Is this not rich? Here today is a Los Angeles Times "On the Media" commentary by James Rainey entitled "Mainstream media not jumping on the political rumor bandwagon" in which Rainey, um, er, jumps on the political rumor bandwagon by telling us at great length why he and the mainstream media are not jumping on the political rumor bandwagon.
The first sentence reads:
Call me quaint and old-fashioned, but I give most of the mainstream media a hearty pat on the back for refusing to spread the inflammatory and thoroughly unsubstantiated rumor that Michelle Obama once railed against "whitey" from a pulpit.
You can tell Rainey is old-fashioned because he gives the MSM a pat on the back instead of a fist-bump. But he is no doubt including the Times among the back-pat recipients, because the newspaper has only done the following:
The Los Angeles Times demonstrated the continuing ambivalence about the issue in its Wednesday editions. A front-page story referred only to "divisive comments allegedly made by Michelle Obama," while in the Calendar section, Web columnist David Sarno described the suspect provenance of "whitey."
Sarno said the rumor had become public enough that it seemed worth explaining, both how it metastasized and failed to gain any credibility. "There's an almost mythical element to these things," he said, "that I wanted to explain."
Well, that's okay then. Actually, rather than pretending not to, I think the "mainstream media" should cover all such persistent rumors, if only to fulfill its responsibility to inform readers and listeners about what is and is not true--sort of the way that it should have covered doubts in the intelligence community, of which it was fully aware, about WMD in Iraq. Of course, the problem with the Michelle Obama tape is that there will be rumors of its existence pretty much until November, meaning that the mainstream media will be responsibly restraining itself from debunking this and other rumors until then.
PS--If the "whitey" tape doesn't exist, McCain is going to need something just as good, if the latest poll numbers are any indication.
UPDATE: MICHELLE OBAMA SEX TAPE!