It was obvious to most people that Madonna meant it as a joke, but chances are it will have reinforced belief in the Obama-Muslim myth in others, or even planted a seed of misinformation in the minds of people who have never even thought about Obama's faith.
Most of the media presented the aftermath of the Ames Straw Poll as a newly clarified field of GOP candidates. Too bad all of that "clarity" lasted... oh, you know... a few hours. Then, suddenly, things weren't clear anymore.
The UAE is not and should not be in the business of perpetually denying rumors and speculation. Last week, I sent a friend a typical negative story about the UAE published in Arabic. His one word reply: "Noise."
Old, new, it's not a battle of two sides anymore. Instead, it's a crowded pool where any fan can glean info, rumor, opinion, humor or just about anything else with a mouse click via the Web or Twitter.