Of all the insane conspiracy theories that have been floated about President Barack Obama, the allegations that he was involved in a plot to murder Chelsea Clinton has to be one of the most vicious. It's the kind of thing that makes me feel dirty just writing about. So why Fox News anchor Heather Childers was comfortable tweeting about it is ... well, it's confusing, frankly. But it doesn't make her a monster.
Childers' tweet linked out to a story about the supposed plan to keep Hillary and former President Bill Clinton "quiet" about some big Obama secret on Godfather Politics. She prefaced it simply with the word "Thoughts?"
Not surprisingly, a woman who is supposed to be a "straight news" anchor for the "fair and balanced" TV channel is ducking for cover this morning from the onslaught of criticism. She's even turned her Twitter to "protected," and some folks are saying she needs to be fired. But is it really fair to pick on her? Really?
I'm going to come right out and say the Godfather piece is trash. It's another attempt to smear the president on the so-called "birther" issue, which was long ago put to rest with the release of his long-form birth certificate.
I won't even link to it because I'd prefer not to give them the pageviews. By putting the link out there, tied to her famous name, Childers gave it gravitas. She helped spread the insanity. That was a mistake.
But here's what Childers did right. She didn't say she agreed with them. She did what journalists do every day in interviews: she asked what other people thought. Look, here is the exact wording of her tweet:
Thoughts? Did Obama Campaign Threaten Chelsea Clinton's Life 2 Keep Parents Silent?
Notice the question marks, folks. She posed this as a question, not fact. And she solicited other people's opinions.
It probably would have been smarter if Childers had read the post and moved on without Tweeting it. But as far as her integrity as a journalist goes, look at the job description. Reporters ask questions. That's the job, folks.
What would you have done in Heather Childers' situation?
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