The Rumors the Press Won't Cover

Most don't pass the smell test, and some are just plain nuts
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2008 11:19 AM CDT
The Rumors the Press Won't Cover
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks at a Town Square Stop at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

It’s been a year for political rumors and paranoia. In Politico, Ben Smith rounds up some of the salacious tidbits readers keep haranguing the press to cover.

  • Obama’s not a citizen. At first, this rumor focused on having a parent born elsewhere, then moved on to suggesting his birth certificate was hidden or forged.
  • John McCain used a particularly misogynist slur against his wife in 1992. No reporters have found evidence to replicate this story, reported by a Democratic operative.

  • Michelle Obama is on tape ranting about white people. One rumor said she’d been recorded using the word “whitey,” another said she’d talked about “white racists.” Neither was true.
  • McCain is responsible for the 1967 fire on the US Forrestal that killed 134 sailors. A liberal site claimed that a risky maneuver by McCain could have started the fire. says otherwise.
  • Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga is Obama’s cousin. The evidence? An email, purportedly from Obama to Odinga, which “clearly was not written by a native English speaker.”
  • McCain heaped abuse on fellow vacationers in Fiji and forced them to listen to him read aloud from Faulkner. It's been discredited, too. “Faulkner was a huge problem," said Alexander Cockburn. "Hemingway, yes. But would he really read Faulkner?"
(Read more Election 2008 stories.)

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