Thursday, June 12, 2008

Obama Launches Online Campaign Against 'Smears'

Check out this Associated Press story about a new website launched by the Barack Obama campaign. I think it's a great idea, actually. When people are constantly putting out lies about you, then you should do whatever you can to dispel them. What saddens me, however, is that a candidate would need such a tool in the first place.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama launched a new website Thursday devoted to dousing "smears" against the first African-American with a serious shot at the presidency.

The site at debunks false rumors doing the rounds of the Internet and right-wing media outlets -- including one recent assertion that Obama's wife Michelle has been caught on tape slurring white people.

Obama's main campaign website already had a fact-check section to refute rumors such as the Christian candidate is a secret Muslim. But aides said the new site went further in inviting supporters to spread the word.

"We created an interactive tool to allow our supporters to fight back against these smears in the same way that they received them -- on the Internet," campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

"People can upload their address books and easily send fact-based emails to their friends and family," he said.

"Just knowing the truth isn't enough -- you have to proactively tell people the truth to fight back."

The new initiative was launched after reports, by conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh among others, that a videotape existed showing Michelle Obama using the derogatory term "whitey" in the couple's former church.

No such tape has surfaced despite frenzied speculation by right-wing pundits and blogs, and Obama last week decried the mainstream media's attention to "dirt and lies."

Political candidates have traditionally refused to acknowledge slanderous rumors for fear of giving them respectability.

But given the slew of emailed attacks being spread against Obama, his campaign said it had no choice but to respond in kind.

"Whenever challenged with these lies, we will aggressively push back with the truth and help our supporters debunk the false rumors floating around the Internet," Vietor said.

Courtesy: Associated Press

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