Oh, Wait. No, That's Not True...
But Let's Pretend He Was Anyway
This is the very definition of an utterly baseless, right-wing, hack and attack job.
Fox News spent many hours discussing whether or not presidential hopeful, Senator Barack Obama could be "trusted" to lead the country, seeing as he was "raised as Muslim" and had been educated at a "madrassa school" in Indonesia.
A phone-in caller to one program on Fox News said that Obama might not be trusted to see terrorists as the enemy because he was "raised as a Muslim". The host who took the call then figuratively threw on his Superman cape and declared, "We'll see about that!"
Fox News has repeatedly exaggerated rumours, given credibility to baseless allegations and twisted the truth into pretzel knots. But their full-blown, multi-program, full-blooded smearing of Barack Obama set new heights of irresponsibility and extremist propaganda.
Fox News is now Goebbels dream of brainwashing-via-television personified.
It can't be called journalism. There was no journalism involved.
Crooks And Liars covers the expose.
CNN blows off the lid off the 'scandal' that didn't actually exist...by being journalists
Fox News relied on one single source for controversy-mucking about the man who could become the first black president of the United States.
Fox News just didn't get a few facts wrong. They didn't get anything right about the non-existent story.
Barack Obama is a Christian who spent two years at a school in Indonesia that can't even be categorised as a madrassa, let alone one that taught "radical Islamic ideologies".
A CNN reporter investigated the school and found it be multi-faith, and anything but radical.
Perhaps CNN was motivated in part by this remarkable "error" where there ran a graphic of Osama Bin Laden with the words 'Where's Obama?' over the top.
Incredibly, YahooNews did almost exactly the same thing, in the same week, when they captioned a photo of Barack Obama with the words "Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda".
There was much speculation amongst online commenters whether or not this was all part of a mainstream media tactic, or conspiracy, to form an association in peoples' minds between Osama and Obama, outside of their similar names.
The controversy ramped up by Insight, Fox News and the New York Post showed just how far from reality the right-wing media has drifted.
They will demand that any politician with even the slightest connection to Islam must declare all in case there is a link to extremists and terrorists.
But this blinding paranoia is not a representation of of the majority of Americans, who have clearly stated, in numerous polls, that they don't mistrust the Muslims who live amongst them, and nor do they have suspicions about the Muslims they know having any connection to extremists.
They do fear extremists and terrorism and dangerous ideas, but Americans are more suspicious of their government, and the media, on the whole, than they are of the Muslim family living down the street.
Once they were busted spreading propaganda, and ramping up The Fear, Fox News decided to blame the single source for the outrageous multi-program, twin-format (TV and radio) Smear and Fear-fest :
The Obama aide described Fox News' broadcasting of...story "appallingly irresponsible."
Fox News executive Bill Shine told CNN "Reliable Sources" anchor Howard Kurtz that some of the network's hosts were simply expressing their opinions and repeatedly cited Insight as the source of the allegations.
What Bill Shine means is that Fox News hosts were just expressing their opinion about something that never happened.
They had hosts acknowledge their one source and then discussed the implications of having a president who had attended a radical Islamist school, and probably had sympathies with terrorists because of that schooling. And they presented this "debate" as thought the trigger was a rock-solid fact. Not that they bothered to find out for themselves whether or not this was true.
And here's where the Art Of The Smear becomes truly insidious.
The source turned out to be be Insight, a right-wing magazine owned by the Washington Times, whose owner, the Reverend Moon (he claims to be the Second Coming of Christ) also happens to be a close Bush family friend.
Insight Magazine claims it got the meat of its story about Obama's early schooling in Indonesia from a source within the Hillary Clinton camp, who Insight claims was digging for dirt on Obama and came up with the factless nuggets :
"He was a Muslim, but he concealed it," the source said. "His opponents within the Democrats hope this will become a major issue in the campaign.
"It's particularly interesting to note that this factless controversy has become something of a minor "issue in the campaign" thanks to a far-right, conservative magazine, the New York Post and a parade of Fox News propagandists.
Why says Rupert Murdoch doesn't want Hillary Clinton to become the next president?
Insight says it stands by its anonymous sources, which it may well do, but as the CNN story expose showed, the basis of the story - that the school Obama attended in Indonesia was a madrassa pumping radical Islam - simply isn't true.
Fox News continues to back peddle furiously, but you can tell their heart just isn't in it.
It doesn't matter that the nothing about the story was true.
They wanted to believe it was true, and thus, it became truth.
For a few days, anyway.
Veteran investigative journalist Robert Parry explains how Reverend Sun Myung Moon and his media mini-empire do their dirty work :
The shrewdness of Moon’s Insight magazine story is that it hit two enemies with one anonymously sourced stone, a strategy of slime and divide straight from the textbooks of a spy agency like the CIA.
Only in this case, it is not the CIA planting black propaganda in a foreign publication to undermine some U.S. enemy.
It is Moon using his media outlets subsidized by his mysterious foreign money to manipulate and distort the U.S. political process, again.
After Moon’s magazine published the “madrassa” story, it quickly spread to the wider audiences of Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing media outlets. Fox News and the New York Post – both owned by Murdoch – picked up and further disseminated the ugly stories that portrayed Obama as a secret Islamic militant and Clinton as a smear artist.
To further the subliminal link between Obama and Islamic terrorism, the New York Post ran its story under the headline “‘Osama’ Mud Flies at Obama,” much as talk show host Rush Limbaugh has reveled in repeating the names “Osama, Obama” again and again – all the better for his weak-minded listeners to connect Obama with Osama bin Laden.
So who is this story really bad for?
Not Fox News. They revel in this kind of muck, even when it sticks to them.
Insight Magazine got very famous overnight, and visitors to their online site have shot through the ceiling.
Hillary Clinton already polls hard as a tough and vengeful political fighter, so her name being connected with all this would do nothing to damage her reputation.
The only loser is Barack Obama.
And that was probably the whole idea all along.
This is 2008 US presidential election is going to get very, very ugly. Even before the Democrats have decided who is going to lead their party into the election.
Insight Magazine did, after all, claim the source for their story on Obama came from within the Clinton camp.
If Insight is telling the truth, then the Clintonista has just conducted one very successful Smear and Fear.
All with the help of Fox News and the New York Post. Both owned, of course, by Rupert Murdoch. Who has already endorsed Hillary as the Next President of the United States.
Fox News Doesn't Blame Itself For Not Fact Checking, It Blames...HIllary Clinton's "People"
Insight Magazine Responds To An "Attack" On Its Credibility By The Washington Post Over The Obama-Clinton Madrassa Controversy
The Original Insight Story That Started The Controversy - Clinton Camp Has Questions About Obama's Muslim Background
The Obama-Osama Name Association Mind Game - Media Treatment Of Barack Obama Shows Media's Ignorance
Robert Parry Gives A Short History About How Reverand Moon's Media Has Smeared And Feared Its Way Through Previous Presidential Elections
Washington Post : Hillary & Obama & Anonymous Sources
CNN Apologises For Running Image Of Osama Bin Laden With Tag Line 'Where's Obama?'
YahooNews Captions Photo Of Barack Obama With The Words "Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda"