It was bad enough when right wing lugnuts tried to smear President Obama during the election campaign. Remember all those “He’s not Christian, he’s Muslim, and he isn’t really an American” items in the blogosphere? Now, as he tours the Middle East, people who ought to know better are bringing up this foolishness, again.
Witness Jake Tapper, an otherwise “responsible” journalist who has the title Senior White House Correspondent for ABC News (the caps on senior and correspondent are theirs).
His “Political Punch” column from yesterday is headlined, “The Emergence of President Obama’s Muslim Roots“. Yeah, I know reporters don’t always write their own headlines, but this piece does Tapper’s reputation no good.
It posits the notion that Obama’s people are now willing to talk about his growing up in a Muslim country, and the fact that his father was also a Muslim.
Big deal. We knew all that before, and we also knew the campaign took pains to talk more about Obama’s Christian beliefs than his background of growing up in a predominately Islamic country. We also know why. Throughout the campaign, there were various inferences about Barack Obama’s citizenship, whether his birth certificate was forged, and even the notion that he himself was a terrorist.
Think all that has disappeared? Just take a look at the comments following Tapper’s piece. For some people, it’s never gone away, because their belief system won’t let it. To be fair, there are a number of comments that make the opposite point, but you have to ask yourself, why would Jake Tapper give Matt Drudge, of all people, fodder for the lead story on his Website?
There are any number of conclusions you could draw from the timing and wording of this item. How about this one? “Obama heads to Middle East, makes nice with Arabs, means he must be a Muslim”! Is that what Jake Tapper is trying to say? How about flipping the coin, and saying this? “Obama’s contact with the Muslim world as a child can serve him well as he tries to find common ground with leaders in the Middle East”?
But that’s not what we’re reading, not from Jake Tapper or from many others with high sounding titles who write tabloid level articles or columns.
I for one am sick of it. Are you?