Echoing smear emails, Halperin falsely suggested video shows Obama during "pledge of allegiance"
Research ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI
In an October 14 entry on his Time.com website, The Page, Time magazine's editor-at-large Mark Halperin falsely suggested that a photograph of Sen. Barack Obama in an anti-Obama television ad shows Obama without his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. Halperin wrote that the ad, by the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, "hammers the Democratic presidential nominee with the kitchen sink and more: pledge of allegiance picture, Cuban flags, Palestinians, Hamas, and -- of course -- Reverend [Jeremiah] Wright." In fact, the ad -- which itself makes misleading claims -- does not show Obama during the "pledge of allegiance." A photo from the event, footage of which was included in the ad, appeared in Time with a caption indicating it was taken during the national anthem, not the Pledge of Allegiance.
In a November 2, 2007, item about a chain email referencing the Time photo, Washington Post "Fact Checker" Michael Dobbs noted: "Contrary to the e-mails attacking Obama for disrespecting the flag, the candidates were not reciting the pledge of allegiance. They were standing for the national anthem." Dobbs also wrote: "Asked whether Obama normally puts his hand over his heart while listening to the national anthem, Obama spokesman Bill Burton replied by e-mail: 'Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't. In no way was he making any sort of statement, and any suggestion to the contrary is ridiculous.' " Indeed, other photos show Obama with his hand over his heart during the national anthem.
From Halperin's post on The Page, accessed on October 14 at 5:30 p.m. ET: