As Tim Blair points out in two posts, it's a fake "allegation...made by someone writing under a false name, who was published by a Californian vanity activist site, quoting someone whose full name isn’t supplied, who works at a restaurant that is not identified, a “few days” after Obama’s nomination."
Not even Obama wants to go near it. And it appears that neither the SMH or the Age have this scurrilous story on their websites any longer. Say are Fairfax staff still on strike? That could explain why they have mindless monkeys pushing this story onto the front page. But even mindless monkeys would be equal opportunity offenders: I haven't seen any "Obama is a Muslim" stories on there.
And then I get weird looks when I tell people I don't read the SMH. Still wonder why?
Correction to TB: This story does not appear on the front page of the SMH.
Update 10/09/08 @ 10AM AEST: Oopsy indeed. Yesterday's SMH (9/9/08) did have this story on the front page. Thanks to Maulman in comments. Un-be-lievable.
Also, Salon runs a few slimy Palin columns comparing her to Muslim terrorists and a dominatrix. Ed notes that:
I find this fortnight of reaction utterly fascinating. When challenged by a strong, self-made woman, what has the mainstream media done? They have painted her as:
- A hick
- A slut
- A bubble-headed beauty queen
- A bad mother
Meanwhile over at Slate, Christopher Hitchens begs Democrats to cease and desist. As expected, Hitchens engages in some religious bigotry and points out the folly in other Democrats doing likewise:
[Palin's] local shout-and-holler tabernacle apparently believes that Jews can be converted to Jesus and homosexuals can be "cured." I cannot wait to see Obama and Biden explain how this isn't the case or how it's much worse than, and quite different from, Obama's own raving and ranting pastor in Chicago or Biden's lifelong allegiance to the most anti-"choice" church on the planet. The difference, if there is one, is that Palin is probably sincere whereas the Democratic team is almost certainly hypocritical.
The media's generally hyperbolic coverage of Palin has been astounding, even to someone like me who has a very low regard for its ability to maintain neutrality in reporting (let alone commentary). I bumped into a news producer of a large Australian media outlet over the weekend. Of course, without knowing at the time that he was in the news business, I launched into a tirade about the bias of the mainstream media. He found it short of offensive and declared that most reporters try very hard to remain objective in their reporting. And the layers of editors ensure all facts are checked and double checked. This clearly failed spectacularly in what is probably the biggest political story at the moment.
Mickey Kaus over at Slate punts on the likely cause of the media's willingness to publish unverified rumour and innuendo:
We are now, I think, making the next logical leap, to a model in which unverified rumors about public figures are discussed and assessed not just in the blogosphere or the unrespectable tabs but in the MSM itself. I say welcome! With NYT reporters and bloggers all openly discussing unverified reports,, whatever is true will become un-unverified that muhch [sic] faster. And the public is proving, by and large, to be quite capable of distinguishing between stories that are true and rumors that are still being investigated.
And my two exit question: if Kaus' theory holds true,