05/26/2008 12:10 pm ET Updated 6 days ago

Having It Both Ways

Guess where this sentence is from:

[T]he half-Kenyan-by-way-of-Hawaii candidate, who only recently completed a beer-and-bowling tour to impress blue-collar Midwesterners, has committed more fully to showing off his inner Jew.

It comes from a front-page news feature in Thursday's New York Times. If I hadn't read it myself over breakfast, I might almost have guessed it came from der Stürmer. (And I think the reporter who wrote that sentence is Jewish, no less.)

Were her editors reading with blindfolds on? Or was it their intention, as a friend of mine believes, to crank up the notion that Barack Obama is an anti-Semitic phony?

The article is filled with the sort of material that William S. Burroughs used to refer to as contradictory commands. It includes all the correct denials, but uses a tone that leaves the theme hanging in the air. To wit:

Mr. Obama is Arab, Jack Stern's friends told him in Aventura. (He's not.)

He is a part of Chicago's large Palestinian community, suspects Mindy Chotiner of Delray. (Wrong again.)

Mr. Wright is the godfather of Mr. Obama's children, asserted Violet Darling in Boca Raton. (No, he's not.)

Al Qaeda is backing him, said Helena Lefkowicz of Fort Lauderdale (Incorrect.)

Michelle Obama has proven so hostile and argumentative that the campaign is keeping her silent, said Joyce Rozen of Pompano Beach. (Mrs. Obama campaigns frequently, drawing crowds in her own right.)

Mr. Obama might fill his administration with followers of Louis Farrakhan, worried Sherry Ziegler. (Extremely unlikely, given his denunciation of Mr. Farrakhan.)

"Simply genius," says my friend. "Now let's wait for the Obama 'endorsement'."

The article, which implicitly defames Jews and paints them as simple-minded racists, is actually a two-fer: It race baits both blacks and Jews. Not bad, eh? And it's currently (Friday morning) the most emailed article on the NYT Web site.

I'm willing to bet that Obama will not only win a majority of the Jewish vote, but that Jews will support him more than whites, Hispanics, Catholics, Protestants, or Mormons will.