There was so much furor and uproar over Hillary Clinton’s recent comment including Bobby Kennedy’s assassination recently, that I thought I’d give equal time to highlight the ridiculousness of the media rush to judge Barack Obama over his harmless mistake in telling a family history.
In the past, I’ve written about my concern with Obama’s tendency to be more concerned with telling a good story than with getting all the facts right. This is different. This is a harmless mistake: wrong camp. From Crooks and Liars:
Speaking in New Mexico on Memorial Day, Obama said a great-uncle had helped to liberate the Auschwitz death camp at the end of World War II. “I had a uncle who was one of the, who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps,” Obama said (a YouTube clip of the remarks quickly went viral online).
He continued: “And the story in my family is that when he came home, he just went into the attic, and he didn’t leave the house for six months. All right? Now, obviously something had affected him deeply, but at the time, there just weren’t the kinds of facilities to help somebody work through that kind of pain.”
That may be a fact, the RNC noted gleefully — but only if Obama’s uncle had served in the Red Army of Joseph Stalin, which liberated Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945.
Obama’s campaign said yesterday that he had erred in naming the camp but not in describing the role of his great-uncle, who partook in the liberation of Buchenwald.
C&L rightly describes this as “one of the dumber outrages of the 2008 presidential campaign this week.”
In case you missed it, please read the Politico defense for promoting such trivial, un-newsworthy stories such as this, un- self-consciously entitled “How small stories become big news.”
It’s all about the traffic, baby.