With a new poll out showing that an astounding 18 percent of Americans incorrectly believe that President Obama is Muslim, many in the media wonder who is to blame for generating the rumor. Unsurprisingly, right-wing pundits are quick to shirk responsibility for propagating such a notion, and instead, absurdly, place blame on the President himself. Tonight, the conservative members of Special Report's All Star Panel concluded that they can understand why Americans think Obama is a Muslim given his "affinity for Muslim culture."
Fox News contributors Steve Hayes and Charles Krauthammer, and even Special Report host Bret Baier assign blame for the misconception to President Obama. Krauthammer claimed that "the emphasis Obama placed on Muslim outreach might incline people to conclude that he's not a Christian," while Hayes agreed "absolutely" with host Bret Baier's suggestion that the fact that Obama "has talked openly about his -- the Muslim heritage in his family" has contributed to misconceptions about his religion.
The fact that these right-wing pundits are blaming Obama is astoundingly egregious. If they truly wanted to discover who is to blame for such conspiratorial rumors, the right-wing media need look no further than themselves. In fact, Fox News is in part responsible for launching the notion from fodder in the conservative blogosphere to the mainstream. Had Special Report's All Star Panel turned back the clock a year, they would have discovered that the show aired a segment in June of 2009 which asked of the President, "Islam or Isn't He?"
In addition, blogger and frequent Fox News guest Pamela Geller has tagged 267 blog posts with the phrase "Muslim in the White House." Other conservative figures, including Fox's own Glenn Beck, frequently call Obama's Christianity into question, even claiming that he has "contempt for the Scriptures."
The right-wing media has been pushing the idea that Obama is a Muslim for years. Any attempt by the right-wing media to whitewash their involvement in forwarding the rumor by blaming Obama is simply dishonest.