Verifying facts that aren’t factual
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Sep 25, 2012 | 2182 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As long as there have been politicians, and as long as politicians have played politics, outlandish, off-the-wall accusations have found a home. Many are unsubstantiated and yet believed by those predisposed to believe, even when the facts say otherwise.

As the old saying goes, “Convince someone against their will, they’re of the same opinion still.”

Thomas Jefferson’s enemies spread the word that if he was elected, the churches would be closed and there would be blood in the streets.

Franklin Roosevelt was said to be part of an international Jewish conspiracy to control banking and the world.

Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon were accused of being agents of the Trilateral Commission, which was run by the Rockefellers.

And those on the religious right continue to spread rumors of the number of people who were murdered by agents of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Over the years, such accusations have usually come from fringe groups on both sides of the political spectrum. They have been given the lack of respect they deserve by spokesmen for the major political parties. So it wasn’t surprising when President Barack Obama was accused of being part of a plot that will change America forever that claims that if he wins, “our children and grandchildren will not live under the same conditions that we’ve lived in these wonderful years.”

What is different in this case is that the accuser was the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, Bill Armistead, and he was speaking last Wednesday to the Eastern Shore Republican Women.

According to the Mobile Press-Register, Armistead advised his audience to see the movies Dreams from My Real Father, and 2016: Obama’s America. Dreams, which is out on DVD, claims that the president’s real father was Frank Marshall Davis, who was an organizer for the Communist Party USA. “That is absolutely frightening,” Armistead said. “I’ve seen it. I verified that it is factual, all of it.”

Interesting, especially since verification of such claims have previously been hard to come by.

But that lack of verification, according to those who tell these tales, only shows you how crafty are those who have been covering up the facts. When fact-checkers point out that there is little or nothing to back up the claim, those who believe accuse the fact-checkers of being biased.

We must wait for Armistead to explain how he “verified that it is factual,” which so far he has not done, or believe without verification, which is apparently what Armistead expects us to do.
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