Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Obama's Muslim faith - or "How are we supposed to conduct a democracy like this?

That's the question asked by George Zornick in an article on Eric Alterman's most recent "Altercation."

He's referring to the brouhaha which has arisen when some truth-challenged media types said Obama referred to be of the Muslim religion.

This, from Mr. Zornick:

"You may have heard that Obama suffered a 'verbal slip' on Sunday, referring to 'my Muslim faith' in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on This Week. Naturally Drudge featured it, linking to The Washington Times, which seems to have been the first to write a mainstream story. But then so did Joel Thorton at The Dallas Morning News, as did Fox News, and the Chicago Sun-Times, and UPI too.

"Of course the 'slip-up' was even more widely disseminated by people on the Internet who are completely loony tunes. The more responsible (relatively speaking) mainstream accounts of this gaffe simply couched the story in terms of the fuel it provided the Internet crazies, although of course Fox News wondered 'whether Obama's misstatement will continue to fuel rumors of his faith, allegiances or patriotism.'

"Why all the coverage of what seems to be a simple misstatement -- nobody actually thinks Obama just revealed he was a Muslim, and yes, there are outlandish people on the Internet. So why take up valuable newshole with this? These questions are made even better by the fact that Obama didn't even make a verbal gaffe. He was incorrectly corrected by Stephanopoulos, and then subsequently taken out of context by these reports.

"Obama was suggesting that Fox News and others 'closely allied' with Republicans were pushing the idea that he is a Muslim. Then he said: 'Let's not play games. What I was suggesting -- you're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith. And you're absolutely right that that has not come ...

"Stephanopoulos broke in and inexplicably 'corrected' Obama, interjecting: 'your Christian faith.' Obama momentarily agreed, but then explained 'well, what I'm saying is that he hasn't suggest that I'm a Muslim. ...

"So, in the course of an interview, Obama strings together the three words 'my Muslim faith,' gets a knee-jerk reaction correction from the interviewer, has the clip edited down and circulated all over the internet, and then has numerous mainstream outlets write about it. How are we supposed to conduct democracy like this?" [My emphasis]

The video is here and Zornick says "it makes this whole exchange even more clear."

Eric Alterman's "Altercation" is here.


Anonymous said...

This is truly ridiculous. The man is a Christian. He belongs to a church and raised his children as Christian. I wonder how any readers of this could defend themselves against a charge that they are secret Muslims. What possible proof do they have that couldn’t be explained as clever disabling? A Baptismal certificate can be forged. One can secretly convert to Islam, one can think Islamic thoughts. A spy can have many identities and pass as anything anywhere.
Of course, in a democracy it shouldn’t make any difference. There is a Muslim in congress and he has no problems with anyone. There are even secret “anything’s” from religions, to secret society members, secret gays, secret drinkers, secret kleptomaniacs, etc. If people have such fears, they might as well give up. They have no way of knowing what their neighbor is hiding.
Bob Poris.

Anonymous said...

I recently challenged a weekly church going, Christian neighbor to prove he was a Christian and not a secret Muslim. He floundered around telling me his history and all about his faith, etc. I kept saying that is what you are telling me, but how do I know you haven't been planted in our community to eventually do us harm. He never got the point because he knows what he is. I do not! Go prove what you are to a person that refuses to accept your proof. Papers can be forged easily. I read spy books too.
Try it, you might learn how small minds work. there are a lot of them out there.
Bob Poris

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