Via Seixon. I have nothing to add to the previous two posts about this; I just want to keep a running tally. This makes five, count ’em five, “respected” news sources circulating this smear: (1) Time magazine, (2) the New York Times, (3) the AP, (4) the Guardian, and now ABC. Not a single one has so much as mentioned Larry Johnson.

“In an environment now that is increasingly polarizing and nasty, charges can be made, often unsubstantiated charges through the Web,” said Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report. “We’re in an environment now where being a first lady is a lot tougher job than it used to be.”

Google “Michelle Obama” and the term “whitey” and you’ll find conservative bloggers claiming a video shows her using the racially tinged term at Trinity Church. No tape has ever surfaced. But the claim helped prompt the Obama campaign to launch its own Web site, FighttheSmears.com.

Perversely, all this does is give Johnson more incentive to float whatever crap he can come up with. All he needs is for some conservative to criticize him for it, and voila — the conservative is responsible, the Narrative is set, and he’s off the hook. Exit question: Did you know that Rush Limbaugh says the tape exists? No? Neither does Rush.