AIM's Kincaid on “Clinton's alleged lesbianism”: "[A]s explosive as Senator Barack Obama's mysterious upbringing as a Muslim"

In his May 2007 “Cliff's Notes” report, Cliff Kincaid, editor and writer at right-wing media “watchdog” organization Accuracy in Media, wrote: “The sex scandal the media won't touch involves Senator Hillary Clinton's [D-NY] alleged lesbianism.” Kincaid later added: “This matter is as explosive as Senator Barack Obama's [D-IL] mysterious upbringing as a Muslim in Indonesia and his quick conversion to Christianity.”

As Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented (here, here, here, here, and here), several right-wing media figures have attempted to advance rumors that Clinton is either bisexual or a lesbian. In suggesting that Clinton is a lesbian, Kincaid cited Edward Klein's widely discredited book, The Truth about Hillary (Sentinel, June 2005), and "[c]onservative writer Jack Wheeler [who] flatly asserted in a Washington Times column, based on his sources, that [Clinton] is bisexual." In his 2004 Times op-ed, Wheeler wrote:

One reason is that it's too blindingly obvious that Mr. Clinton's book should have been titled “My Lie.” All of that stuff about Hillary being mad, making him sleep on the couch, going to marriage counselors for a year, yada yada, is all made up. They have had a pact for decades: He gets to fool around with women, and she gets to fool around with women (plus the occasional man like Vince Foster).

Yes, she's bisexual -- I disclosed that in an infamous Strategic Investment column in January 1993, and Dick Morris publicly revealed it a few years ago. You knew that, right?

Moreover, despite Kincaid's statement regarding “Obama's mysterious upbringing as a Muslim in Indonesia and his quick conversion to Christianity,” the Chicago Tribune reported on March 25 that "[i]nterviews with dozens of former classmates, teachers, neighbors and friends show that Obama was not a regular practicing Muslim when he was in Indonesia":

Attention on U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's childhood in Indonesia has so far focused on whether he was a Muslim and whether one of his schools was a fundamentalist Islamic madrassa.

Although his campaign has denied that Obama was a practicing Muslim, the “Islam” issue is not likely to go away soon for the presidential candidate. Some Americans link the religion with terrorism and see Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, as being an alien place, a world away from the White House.

But initial reports have distorted the reality of the four years Obama spent in Indonesia, from 1967 to 1971. In fact, Obama's religious upbringing in Indonesia depended more on the conventions of the schools he attended than on any decision by him, his mother or his stepfather. When he was at a Catholic school for three years, he prayed as a Catholic.

When he was at a public school for a year, he learned about Islam.

Obama's stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, was much more of a free spirit than a devout Muslim, according to former friends and neighbors. And the school described as an Islamic madrassa in media reports actually was a public school, so progressive that teachers wore miniskirts and all students were encouraged to celebrate Christmas.

Interviews with dozens of former classmates, teachers, neighbors and friends show that Obama was not a regular practicing Muslim when he was in Indonesia, despite being listed as a Muslim on the registration form for the Catholic school, Strada Asisia, where he attended 1st through 3rd grades.

At the time, the school most likely registered children based on the religion of their fathers, said Darmawan, Obama's former teacher. Because Soetoro was a Muslim, Obama was listed as a Muslim, she said.

The enrollment form from the Catholic school, which has been cited as evidence that Obama was a Muslim in Indonesia, also was rife with errors. It listed Obama as an Indonesian, listed his previous school incorrectly and failed to list his mother, Ann, at all.

In a January article -- anonymously authored and sourced -- reported that “researchers connected to” Clinton had said that Obama “spent at least four years in a so-called Madrassa, or Muslim seminary, in Indonesia.” The accusation about Clinton was unsubstantiated, and the underlying claim that Obama attended a madrassa has been debunked. Media Matters noted Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz' statement that "[t]he allegations got a big boost from Rupert Murdoch's media empire, with the New York Post running this headline: 'Osama' Mud Flies at Obama.' And Murdoch's Fox News Channel touted the claims on two programs."

Media Matters also noted that, on May 14, another anonymously authored column recycled various Clinton myths and falsehoods, asking: “Did [Clinton] have an affair with Vince Foster -- as was reported in The American Spectator in the 1990s? Is she a lesbian, as has also been rumored for years?”

Kincaid makes occasional appearances on television as a pundit, most recently on the April 4 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, during which he warned of “submersion of U.S. sovereignty to this emerging trilateral entity, the North American community,” adding, “And that means here in the U.S., we would have to accept the more liberal laws such as acceptance of gay marriage in Canada.”