I haven’t refuted these things because I’ve always assumed that people don’t believe them. There’s either no evidence to support such ideas or I’ve made written or oral statements (“I’ve never sold drugs, I haven’t sexually abused anyone”) to certain people which indirectly affirm that I’m not a deviant, or at least that sort of deviant.
However, according assholes like Byron York, the burden of establishing the truth or falsity of such things doesn’t rest on any potential accusers; it’s up to me. At least that’s the “logic” York applies to the widespread belief that President Obama is a Muslim:
[An August 2010] poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life shows that 18 percent of Americans believe Obama is a Muslim. That is up from the 12 percent who believed that in October 2008, just before Obama was elected president.
At the same time, the number of Pew respondents who say Obama is a Christian — in “Dreams From My Father,” he describes his conversion to Christianity under the tutelage of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright — has declined from 51 percent in October 2008 to 34 percent now. And the number of people who say they don’t know Obama’s religion is growing, from 32 percent back then to 43 percent today. The White House blames the situation on a “misinformation campaign” from Obama’s opponents. But Obama and his aides might also blame themselves for the way they’ve handled the Muslim issue over the years.
Right. It couldn’t be that assholes like Byron York, whose physical resemblance to Bill Lumbergh (below) is probably no accident, are part of that misinformation campaign and that they only have careers as journalists because they capitalize on the galactic credulity of the wingnut arm of the American citizenry. (Incidentally, I’m not comparing being a Muslim to being a criminal. I assume people reading this are intelligent enough to figure that out, but still.)