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The Obama Smear Merchants Keep On Smearin’

cheap-racist-smears.jpgHere comes the torrent of bullshit.

Yesterday morning Floyd Brown and Co. sent out a press release and e-mail announcing the Barack Obama’s brother had acknowledged he was raised Muslim — something that Obama himself has denied.

According to Floyd Brown, of, “Malik Obama, Barack’s half brother, confirms that Barack grew up Muslim.”

Except, of course, that the half-brother never said any such thing. The quote upon which they rely for the claim was a reporter’s not-very-accurate paraphrase; the actual quotes make clear the brother in question converted to Islam well into his adulthood, and never hinted that they’d had a Muslim upbringing (they hadn’t).

Yet like flies to shit, the wingnutosphere sure-enough pounced on it with glee, from Crazy Pam Atlas to LGF to, well, you don’t want to go creeping around some of the corners of the blogosphere where you could find this. But there was also Brit Hume on Fox spreading it:

Throughout his campaign, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has assured his supporters that he is a Christian. He has been battling what his campaign calls an online "smear campaign," which contends, among other things, that Obama was raised as a Muslim. There is even a statement on his official campaign Web site reading, "Obama has never been a Muslim and is a committed Christian."

But, Obama’s half-brother is not so sure. Malik Obama tells the Jerusalem Post that if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people — despite his Muslim background.

This one doesn’t come close to passing the sniff test. Even Jake Tapper, who sometimes turns a blind eye to this crap, noticed that the claim was completely bogus:

This interpretation spreading throughout the blogosphere and cable news is just not supported by the facts. The paraphrase was sloppy, for such a sensitive subject, and Malik’s quotes don’t even come close to supporting any assertion that Obama himself has a Muslim background.

Just remember: These stories originate from the very same folks who brought you Willie Horton, the "Clinton conspiracies," the Swift Boaters, and whatever package of lies and bullshit was up for circulating in any given election year of the past two decades. And they’re being run by far-right crackpots — including an "executive director" who was disbarred for selling right-wing tax-fraud conspiracy scams.

Good enough for Fox and the wingnutosphere, obviously.

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David Neiwert

David Neiwert

David Neiwert is the managing editor of Firedoglake. He's a freelance journalist based in Seattle and the author/editor of the blog Orcinus. He also is the author of Strawberry Days: How Internment Destroyed a Japanese American Community (Palgrave/St. Martin's Press, June 2005), as well as Death on the Fourth of July: The Story of a Killing, a Trial, and Hate Crime in America (Palgrave/St. Martin's, 2004), and In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest (1999, WSU Press). His reportage for on domestic terrorism won the National Press Club Award for Distinguished Online Journalism in 2000.