As these things go, the Obama is not a Muslim message is doing pretty well. Kristof can't attribute the rumours about Obama being Muslim to anyone remotely associated with the mainstream media or the Republicans/ He can only point to some obscure and unnamed sources. But that doesn't stop him from bizarrely suggesting that the McCain ad mocking Obama's pretensions "mimicked the words and imagery of the best-selling Christian “Left Behind” book series in ways that would have set off alarm bells among evangelicals nervous about the Antichrist."
Not hardly. There's a cheap shot in and of itself.
Having indulged himself in his own bit of innuendo, Kristof wants to rally his fellow journalists to clean up the game:
Journalists need to do more than call the play-by-play this election cycle. We also need to blow the whistle on such egregious fouls calculated to undermine the political process and magnify the ugliest prejudices that our nation has done so much to overcome.
Well, certainly and I look forward to the NY Times spending some time blowing the whistle on the egregious fouls directed toward John McCain and Sarah Palin by some rather substantial sources, such as the fraudulent representations of her remarks before a church in Wasilla by ABC news anchor Charles Gibson or the repetition of made up stories about Palin's belief that dinosaurs recently roamed the earth by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.
In fact, Kristof could start with the second article sent to me by the same friend - an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune by Robyn Blumner.
In that op-ed, Blumner uncritically repeats the charge - first made - and then modified without acknowledgement - by the Washington Post - that Palin thinks Iraq was behind 9-11. This is, of course, untrue and a rank distortion of what she said.
She then attacks Palin for suggesting that Freddie and Fannie, who she called quasi-government agencies, needed more oversight. Blumner wants her to have called them government sponsored agencies. Whatever. The government created them, enabled them, and implicitly promised to stand behind them - a promise that has now made good. John McCain co-sponsored legislation for such additional oversight in 2005 which was derailed by the Democrats. Because these entities misrepresented the nature of their portfolios and made a market for speculation on dicey loans, credit has constricted and, as Palin said, "people are fearful of losing their homes." The Governor may just have a point there. Maybe Blumner cant understand it, but I think that I can.