THE BLOG
12/09/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Did You Hear The One About Barack Obama And.....

I love conspiracy theories because sometimes they turn out to be true. I mean, who could have imagined that John Edwards would be stupid enough to a) make it with his videographer while his wife was battling cancer and b) try to visit her and their child on the eve of the Democratic National Convention when he was being considered as a possible vice presidential nominee? What Hollywood screenwriter could have scripted the scenario that placed Ted Haggard, the President of the National Association of Evangelicals in a hotel room calling a guy for massages and sex?

OK, those aren't exactly conspiracies, but they're implausible rumors that turned out to be true.

So just to be on the safe side, I believe all conspiracy theories until they are proved wrong by legit media. But when it comes to Barack Obama and conspiracy theories, I'm running into a problem because there are so many out there that they conflict with one another and now I don't know which ones to believe.

My personal favorite is the one about Malcolm X Being Barack Obama's true father. There's even a morphing photo series to prove it. No, wait, a guy named Frank Marshall Davis is Barack's true father.

Or how about the one about Obama not having been born in Hawaii, but rather in Kenya?

Or the one about Obama's education having been funded by a mysterious Muslim leader?

Then there's the guy who swears that it was William Ayers who secretly authored Obama's books.

And do you want to know the real reason Obama visited his ailing Grandmother?

Some of 'em are just plain nuts, some are just very, very unlikely and some are, well, plausible. I don't blame the conspiracy theorists for this stuff-that's what they do. But I do blame the "responsible" media, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time, Newsweek et al. because their lack of critical reporting on Obama and his background and unwillingness to thoroughly investigate him has now produced a cottage industry of self-styled investigative internet journalists who often neither have the tools, resources or training to properly investigate.

We have elected as president a man we don't really know, because responsible outlets left investigative journalism, the kind of rigorous examination of a man in whose hands we place the nuclear codes that could blow up the world, to internet crackpots or people without the background or the temperament to investigate impartially.

Now, after the election, some reporters are stepping forward to admit that voters's interests were not served well by the reporting of this race. I find this exchange between Tom Brokaw and Charlie Rose, wherein they admit that they know little about the president-elect's views on a whole host of issues (as if they had not both had the opportunity to look into them on our behalf during the campaign) simply stunning. Then there's this from the Washington Post, conceding that Post readers were ill-served by the paper's campaign coverage.

That collective failure means that for the next four years we will have a cottage industry of Obama rumormongering that will make Bill Clinton and Vince Foster look like child's play and it could have been avoided if the "responsible" mainstream press had devoted some of the time it spent tracking down John McCain's one night stands from his Navy days or Cindy McCain's prescription drug habit, debunking or confirming rumors about Obama that will plague us for the next four years.