Drudge headline distorted Clinton comments to suggest she said "Obama Not Muslim 'As Far As I Know' ... "

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

A Drudge Report headline linking to a 60 Minutes interview of Sen. Hillary Clinton read, "Hillary: Obama Not Muslim 'As Far As I Know' ...," falsely suggesting that Clinton characterized the issue of Sen. Barack Obama's religion as unresolved. In fact, she did the opposite.

On March 3, the Drudge Report linked to online news portal Breitbart.tv video footage from the March 2 edition of CBS' 60 Minutes under the headline "Hillary: Obama Not Muslim 'As Far As I Know' ... ," falsely suggesting that Sen. Hillary Clinton characterized the issue of Sen. Barack Obama's religion as unresolved. In fact, she did the opposite. Correspondent Steve Kroft first asked Clinton, "You don't believe that Senator Obama is a Muslim?" to which Clinton replied, "Of course not. I mean, that's -- you know, there is no basis for that. You know, I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn't any reason to doubt that." Kroft then asked, "And you said you'd take Senator Obama at his word that he's not a Muslim," to which Clinton replied, "Right. Right." Only after Kroft went on to ask, "You don't believe that he's a Muslim or implying, right?," did Clinton respond, "No. No. Why would I? No, there is nothing to base that on, as far as I know" [emphasis added].

Following Clinton's response to Kroft's third query on the subject, Kroft said, "It's just scurrilous --" to which Clinton responded, "Look, I have been the target of so many ridiculous rumors. I have a great deal of sympathy for anybody who gets, you know, smeared with the kind of rumors that go on all the time."

From the March 2 edition of CBS' 60 Minutes:

KROFT: One of the things that we found in Southern Ohio -- not widespread -- but something that popped up on our radar screen all the time, people talking about it, this idea that you're a Muslim.

OBAMA: Right. Did you correct them, Steve?

KROFT: I did correct them.

OBAMA: There you go.

KROFT: Where's it coming from?

OBAMA: You know, this has been a systematic email smear campaign that's been going on since, actually, very early in this campaign. Clearly, it's a deliberate effort by some group or somebody to generate this rumor. I have never been a Muslim, am not a Muslim. These emails are obviously not just offensive to me, somebody who's a devout Christian who's been going to the same church for the last 20 years, but it's also offensive to Muslims because it plays into, obviously, a certain fear-mongering there.

KROFT: It happened again last week when this photo of Obama, in ceremonial African tribal dress during a visit to Kenya, was featured prominently on the Internet and attributed to people in the Clinton campaign. Senator Clinton disavowed any knowledge of it.

KROFT: You don't believe that Senator Obama is a Muslim?

CLINTON: Of course not. I mean, that's -- you know, there is no basis for that. You know, I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn't any reason to doubt that.

KROFT: And you said you'd take Senator Obama at his word that he's not a Muslim.

CLINTON: Right. Right.

KROFT: You don't believe that he's a Muslim --

CLINTON: No. No. Why would I? There's no --

KROFT: -- or implying, right?

CLINTON: No, there is nothing to base that on, as far as I know.

KROFT: It's just scurrilous --

CLINTON: Look, I have been the target of so many ridiculous rumors. I have a great deal of sympathy for anybody who gets, you know, smeared with the kind of rumors that go on all the time.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Religion
Network/Outlet
The Drudge Report
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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