As predicted here last week, Perry Bacon, Jr., a reporter for the Washington Post, has demonstrated what passes for journalistic integrity these days by taking an eight-month-old column of mine in which I discuss the implications of Barack Obama’s not being a Muslim as evidence that I’m involved in spreading rumors that he is a Muslim.
In “Foes Use Obama’s Muslim Ties to Fuel Rumors About Him” in yesterday’s Post, Bacon says this:
Robert Spencer, a conservative activist, wrote in Human Events that “given Obama’s politics, it will not be hard to present him internationally as someone who understands Islam and Muslims, and thus will be able to smooth over the hostility between the Islamic world and the West — our first Muslim President.”
Was I saying in this that Obama would, if elected, be our first Muslim President in a literal sense? Clearly not. I was saying he could be our first Muslim President the way Bill Clinton was our first black President. The whole first part of the column is about his not being a Muslim, and what the implications of that were in light of revelations in a Los Angeles Times piece that I linked at the beginning of the column. Although the link is now broken, the LA Times article can be found here. It says:
“To be clear, Senator Obama has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian who attends the United Church of Christ in Chicago,” Gibbs’ Jan. 24 statement said. In a statement to The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, the campaign offered slightly different wording, saying: “Obama has never been a practicing Muslim.” The statement added that as a child, Obama had spent time in the neighborhood’s Islamic center.
His former Roman Catholic and Muslim teachers, along with two people who were identified by Obama’s grade-school teacher as childhood friends, say Obama was registered by his family as a Muslim at both of the schools he attended.
So in my column I discussed what the reaction in the Islamic world might be to Obama’s being, at least in the sense involved in his school registration, an ex-Muslim. Perry Bacon, however, makes no mention of that part of my column, or of the LA Times article from which I drew my information. He also, as I noted last week, made no attempt to contact me, although he did manage to get through to Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR, who of course told him that these horrible rumors I’m allegedly feeding were all part of our society’s lamentable Islamophobia:
“The underlying point is that if you can somehow pin Islam on him, that would be a fatal blow,” Hooper said. “It’s offensive. It speaks to the rising level of anti-Muslim feeling in our society.”
Ibrahim, I’ll tell you what’s offensive: pseudo-journalists like Perry Bacon who write agenda-driven articles like this one, and the facts be damned. But you wouldn’t know anything about speaking out with no regard for the facts, now, would you?