Saturday, November 10, 2007

Anatomy of a Smear Campaign

The recent obsession with where Barack Obama puts his hands has the conservative mouth pieces all aflutter with shock and consternation, reminding us that questions of patriotism must only be addressed via symbolic gesture, not a track record of decisions that have made our country stronger.

I had planned to ignore this latest, until I read this, and realized this is a perfect learning experience for activists. It shows, step by step, how the right-wing creates, propagates, and executes an email smear campaign.

It's been getting around, so much so that a woman at a Obama event in Iowa recently said she was "sick" of getting it. The accompany text varies, but one version I received read as follows:
I had heard about this, but a picture is definitely worth 1000 words!

God save us!!!

Senator Barack Obama, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Hillary Clinton and Ruth Harkin stand during the national anthem. Barack Hussein Obama's photo (that's his real name)......REFUSED TO NOT ONLY PUT HIS HAND ON HIS HEART DURING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, BUT REFUSED TO SAY THE could he possibly be our next Commander-in-Chief???? He doesn't even pledge allegiance to our country.

Today, the Obama campaign explained that the photo was taken not during the pledge of allegiance but during the star spangled banner. Said Obama, "I was taught by my grandfather that you put your hand over your heart during the pledge, but during the Star Spangled Banner, you sing!"
Things like this aren't worth combating to any extent beyond educating everyone you know, so that they aren't fooled. When someone sends you something like this, simply correct them with a few links to the real story.

Eventually, their natural desire to not be such a gullible ass will prevail.


  1. The sad part is, some people don't care enough about the truth that they'll continue repeating trash like this. It's frustrating as all hell!

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