Oops! Check Snopes Before You Send That Obama Chain Letter

Lynn Bartels at the Denver paper today documented a telling rumor mill screw-up by Rep. Larry Liston and some “other” unnamed Colorado Republicans. So, maybe you’ve got a conservative uncle who constantly forwards you those breathless chain emails that have been circulating ever since now-President Barack Obama came on the scene–Obama’s a Muslim, a Muslim terrorist, he’s spent more on [outrageous waste here] than anyone else in history…doesn’t love America…eats babies…you know about these.

Some of you post them in our comment threads from time to time (you know who you are).

Today’s email, forwarded by Rep. Liston and others, was apparently a warmed-over 2009 chain email regarding the staff of First Lady Michelle Obama, claiming rather shockingly that there “has never been anyone in the White House at any time that has created such an army of staffers whose sole duties are the facilitation of the First Lady’s social life.” Snopes deconstructs:

[I]t’s grossly inaccurate to claim that the current First Lady has hired “an unprecedented number of staffers,” or to assert (as stated in the anonymously tacked-on final paragraph) that First Lady Laura Bush had but a single staffer working for her.

The 2008 White House Office Staff List, issued during the final year of President George W. Bush’s tenure in office, includes sixteen different staffers with the words “First Lady” in their position titles — exactly the same number as that listed for Michelle Obama in 2009.  If all staffers listed with “Social Secretary” in their titles are included as part of the First Lady’s retinue  (as was done with the Michelle Obama example cited above), then Mrs. Bush had at least 18 people working for her in 2008 (not including any of the various personnel listed only as “Staff Assistants,” some of whom may also have worked for her directly or indirectly).  

In fact, according to Anita McBride, Laura Bush’s former Chief of Staff, Mrs. Bush had between 24 and 26 staffers working for her by the end of her husband’s second term in office.

So what’s true about this? Well, Michelle Obama has a staff. That’s about it. Perhaps a better question might be, what compels people like Larry Liston to obsessively forward these silly, baseless emails about the Obamas–so often accusing them of petty, trailer-park morality flaws, or “abuse” that turns out to be fully within the scope of their duties, and no more “abusive” than those who preceded him? What provokes this determined personal whisper campaign? Why do people who should know better, like Republican officials, continue to subsidize it?

After nearly three years of this, we’re developing a theory as to why it seems to happen to the Obamas more than their predecessors. And Rep. Liston isn’t going to like it.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. allyncooper says:

    You don’t have to be Einstein to come up with that theory.  

  2. thiokuutoo says:

    the watermelon patch idiocy to spam people with?

  3. ss says:

    This should be fun… haven’t been yelled at by Elbee in a while.

  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    and count Laura Bush’s social staffers and attendants as three-fifths of a person then Ms. Obama does kind of seem a bit overstaffed.

  5. MADCO says:

    a tar baby. or house staff. or anything.

  6. dwyer says:

    The 40 person Michelle staff has been all over talk radio …..millions of people have heard it.

    When the Clintons were in the White House, they were vilified, too.  Talk radio stirred the pot on White Water and all kinds of crimes the Clinton supposedly did in Arkansas.

    “Everything old is new again”

  7. ArapaGOP says:

    Riiight. Oppose Obama=you are a racist.

    And everyone who attacked Anthony Weiner is an anti-Semite. That ended when Weiner copped. I should show you some of the Democrat emails I got about George Bush. Who’s a hypocrite?

    I knew the race card Obama day would come, proportional to Democrat desperation over his impending loss next year. We have evidently arrived at that day.

  8. Half Glass Full says:

    He’s fine with people being black. Just not anyone above him. That he cannot abide.

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