The current issue of the National Enquirer contains some ugly smears of Barack Obama.
The cover prominently features a picture of him along with the headline "Obama's secrets... His close friendship with terrorist." Out of context, this headline may reinforce the the myth that Obama is a Muslim, suggesting to casual readers that Obama is friends with a Muslim terrorist. In fact, however, the headline refers to Obama's relationship with Bill Ayers, a former member of 1960s radical group the Weathermen.
In addition to scurrilous suggestions that the gay choir director of Obama's church was murdered to silence him from revealing what he knows about the presidential candidate, the article uses the Ayers connection to suggest that Obama is anti-American. It quotes Bill Hobbs (the Tennessee GOP flack who authored an infamous press release smearing Obama):
Asked about Ayers, Obama's campaign spokesman David Alexrod freely admitted: "Yes, they're friendly."
Bill Hobbs, communications director for the Tennessee Republican Party, revealed there are other links between the senator and America's enemies.
"Obama has a foreign policy advisor, Robert Maley, who blames Israel for anything bad and suggests we ought to be doing business with Hamas (the radical Palestinian militants dedicated to Israel's destruction)," Hobbs told the enquirer.
Hobbs believes Obama will be putting America's strongest ally in the Middle East right in the crosshairs of our enemies.
Just as disturbing is the alleged link between Obama and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has referred to Jews as "dogs" and "pigs"...
Even worse, the Enquirer floats rumors that Obama is an Iranian agent without directly contradicting them:
The senator's questionable associations have fired up Internet bloggers and their imaginations.
The "New York Post" recently reported that some Internet "posts" even claim that Obama is an Iranian agent sent to take over the U.S. government and wage war against Sunni Muslims."
A pull quote stating that "Some posts even claim Obama is an Iranian agent" is featured in a separate picture of Obama that appears above the famous image of him in Somali clothing. Once again, the implication to casual readers is that Obama is a Muslim and possibly disloyal to the US.
While the tendency is to ignore the Enquirer as tabloid trash, it has a circulation of more than one million copies and is seen by many more people in supermarket checkout lines. We should not ignore what Mickey Kaus calls "the undernews."
Update 3/13 3:34 PM: Due to a legal threat from the Enquirer, I've removed the images and PDF previously included in this post from my website.