Sunday, February 11, 2007

I am curious (not).

The Associated Press Department of Headline Blandification turned out a real winner this afternoon:

Obama says voters curious on his faith

Aside from being written in Engrish, this headline manages both to alter reality and to misrepresent the article's focus, and in just seven words! Somebody deserves a raise.

To be clear, this is not the fault of AP writer Henry C. Jackson, who actually puts the point more sharply in his article:

Obama's religious background has come under scrutiny because he attended a Muslim school in Indonesia from age 6 to 10.

I like that Jackson resisted the common antique-media trend of qualifying any statement that might be seen as skeptical of Islam's cloak of benevolence. Attendance at a Muslim school in Indonesia is not the same as attendance at a Catholic school on Long Island, and it is a fact deserving scrutiny. Here's what Obama had to say in answer to the public's supposed "curiosity":

"If your name is Barack Hussein Obama, you can expect it, some of that. I think the majority of voters know that I'm a member of the United Church of Christ, and that I take my faith seriously," Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Perhaps I'm not representative of the average voter, but I'm not curious about Obama's faith. I'm disdainful of his trumpeting it, and it only diminishes the already slim chances I will vote for him. If I vote for a Democrat at all, it will be for Clinton (who I believe deserves not to be addressed by her first name just because her husband can't step out of the spotlight).

In any event, only five of the article's 29 paragraphs focus on the issue of faith. Jackson strays quickly from the piece's supposed topic to other aspects of Obama's candidacy--ones that might interest voters more than his early connection to a death cult that keeps hundreds of millions of people locked in ignorance, misogyny, and primitive superstition. Those aspects would apparently be his skin color and whether or not he's quit smoking.

In the interview, Obama also said his race might be a "novelty" this early in the presidential contest ...

The greater novelty would be Obama's stature (admirable, in my opinion) as the first U.S. presidential candidate deserving of a fatwa for irtidad (turning from Islam to another religion), a crime regarded by many Islamic "scholars of jurisprudence" as deserving the death penalty. Don't blame me ... It's in the Koran. His status as an apostate might put the kibosh on any plans for hand-in-hand strolls with Saudi princes. Wait, maybe I should vote for him.


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