Fight the Smears (dot com)

Perhaps no candidate in history has made better use of the vast resource potential of the internet than Barack Obama. Through the use of social networking, viral video, podcasting and online fund raising, Obama’s campaign has revolutionized the role of the web in American politics.

But the internet has also been a double-edged sword for the Obama camp. For every new donor he gains (1.5 million and counting) there seem to be fifty rumors about him circulating around the web; threatening to damage his campaign and his credibility. And with every “Sally 700 Club” forwarding these inflammatory emails to everyone in their address book as quickly as they come in (and we’ve all gotten dozens of them), rebutting these “smears” has become a pretty daunting task for Obama (and his supporters).

That’s why the Obama campaign has launched FightTheSmears.com. It’s an online resource where the various “smears” in circulation are logged, fact-checked and rebutted. In keeping with the social networking strength of Obama’s online presence, the site also has tools which enable users to enter the email addresses of up to ten people to send a reply about each “smear.” Better yet, you can even load the contacts from your address book (works with all major online email providers such as Yahoo, GMail, MSN, etc.)

So the next time you get the inevitable email accusing Obama of being a Muslim, refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance, or claiming to have “secret video” of his wife using a racial slur – why not take a few moment to check the facts and send a reply?

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18 thoughts on “Fight the Smears (dot com)

  1. Perhaps no candidate in history has made better use of the vast resource potential of the internet than Barack Obama.

    Millard Fillmore rocked the ‘net in 1849 with his site, WhiggityWack.com.

    Seriously, though, while I’m not nearly as passionate about Senator Obama as Shane and some of the others around here, I often find myself defending him to folks (mostly Christians) who recite all these ridiculous rumors about him. C’mon gang, smarten up!

  2. I enjoy Josh’s contributions here – as well as his own blog and in Chronicle – because he consistently makes me Google stuff.

    WhiggityWack.com being the most recent example. Thinking to myself, “that particular President, and the URL are far too arbitrary, there must be something to it”, I Googled “Fillmore Whig Party.” Sure enough, BINGO!

    Millard Fillmore was the thirteenth President of the United States, serving from 1850 until 1853, and the last member of the Whig Party to hold that office. … Fillmore was never elected President; after serving out Taylor’s term, he failed to gain the nomination for the Presidency of the Whigs in the 1852 presidential election, and, four years later, in the 1856 presidential election, he again failed to win election as the Know Nothing Party and Whig candidate.

  3. shane, the issue has been settled. remember? my ma had a word from the Lord, and her christian discernment is INFALLIBLE!

    fun fact: isn’t it ironic how fundies & conservative evangellies will slam the idea of papal infallibity, yet stand by their own understandings and interpretations and “words from the Lord” like it’s the ultimate authority?!?! hmmmmm.

  4. as a loyal conservative, i have to say that i too find myself defending obama from moronic rumors.

    i wish folks would just look at his policies and proposals and come to the conclusion that he’s not the change we need. 🙂

  5. @ Justin Mayfield: Fight internet spam rumors with internet spam rumors I always say. 😆

    @stem: And that’s fine. I mean, if people reach that conclusion based on fact, research or paying half-attention to the process, debates, etc., I’m fine with that. I don’t care much if people don’t agree with my candidate preference. I’m not so much a believer in the “culture war” approach. I’m not out to win converts. Just to have some reasonably intelligent discussion about the issues.

    But I know a whole heckuvalot of people who made up their mind not to like Obama a long time ago. So long ago that it (obviously) had nothing to do with policy or anything relevant to the process. They “just don’t trust him” because of something, or things, they read in a forwarded email six months ago. It’s mind numbing.

  6. i’m with you shane.
    christian ignorance is absolutely going to bite us (conservatives) in the rear come november.

    not only do we tarnish the message of the Cross when we act like morons, we remove whatever vestige of credibility we have left from the political conversation.

  7. The later should be of significant concern. (Not more significant than the message of the Cross of course!)

    Call it a hunch, but I suspect that you can find a significant correlation between the decline of the American Evangelical church (in terms of numbers and in terms of impact in the arena of ideas) to the church’s degree of “in-beddedness” with Conservative politics. The more the “two became one” the more it marginalized and squeezed out those who tend to lean left politically.

    That’s not to say that Conservative politics are “wrong” in their own right. But somewhere along the way the Evangelical church began to convey the message (albeit mostly indirectly) to alot of folks that it was no home for those who didn’t tow the Conservative party line. Or at least there was little room for dissension.

    I think alot of the growth you’re seeing among the “Emergent” church can be attributed at least partially to this (although I suspect largely). The demographic breakdown of that group is almost exclusively younger and left-leaning.

    The only problem for me is it tends to be left-leaning theologically as well.

    Then there’s guys like me who have no “home.” Where does the guy whose politics are slightly left of center, and his theology slightly right of center go? Other than insane.

  8. The right wing blow holes realize McCain can’t beat Obama on the issues, raising money, or in the debates. The only thing they can do is smear and race bait him. I waiting for someone on camera to blurt out you know Obama is a n*gger right?

    stem said,

    “i wish folks would just look at his policies and proposals and come to the conclusion that he’s not the change we need.”

    Old pasty white guys who support Bush’s policies is the change we want. 🙂

    Free Obama ’08 bumper stickers for those that are interested…

  9. shane.

    if you change the word “conservative” with the word “republican” then i’m with you on our decline as effective evangelicals. i’ve long been miffed at being taken for granted as a “bloc” vote. and, as it becomes more and more apparent that today’s republicans aren’t actually conservatives, i’ve become even more miffed. i’m seriously considering voting 3rd party this year…

    now, as far as your point about the emerging church i think you’re totally right. the demographics point to an overwhelmingly young, left-leaning, (and don’t forget white) crowd who make up the bulk of movement.

    shane, you could always come to my church (750 miles away)
    we have all sorts of political types…probably have an even split between obama, mccain and ron paul. in addition, i’m violently non-political from the pulpit; admonishing the congregation to pray no matter who wins.

  10. … just pray eeeeeeven harder if it’s John McCain. 😆

    I kid, I kid.

    I’ll concede your point about Conservatives and Republicans not being synonymous, as long as you concede that they are synonymous in the minds of most everyday Americans. That’s what “compassionate conservatism” did for you.

  11. now, as far as your point about the emerging church i think you’re totally right. the demographics point to an overwhelmingly young, left-leaning, (and don’t forget white) crowd who make up the bulk of movement.

    The part about it being mostly white is a bit skewed. The Evangelical Church in general is mostly white. I’ve attended Evangelical churches all my life – rural, suburban, etc. – and I think I saw a grand total of six African-Americans the whole time.

    Since the Emergent Church has been birthed out of the Evangelical church, it would stand to reason that it is equally segregated. Although most Emergents would cringe upon hearing that.

    Racial reconciliation in the church is a whooooole nother issue for another day. 😆

  12. i’m laughing at the “6 african americans” thing….however, the evangelical church includes all kinds of historically black congregations. surely you’ve visited a few? i don’t know what the demographic breakdown is…but i wouldn’t call it overwhelmingly white. i assume that it would reflect nationwide racial averages, though.

    the difference is, you just don’t see large numbers of african americans jumping the evangelical ship like young, left leaning white folk. (insert smiley emoticon here)

    in addition, you should start a thread about race in the church right now!

  13. shane, the issue has been settled. remember? my ma had a word from the Lord, and her christian discernment is INFALLIBLE!

    fun fact: isn’t it ironic how fundies & conservative evangellies will slam the idea of papal infallibity, yet stand by their own understandings and interpretations and “words from the Lord” like it’s the ultimate authority?!?! hmmmmm.

    Dude, I have no idea why that comment got held in the spam queue. Sorry it took me so long to get around to approving it.

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