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Remember Obama’s 1st Fact Check Site?

[This is a repost of an article we posted back on June 15, 2008, during the campaign.]

From the ever mendacious New York Times:

Obama’s Campaign Opens a New Web Site to Strike Back at ‘Dishonest Smears’

By JULIE BOSMAN and JOHN M. BRODER

June 13, 2008

KAUKAUNA, Wis. — Confronted with one of the trickiest problems in politics — when to ignore rumors and misrepresentations and when to risk giving them greater visibility by rebutting them — Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign began to push back aggressively on Thursday against what it said were unfounded and potentially damaging reports.

Mr. Obama’s campaign unveiled a new Web site on which it listed five sets of rumors about Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, along with responses intended to establish that they are baseless and false.

The Obama campaign encouraged supporters to read each rumor and the corresponding facts debunking it, and then to e-mail the entries to their entire address books.

By Thursday evening, more than 20,000 people had registered at the site, and more than 18,000 e-mail messages were sent, said a spokesman, Tommy Vietor.

The Obama campaign isn’t going to let dishonest smears spread across the Internet unanswered,” Mr. Vietor said in a statement. “Whenever challenged with these lies, we will aggressively push back with the truth and help our supporters debunk the false rumors floating around the Internet.”

Mr. Obama has been dogged by potent, fast-moving rumors about his religion, his birthplace and his patriotism, to name a few, for more than a year. More recently his campaign has confronted persistent but unsubstantiated reports about Mrs. Obama using angry and derogatory language about white people.

Until now, the Obama campaign has tried to confront Internet rumors with a more local, less visible approach, quietly encouraging supporters to forward misleading e-mail messages to their local field organizers, who in turn would notify the campaign’s research department. Then the research department would respond with a factual rebuttal, which would then be e-mailed back to every recipient of the original e-mail message.

While the campaign considered this tactic effective in the early primaries, especially in the days leading up to the Iowa caucuses in January, the general election was seen as requiring a more robust response mechanism, so the campaign created the Fight The Smears Web site. Details of fightthesmears.com were first reported by Time magazine.

The campaign unveiled the new Web site amid indications the general election could be as much of a slash and burn affair as any of its recent predecessors, despite assertions from both Mr. Obama and his Republican rival, Senator John McCain, that they intend to elevate the political discourse.

On Wednesday, James A. Johnson, a longtime fixture in Democratic political and business circles, stepped down as the head of Mr. Obama’s vice-presidential search committee after Republicans used news reports about Mr. Johnson’s business dealings to suggest that he had ethical problems.

On Thursday, Mr. McCain, at a news conference, raised questions about another member of the search committee, Eric Holder, noting that he had played a role in President Bill Clinton’s last-minute pardon of the fugitive financier Marc Rich in 2001…

But the final straw for Mr. Obama, his aides said, was the story circulating on conservative blogs that a video existed showing Mrs. Obama making a racially tinged speech at their former church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

Mr. Obama was visibly irritated by the rumor when a reporter asked him about it last week.

“It is a destructive aspect of our politics right now,” Mr. Obama told reporters last week as he flew through Virginia. “And simply because something appears in an e-mail, that should lend it no more credence than if you heard it on the corner. And you know, presumably the job of the press is to not go around and spread scurrilous rumors like this until there’s actually anything, one iota of substance or evidence that would substantiate it.”

The Web site devotes its most prominent space on the home page to that rumor. “The Smear,” it begins. After describing the smear in a point-by-point fashion it concludes, “The Truth: No Such Tape Exists.”

How can you not hate the New York Times?

And, just in anyone still had any doubts that this was a setup from the git-go, this article together with the suddenly appearing Obama website should put your doubts to rest.

This was clearly a well thought out concentrated effort by the other side.

First we had the endless reports of the anonymous emails listing various claims about Obama. All of which are easily knocked down. And what a better source for strawmen then anonymous emails? Snopes and the rest of our watchdog media jumped right on the bogus claims. But somehow nobody ever investigated where these emails started.

Then began on various news forums the sudden and near endless spamming of more obvious and easily disproved disinformation. Such as the purported "quotes" from Mr. Obama’s autobiographies, which were either blatantly edited for the worse or simply made up out of whole cloth.

Most of these posts were from new posters, or ones who seldom posted before. And, in the telltale manner of trolls and disinformationalists, this was often the only thing the poster would post.

(Sadly, anyone with a copy of Obama’s books could have and should have corrected the claims post haste. As we did whenever possible. But this seldom happened elsewhere.)

Similarly, as we have oft mentioned, the "whitey" tape was begat and promulgated by the erstwhile Democrat spokesman Larry C. Johnson. (A man whom the DNC once picked to give their response to President Bush’s weekly radio address.)

The rumor was then embellished by websites that nobody had ever heard of before — or since. It was given further credence on TV by the uber sleazy Democrat hack Bob Beckel.

This rumor was also fanned by suspiciously new posters and some willing dupes at various online forums. And alas, too many conservative sites fell for these traps — but not nearly as many as the New York Times would have you believe.

But The Times lies.

For it also strongly implies that these rumors were not just circulated but also started by conservative blogs. It lies by omission when it does not deign to mention Larry Johnson or his anti-Republican political background.

The Times also lies by omission when it fails to correct some of the glaring mendacities on Mr. Obama’s new anti-smear site. Such as the claim that Rush Limbaugh said the "whitey tape" exists:

(Click to enlarge.)

Of course Mr. Limbaugh said no such thing.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “Remember Obama’s 1st Fact Check Site?”

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    Of course, this will be yet another battle they lose because, to them, it’s a bet of “who can be the better liar”. So, they try to out-lie something or someone that isn’t a lie or liar.

    It all becomes very tiresome like listening to a 5 year old fabricate a story about why the cookies disappeared and they have crumbs all over their shirt and on their hands and on their lips.

    In other words, what a grandiose waste of time, taxpayer money and effort to do this. But at the same time, it’s somewhat historic in that Blammo’s dreadfully fragile ego has been dinged because he can’t handle the big kids calling him a liar.

    Well, the easy answer is, “Then stop lying”.

  2. wardmama4

    Well, the easy answer is, “Then stop lying”.

    I do not think Obama could function – it would become the Biden effect – keep him out of sight and then work on cleaning up the damage – afterward.

    He only seems to tell the truth when the people he is speaking to are Union or Black – that doesn’t bode well for him – as 86% of America isn’t Black and 93% of Americans aren’t Union.

    So I guess he is lying to the majority of America. The majority of the time.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      It just occurred to me….in the coming years I wonder if Barry will write yet another book entitled “How I Won The War In Iraq”.

      You’re right…he lies as easily as I breathe in my sleep. I still want to hear expert psychoanalysts give a personality profile on this guy. I think it would prove most enlightening.

  3. TwilightZoned

    Hum…I was always taught “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” It seems to me Oblabla needs to become more aggressive in fighting “smears” because he’s afraid of getting burned.

  4. Perdido

    The New York Times. Fighting lies. There’s man bites dog for ya.

  5. beautyofreason

    Do you think the NYT would have taken the same neutral course if the Bush White House had done the same thing? No, the NYT would see this tattle-on-the-naysayers program and public advocacy as ridiculous or even threatening.

    “But the final straw for Mr. Obama, his aides said, was the story circulating on conservative blogs that a video existed showing Mrs. Obama making a racially tinged speech at their former church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. ”

    And Mr. Obama, whose former preacher blamed 9/11 on the United States and pretty much implied that those 3,000 citizens deserved to die due to our foreign policy is incensed by a paltry rumor….why? Want to find a racially incensed speech? One need only examine his associates.

    Dr. Lowery, Obama Inauguration

    “We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get [in] back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right.

    Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General

    “Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards

    Those quotes are pretty tame compared to Obama’s own reflections on race in his books as well as the atrocious statements of his former preacher. But you guys already knew that. :)

  6. canary

    I thought some people came forward and said she did used the “whitey” word. Obama had problem using the “n” word, words like “the crackers”, but then it’s okay for him. Racism for whites just poured out of his pores. hallalulahs at Rev Wrights vernon sermons. He told reporters pre-Presidential to stop the muslim truths, he and his mother were always Christians, and he attended service at Trinity every week. It’s a sin to take the Lord’s name in vein, yet Obama and his preacher had no problem with that either.

  7. Rusty Shackleford

    Obama’s Campaign Opens a New Web Site to Strike Back at ‘Dishonest Smears’

    Ah, therefore, I shall limit my efforts toward smears of the honest type, like we do here, like Rush does on the air and Hannity and so forth.

    Truth hurts, don’t it?

    (said with a very snarky grin)

  8. ptat

    Good point Rusty—“dishonest” smears as opposed to “honest smears”? It shows the level of intelligence we are dealing with. I guess their mindset might allow for “honest” and “dishonest” LIES! Hard to fathom….

  9. Liberals Demise

    I’d tell Barry to grow up but he’d just throw a “Temper Tantrum”!!

  10. catie

    Hey all, we have a new troll named Arnie Johnson. He’s here to strike back at us and our “dishonest smears”.

    • Liberals Demise

      I’d send him a copy of the “Bill of Rights” but I’m afraid ol’ Arnie could only see every 5th word with those “Compassionate” Hate goggles on!

      That’s Liberals Demise with a capital “L” and “D” ……. Mister to you, Arnie!!

  11. g gustin

    hey arnie just spell my name right when you go tattletailing to pigbama and piglosi

  12. AmericanIPA

    The only lies Obama has ever had to earnestly fight were the ones he told during his campaign for President. As far as I can remember, nothing anyone from the opposition ever said was proven false. The most effective public relations ploy to use against people like Obama is the simple quote. The truth about what he is and what he wants to do to this country and it’s people obviously scare the hell out of the people.


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