| News |

The bad economy and the Barack Obama's-a-Muslim lie

The doctor's office Newsweek -- and the telltale scrawl.
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

In his September 16 column about Sarah Palin's appearance at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds yesterday, Rocky Mountain News columnist Mike Littwin expressed disbelief that Barack Obama and John McCain are running neck-and-neck in most national polls despite the hideous condition of the U.S. economy -- a situation symbolized by Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy filing and the sale of Merrill Lynch. But I'm not surprised by the size of the challenge confronting Obama, who speaks at the Colorado School of Mines' Lockridge Arena at 9:30 a.m. today -- and one reason is a clue I stumbled upon while visiting a south suburban doctor's office for my annual checkup (which, I must admit, I hadn't undergone in four years). Flipping open a recent copy of Newsweek -- the edition with Obama and Joe Biden on the cover -- I turned to an article about the Democratic presidential nominee's background and discovered the word "Muslim" written on the page, with an arrow pointed to a photo of young Barack.

The persistence of the Muslim rumor makes perfect sense. It's culturally impermissible for all but the most virulent racists to claim that they'd never vote for Obama because he's black. But in this post 9/11 age, it's perfectly fine in more settings than we'd care to admit to attack an individual for being a Muslim. Never mind that there's absolutely zero evidence to suggest that Obama secretly subscribes to this faith -- and ignore the fact that he's denied it again and again and again. The rumor continues to linger, and it's been accepted as fact by a sizable percentage of the electorate -- helping to give McCain and Palin a real chance to win in November during a year when the Republicans should be behind by double digits.

Littwin may be shocked by this prospect, but not me. And I've got an issue of Newsweek to thank. -- Michael Roberts

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.