MEDIA: Dumb & Dumber

BY AMY Z. QUINN For reasons that continue to elude us — newsroom cutbacks, perhaps — The Ottawa Herald, in the great state of Kansas, invited one of their pressmen (the guys that actually operate the giant presses that print the paper) to write a guest Op-Ed about Barack Obama. In the process, all involved manage to perpetuate every bullshit scary Obama The Islamo-Fascist Manchurian Candidate Internet meme in one giant, paranoid, journalistically-retardedobamaosamasepia.jpg swoop. From Wonkette:

Well, now comes another bad idea … maybe even worse. The Democratic Party actually intends to put a Muslim fundamentalist in the White House. Yes, you read it right. They want to put a man of Muslim origins in the White House.

You know, opinion writing is opinion writing, but there is still a responsibility to be factually correct and grounded in observable reality.

Some Web sites suggest Obama will not recite the Pledge of Allegiance. He refuses to wear an American flag lapel pin. He will not face the flag during the playing of the National Anthem nor will he sing it or even mouth the words. [Editor’s note: Other reputable Web sites refute each of those claims and show Obama leading the Pledge of Allegiance in the Senate. And I can’t even believe we have to prove any of this!]

What compels an otherwise rational uncle, or your neighbor you thought was cool, or the old co-worker you though was pretty smart, to so eagerly buy into this stuff? AND WHEN WILL THEY STOP EMAILING IT TO ME?

It’s unclear what motivated Sillett to pause from his work as a press operator at the Herald and take up writing, but it’s safe to say he’s a man undeterred by facts. That doesn’t mean the paper’s editors should be. We just hope they think twice before running Sillett’s next piece, which I’m betting is titled “Hillary Snubs Gold Star Moms.”

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