Using Internet Rumors for Crisis Control

Posted By on September 2, 2014

Floating Balloons

Photo Source: Library of Congress

The chances are pretty good that you either know a “birther” or have had the misfortune of crossing paths with one on social media. The Birther movement began during Barack Obama’s first campaign for President, and although the noise has died down in the past few months, the movement’s adherents remained steadfast that the first Black President was born in Kenya. Of course, they offer nothing in the way of solid proof, and what they do offer points to an altogether different, and far more logical conclusion: Before he was President, Barack Obama learned how to use Academia’s racial and national prejudices, along with its innate bias to add a little cash to his pocket.

It’s no secret to anyone who has spent any time at all in an institution of higher learning— including online Academia— that if you are anything other than a white male, there is extra money to help you get through college and beyond. Racial and gender preferences in admissions and scholarship programs benefit anyone who isn’t a white male. Religious minorities are favored with accommodations and allowances for special housing. Campus programs offer food and supplies to those with favored political beliefs, while at the same time disallowing the mere presence of judo-christian groups, let alone any assistance directed to members of those groups. Who wouldn’t want to fudge their application a little if it meant they could get a few more dollars, and maybe not have to work while they go to school? If it was good enough for Elizabeth Warren, who checked the Native-American box, and Barack Obama who checked the foreign student box, it’s good enough for every college student who would rather take the free money than get a job.

However, as the President’s dilemma illustrates, gaming the system could come back to bite you down the line. The first black President of the United States, who promised to be a non-racial president, couldn’t very well admit that he not only believes in racial preferences, but that he routinely took advantage of them in order to receive more money. That wouldn’t fit the narrative at all. So, the decision was made to let the rumor stand and make fun of it, thereby making its proponents laughing stocks. It was a brilliant strategy, and it shows just how spin-savvy the Obama communications team is. They dodged and deflected, and saved the President from looking like the dishonest, greedy college student he was. The Administration was able to use the truth against its enemies without ever admitting to anything.

Meanwhile, the birthers keep wasting time and resourses trying to uncover a non-existent Kenyan birth certificate, while the President’s spin doctor continue to deflect for the real issue–his inability to lead.  With the birthers so contained, there are fewer people digging for the truth about the crisis in Syria, the rise of ISIS, the fall of the Ukraine, and a number of other issues that the Administration has no strategy to deal with.

About the author

Jerri L. Cook is a recognized leader in rural media. She holds a B.S. in Organizational Communications and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Concord Law School. Exceptional legal research and writing is essential to providing effective counsel. With her proven record of excellence, Jerri L. Cook provides effective trial support for attorneys who find themselves with only a 24-hour day. Her background in communications, including content creation and internet programming, complement her academic focus on Cyber Law. E-Discovery can be daunting, but with Jerri L. Cook on the team, digital information is readily discovered and retrieved. Contact her at 715.257.4363.


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