Blaming the victim? Poll-lease
August 24, 2010
I guess it shouldn’t be a big deal that 18 percent of Americans think President Obama is a Muslim. I’m guessing more people than that liked Coke II.
But I know why people liked Coke II — it had a lot of sugar. This Pew Research poll is a little bit trickier.
According to the Washington Times, Obama bears the responsibility.
It’s not because Republicans running for office in Massachusetts are pushing the issue, or because of Iowa Republican National Committee member Kim Lehman. She’s the one who tweeted that Obama said he was a Muslim during a speech in Cairo last year (It’s the one where Obama said, “I’m a Christian.”)
And it’s not the responsibility of the cable news networks, and how they define fairness as assuming each person has exactly 50 percent of the evidence. I’ll watch a scientist who represents the 95 percent or so of his colleagues that agree on man-made climate change, with relevant data ... and then watch as the same time is given to an Exxon-funded expert who claims the world’s not getting hotter because it snowed in January in New York City.
I wonder what would have happened if CNN had existed in the 1520s. I’m guessing “The Situation Room” would have a panel discussion in which Ferdinand Magellan gets shouted down by the president of The Portugese Institute for a Non-Curved Earth.
You see, it’s Obama’s fault, Byron York of the Examiner said, because Obama’s mishandled the Muslim issue.
In Cairo, Obama said, “I’m a Christian, but my father is from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims.” York said media reported that Obama touched on his Muslim roots, and since York said, “Many people do not pay close attention to news reports,” it was understandable that people would confuse “Muslim roots” and “Muslim.”
So York’s argument is the media doesn’t report a story fully, like leaving out how Obama promptly declared his Christianity. And people don’t pay attention to the media. And that’s Obama’s fault.
But here’s the thing. Not even the people who believe Obama’s a Muslim believe York’s argument. In that Pew poll, 60 percent of the “He’s a Muslim” crowd said they heard it from ... the media.
As a side note, the Constitution doesn’t care if we follow Jesus, Allah or the Burger King. If it did, our freedoms would quickly be hijacked by self-proclaimed holy men who can quote the part of the Book of Leviticus about men lying with each other (20:13), but have no idea Leviticus forbids shaving (19:27), eating pork (11:7), planting more than one crop in a field (19:19) or eating shellfish (11:10).
However, people who do base their votes on their faith at least deserve accurate information, that comes from media enabled by the same Constitution.
Here’s a hint. It’s not the guy who said, “I’m a Christian.”
Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom New Mexico. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or via e-mail: email@example.com