Far too many Americans are getting deceived

Published 10:28 am Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The title of Jim Crawford’s most recent article, “Lessons Shirley Sherrod Has Taught Us All” was wildly optimistic. There’s no reason to think that FOX News, and others with a pathological hatred of the president, are likely to learn anything.

Crawford is right about FOX’s lack of integrity, but there’s no denying the effectiveness of the network’s effort to discredit and demonize the administration.

Recent polls leave no doubt as to the ease with which viewers can be convinced to believe things that aren’t true.

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Nearly half of all Americans believe Obama was the president who launched the Troubled Assets Relief Program.

Thirty-four percent believe he was the president who signed the bank bailout into law. Among Republicans, 65 percent believe he’s a socialist and 57 percent think he’s a Muslim. Venturing into lunatic fringe territory, 24 percent of Republican’s believe Obama is the antichrist.

Pollsters found that the less education respondents had received, the more likely they were to believe these tales. Still, the fact that they’ll be voting for my representatives in government is chilling.

Demonizing the president may be good politics for Republicans, but it’s a shameful and tragic strategy that’s made it nearly impossible for our government to work.

It would be great if the Shirley Sherrod fiasco had indeed “taught us all” something — but I wouldn’t count on it.

Abby Fowler