Phillips the miserablist by Kanishk Tharoor

      But what I find much more worrying about Phillips' piece is how she understands Obama as a symbol. She claims that "Obama stands for the expiation of America's original sin in oppressing black people, the third world and the poor." This is a remarkable inversion.

      Obama does indeed "stand for" something larger in the racial history of the United States: its transcendence. His sober and moving speech on race asked all Americans to both recognise and overcome the past; it did not demand "white guilt". Were Obama to reach the White House, he would "stand for" the traditions of openness, possibility and innovation that have, in large part, made America the superpower it is today. Obama's story is a quintessentially American one.
    • Laban
      You're right, Sid, that is one of Sailer's main topics.

      But his point is that a reading of 'Dreams from my Father' shows Obama to not be the transcender, the unifier, but a guy desperate to find his identity 'as a black American', a guy who chose Rev Wright's church (informed by the IMHO racist theology of James Cone) with his eyes wide open.

      Now there are a couple of things to say here. He wrote that book 13 years back. It could be that he's got a lot more things to worry about these days than exactly how black he is - I certainly hope so.

      And people can change. When Rev Wright, a 20-year friend and the guy who officiated at his wedding, wouldn't clam up he was dropped like a hot potato. So it remains to be seen how much of the 33 year old Obama of "Dreams From My Father" remains. But it's a valid question to ask.

      (and I shall read the book for myself, although it's apparently pretty heavy going)
    • erika
      Not that I agree with any of the conspiracy theories out there but maybe the reason mainstream, "un-biased" reporters constantly discredit all theories as lies is because if they "dare" to believe any thing or investigate things further, they are labeled as nut-jobs. Maybe you all are not as "open-minded" as you'd like to believe.
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