Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Obama Is a Muslim" Rumor

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/27/AR2008062703781.html

Washington Post
28 June 2008

An Attack That Came Out of the Ether
Scholar Looks for First Link in E-Mail Chain About Obama

By Matthew Mosk
Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, June 28, 2008; Page C01

[Political theorist Danielle Allen tried to track down the origins of the rumor that Barack Obama is a Muslim. She found that an important vector was the Free Republic Web site.]

[...] Allen set her sights on dissecting the modern version of a whisper campaign, even though experts told her it would be impossible to trace the chain e-mail to its origin. Along the way, even as her hunt grew cold, she gained valuable insight into the way political information circulates, mutates and sometimes devastates in the digital age. [...]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/29/AR2008062901871.html

Washington Post
30 June 2008

In Flag City USA, False Obama Rumors Are Flying

By Eli Saslow
Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, June 30, 2008; Page A01

[Many residents of Findlay, Ohio, believe false rumors about Barack Obama.]

[...] On the television in his living room, Peterman has watched enough news and campaign advertisements to hear the truth: Sen. Barack Obama, born in Hawaii, is a Christian family man with a track record of public service. But on the Internet, in his grocery store, at his neighbor's house, at his son's auto shop, Peterman has also absorbed another version of the Democratic candidate's background, one that is entirely false: Barack Obama, born in Africa, is a possibly gay Muslim racist who refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. [...]