In every political campaign there are reports and allegations made by opposing or supposedly neutral parties which, if true, can turn the election tide suddenly and even permanently. This presidential election cycle is no different with Democrats and Republicans working diligently to gain that edge in a bid to tip the race in their favor.
Barack Obama With A Small Lead
Inasmuch as I doubt the accuracy of some of the polls, I do believe that Barack Obama has a slight lead over John McCain, but not enough of one for him to feel assured that the election is in the bag. Clearly, Obama has seized on two matters which is keeping him in the lead: the economy and change. The latter being something that he has been championing all along, making the case that John McCain’s candidacy represents all things George W. Bush, an inaccurate charge but one he has been able to make stick thus far.
I’ve made it clear that I am supporting the McCain/Palin ticket since I am a registered Republican but above that I am a conservative. Initially, I was turned off by McCain and very disappointed that another candidate didn’t win the Republican nomination. But, as the campaign season wore on I knew that my support couldn’t be given elsewhere, though I must admit that I’m closer to Ron Paul than to John McCain politically. Just the thought of Barack Obama being in the White House bothers me, with the potential to push the most far-reaching leftist agenda America has ever seen. Thus, my firm support for McCain which has only grown strong thanks to the addition of Sarah Palin to the ticket.
Truth Telling Or Fairy Tale?
I’m not a professional journalist, but I do adhere to many of the practices of media people who (supposedly) check every source to confirm its veracity and then go with the story. These days there is a blur between mainstream media and bloggers, with both camps often running with stories that seem to be more rumor or innuendo than truth. This bothers me because going with less than factual information discredits the new media, feeds the public with inaccurate news, and sullies the reputation of the deliverer. Sometimes the line between truth and a fairy tale is blurred, making the unreliable story sound credible.
Yesterday, I was given a story about Michelle Obama — Barack’s wife — which alleged that she had a conversation with a press corps operating under the name African Press International or API. The account of that story, which has spread across the internet like wildfire, alleges that Mrs. Obama called the API and gave them a tongue lashing over their reporting. I’m not going to repeat the story here, but some of the comments made by Michelle Obama were outrageous, to the point where if what she said was true could tip the election the other way.
However, I simply cannot believe that the conversation happened in the first place — at least as it is being reported.
African Press International — Who Are They?
My doubts surfaced when I visited the API’s website and found that it is hosted by WordPress on their domain. Okay, fine — the organization doesn’t have much money and they’re operating with a threadbare budget. Perfectly understandable. I’ll even overlook a site that isn’t professionally laid out too.
I did not dig deep into the API site to read their many stories, but I did scoot to the end of several articles to see how they sourced their news. In most every case the appropriate source was listed allowing me to verify each one (although some of the African sites were down when I tried to access them).
But, when it came to the Michelle Obama interview there was one important thing missing — a copy of the audiotape of her conversation with API. Without this, I and so many others doubt that the conversation took place or that if it did that it was Michelle Obama who called in the first place. Sure, we all heard Mrs. Obama declare earlier this year, “…for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback,” comments for which she rightfully took a lot of heat (what, you have been without hope all of your life?). And, we’ve been led to believe that of the two Obamas, Michelle is a real hot head and speaks first and thinks second.
Michelle Obama Isn’t Stupid
Still, for Mrs. Obama to call the API and give them a tongue lashing would be political suicide, a move I cannot see her doing because she isn’t stupid.
As far as the African Press International goes, I’m not saying that this press organization isn’t legitimate, but what I am saying is that the proof is in the audio and the onus is on the API to supply that information or otherwise drop the story. BTW, the YouTube video is intriguing, but having an unidentified moderator read “excerpts” from the call just doesn’t cut it.