Thursday, June 12, 2008


Rumors are like tumors ...they WILL grow until detected and treated. Sometimes they're benign, sometimes they're malignant but treatable, and sometimes you're just too late. They kill you.

Barack (Barry) Hussein (Muhammad) Obama (Dunham), a life-long Christian (former Muslim), born in Hawaii (outside the U.S. with no birth certificate), who was sworn in on his family's Bible (the Koran), has finally realized, no doubt from his education at a diverse (radical Islamic massadah) grade school, that he and his lovely (anti-Whitey speech giving) wife, Michelle, can be as patriotic (refuse to say the pledge or wear American flag lapel pins) and upstanding (snort cocaine before gay sex) as possible, but they'll get no peace against internet rumors that go "viral" unless they crush them, preferrably by touching their fists together (a/k/a "a terrorist fist jab").

(Use "The Google," as John McCain might say, and you will see how Obama has been subjected to an avalanche of allegations that would be defamatory were he not a candidate).

Karen Tumulty at Time reports that Obama ushered in a new style of answering rumors by creating The website features video clips and stories that counter the scurrilousness noted above.

In my opinion, this is (a) genius and (b) long overdue. The Internet is a mixed blessing. It provides easy access to a staggering wealth of information AND misinformation.

And, unlike "the old days" when you had to at least pay for copying scandalous fliers and you could get your @ss kicked for passing them out, a negative chain e-mail COSTS NOTHING to distribute, and it requires acumen most don't have to to track its source. The "cost" of disseminating bogus info is negligible.

This makes the cost-benefit calculus of "do it/don't do it" pretty easy if it works.

On that score, ask yourself how many e-mails you have received that claim Microsoft will pay you $500 for forwarding that same e-mail?

How many of you men have received a chain e-mail warning not to have drinks with an attractive woman or you'll end up in a bath tub full of ice with "Call 9-1-1" on your chest...only to discover after examination that you have stitches on your back because you were drugged before one of your kidneys was harvested for apparent sell on the black market?

Absurdities like this STILL circulate, though admittedly not as much. The decline is attribuate to "clearinghouse" websites, such as, that debunk all urban legends.

Stopthesmears is Obama's Snopes, and if he had made this available earlier, he would be up 15 points now on McCain instead of 7 because he would have staved off rumors that helped make legitimate stories seem bigger than they were.

Rumors are most effective when they plays into the voter's worldview. After all, if the man refuses to wear a flag on his lapel, and you're a flag-burning amendment proponent, why would you believe Obama when he says he doesn't share Reverend Wright's dismal view of America? Or let's say you're somewhat suspicious of Muslims. If somebody tells you Obama was sworn in on the Koran, and you're only semi-attuned to politics, how likely are you to actually investigate independently to see if it is true? I'd say even money at best. You see, some Americans are so excited about sharing something titilating with their friends, they certainly aren't going to let the facts get in the way of a good story. This applies to all ideologies, by the way.

Political rumor-mongering will also grow because, even when debunked, each rumor has a "shelf life." Unlike a flier that gets chucked in the trash, a rumor continues to be found at The Google until it so widely-debunked, that people will point and giggle (with emoticons) if you keep posting or IMing about it.

The rumor need not even be that effective to get the desired result. Hoosiers cast 1.27 million votes in the presidential Democratic primary, and the margin of victory for Hillary Clinton was 13,000. This means a rumor e-mail that makes 6,500 people (1 in 200) suspicious enough to NOT vote for Obama has just changed the primary outcome. (Maybe it already did???)

In honor of Obama's anti-rumor campaign, I want to put the final chemo treatment on a rumor I actually floated last week (shame on you, Ipopa!) about David O. supporters asking Ed Delaney to hand over his seat. I can now report that this is unequivocally false. Neither David O., nor anybody associated with David O. or the House Democratic Caucus has made this request of Ed Delaney, nor has Ed offered to step aside. David O. is comfortable being cheerleader for Ed Delaney's effort, and Ed is committed to winning his campaign.

See what happens when you actually investigate a story before you start churning it? You get THE TRUTH. That's as radical as Obama's grade school.

See how I got you on that one?!? IT'S NOT RADICAL AT ALL. Don't believe me?

Mark it in your favorites next to Snopes...and help stop the madness.



Doug said...

You missed a trick -- after Obama's wife, I would recommend "(baby mama)".

Anonymous said...

The correct URL is actually (the page is called Fight the Smears, not Stop the Smears).

Chris Worden said...

Anon 8:14...thanks! I don't know where I got "stop." That's what happens when you go from memory, I guess.

Anonymous said...

yes, everyone be sure to realize that the Obama site is is something possibly spammish or scammish. it wants your email and last name.