A woman at a McCain rally says she fears Barack Obama is an Arab. McCain corrects her- sort of. The media go ga-ga. How typical. And digby nails the media for using that one small incident as some sort of example of McCain's supposed decency. Which digby proceeds to take apart.
But there was something else wrong with the question. And the answer. And the media's coverage of it. As reported by McClatchy:
Later, another supporter told McCain, "I don't trust Obama...He's an Arab."
McCain stood shaking his head as she spoke, then quickly took the microphone from her.
"No, ma'am," he said. "He's a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with."
It's nice that McCain said some nice things about Obama. Which, as digby pointed out, doesn't at all make up for all the despicable smears McCain and his campaign have promoted against Obama. But what made both the exchange and the media's coverage of it even more despicable was the implied subtext.
While it's possible McCain's answer referred mostly to the first part of the woman's comment, it would have been nice if McCain could have addressed the second part. Or even if McCain, being a good Republican, lacked the ability to defend one of this nation's most demonized and discriminated against minority groups, the media should have. Not, of course, that anyone should have more than the lowest expectations for them, either. But someone somewhere should have pointed out that being an Arab and being "a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with" are not mutually exclusive. They are no more mutually exclusive than are being a member of any other racial, linguistic, or religious minority and being "a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with." Someone somewhere should have pointed out that the woman talking to McCain is not, herself, a decent person. She is a bigot.
Barack Obama is not an Arab. Nor is he a Muslim. To paraphrase Charlie Chaplin's response to an anti-Semite's suggestion that he was Jewish, Obama does not have those honors. But we should vote for him, anyway.