By: E&P Staff
Right-wing freelancer Mark Steyn had repeated an unfounded “smear” — debunked by CNN on Monday — in the Chicago Sun-Times, so Lynn Sweet, a columnist there, felt the need to “set the record straight” today.
Here is the opening of her report.
Barack Obama’s week-old presidential campaign has been hit with a smear. Hillary Clinton’s White House bid, launched Saturday, has been attacked with an unfounded accusation.
Contrary to what was reported in Insight magazine and then repeated on Fox News and in other news outlets, including a column that ran in the Sun-Times by free-lancer Mark Steyn, Obama was not educated in a radical Islamic school when he was an elementary student in Jakarta.
And there is no evidence whatsoever that Clinton’s campaign had anything to do with spreading the damaging rumor that Obama hid a Muslim background.
The source for both slurs started in a report posted on the Web site of Insight, a conservative magazine published by the Washington Times. The article with no named sourcing alleged that researchers connected to Clinton dug up information about Obama as part of a “background check.”
Over the past few days the story bounced around the blogosphere and then spilled over to other conservative outlets…..
Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said the episode was not damaging to Obama’s campaign but was “a black eye on journalism” because it “shakes people’s faith in the truth.”