Swift-Boat This!

Via Media Matters
Dear Readers,
I'm sure you've heard some of the many lies about Sen. Barack Obama that have been circulating over the last year or so, both online and in the mainstream media. The truth is that Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim; he was born in the United States; he doesn't refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance; he wasn't endorsed by Fidel Castro; the list goes on and on. While many of the attacks on Obama are outright lies, other attacks are outrageous distortions with just a kernel of truth at their core.
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Many of these right-wing attacks have been spread in emails and reported in the echo chamber that is the mainstream media. While they may seem disconnected, the truth is that these attacks work together, like separate voices combining to form a chorus of fear and resentment. The claims that Obama is a Muslim or somehow foreign; that he represents a black radicalism more at home in the 1960s than today; and that he is a liberal elitist with a radical, even socialist agenda work to reinforce an overarching narrative that Obama is alien and threatening -- that he is "not one of us."

Click here to see how the right-wing narrative is being tailored to make you think Obama is "not one of us."

We saw what happened when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth unleashed their dossier of lies about Sen. John Kerry in 2004 -- lies that were repeated ad nauseam in the media. We call the 2008 version "Swiftboating 2.0" not only because it is the latest model of a political smear campaign, but also because it shares features of "Web 2.0" sites like Facebook and MySpace, where significant portions of the content are generated by ordinary people and are spread from peer to peer.

You can fight back using the same channels of information. Talk to your friends and family about the information contained at to fight the lies. When you see or hear media figures repeating these smears, call or send them an email to let them know you're watching and that they got it wrong.

The only way to keep this round of Swiftboating from succeeding is for everyone who knows the truth to stand up for media accountability and stop the smears.


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