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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

How “Rumors” Get Started

Most readers are probably aware that there has been a sustained, deliberate smear campaign aimed at Barack Obama over the last few months based on fabricated “information” that he’s a secret Muslim, and/or a graduate of a Muslim “madrassa” in Indonesia.
So it’s not a big surprise that the Washington Post published an article about this phenomenon. But the Post gave Perry Bacon, Jr.’s piece the following headline: “Foes Use Obama’s Muslim Ties to Fuel Rumors About Him.”
You don’t have to be a journalist to understand the two problematic words in this headline: “ties” implies there’s something to the idea that Obama’s got a Muslim background, and “rumors” sounds a lot more credible than “lies.”
And this is how “rumors” get started.

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