Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama on Thursday harnessed the power of the Internet and the unbridled enthusiasm of his supporters to douse toxic smears stalking his shot at the White House.
While pursuing a war of words with Republican John McCain over taxes, the African-American senator unveiled a new website at www.fightthesmears.com to debunk false rumours peddled by email and right-wing media outlets. The site was created after one recent, and thus far unfounded, assertion that Obama’s wife Michelle had been caught on tape slurring white people.
Obama’s main campaign website already has a fact-check section to refute rumours such as the Christian candidate is a secret Muslim. But aides said the new site went further in inviting supporters to spread the word.
Political candidates have traditionally refused to acknowledge slanderous rumours for fear of giving them respectability. But given the slew of attacks being spread by email against Obama, his campaign said it had to respond in kind by harnessing the viral power of the Internet to add to his impressive record of online fundraising.