Monday, October 13, 2008
The rate of flying rumors the last few weeks seems to be increasing exponentially. Some are spun in a spiraling stock market in hopes of profit, others are meant to sow doubt in the last weeks of a bitter presidential campaign. Fox News was taken to task for admitting a questionable character, Andy Martin, on air with unsubstantiated claims about Barack Obama. Other persistent rumors include the claim that Obama's birth certificate has been forged and that he is a secret Muslim, a fear fanned by a connection with Bill Ayers, a radical academic. Such spurious tactics distract from a serious assessment of a candidate's qualifications and positions. The highly-charged emotional atmosphere as seen at some Republican political rallies last week, added to a deepening economic crisis, may escalate if cooler heads don't prevail.