Ben Smith puts together a round-up of all the nasty rumors that have surfaced about Obama and McCain during the campaign and notes that Politico reporters have been inundated with emails from partisans demanding they investigate the stories, which are mostly just conspiracy theories.
This is an important topic and could have been a chance for Politico to pull back the curtain on the behavior of right-wing bloggers during his election cycle who have been pushing some of the flimsiest and loopiest conspiracies ever recorded. It could have been chance for Politico to document how the right-wing bloggers have become a joke.
It could have been, but that's now how the Beltway press treats right-wing bloggers. Instead, the Beltway press prefers to look away when partisan GOP bloggers embarrass themselves, as they've done continuously this campaign.
Smith never even types up the phrase "right-wing bloggers" and in fact he never even mentions them in his article. (He does though, call out the "die-hard pro-Hillary section of the blogosphere" for shoddy behavior.) His article also strains mightily to pretend the anti-Obama and anti-McCain conspiracy theories were roughly equal in number this season. (i.e. Smith presents three targeting each candidate.)
Basically, it's a whitewash.
What's curious is that Smith himself last week linked to a definitive blog post by Jon Swift, which cataloged all the idiotic anti-Obama rumors the bloggers chased this season. Rather than amplifying those findings in his rumor article, Smith just ignored them.
Since Politico won't highlight the smears peddled by conservative blogs this campaign, we will:
*While attending Columbia University in the early 1980's and interested in the South African divestiture movement, Obama was involved in violent protests, including domestic terrorist bombings, that erupted when a South African rugby team toured America.
*Obama's deeply personal memoir, Dreams of My Fathers, was actually ghost-written by Bill Ayers, the former '60's radical-turned college professor who befriended Obama in Chicago in the 1990's.
*When Obama went to visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii in October, he was really traveling there in order to deal with controversy about his birth certificate.
* Obama was getting answers in the first debate through a clear plastic hearing aid in his ear.
*The Obama campaign conspired with a Los Angeles PR firm to peddle anti-Palin video smears on YouTube.
*Michelle Obama gave an unsolicited phone interview to an obscure Norway-based news organization in which she railed against "American white racists" trying to derail her husband's campaign.
That's what right-wing bloggers have been obsessing about this campaign. But Politico remains mum.