I linked this story in headlines earlier today to highlight the spin that the AP was putting on it. The story itself is fairly unremarkable, though it might inspire second looks from the IRS if a Republican were at the center of it: Barack Obama goes to church. But the AP packed a whole lot of back story into that.

Democrat Barack Obama on Sunday confronted one of the persistent falsehoods circulating about him on the Internet.

He went to church.

His attendance here at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, with the news media in tow, was as much an observation of faith as it was a rejoinder to baseless e-mailed rumors that he is a Muslim and poses a threat to the security of the United States.

Obama did not address the rumors, but described how he joined Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago two decades ago while working as a community organizer…

The Illinois Democrat — whose middle name is “Hussein” — was born in Hawaii and moved to Indonesia at age 6 to live with his mother and stepfather, who was Muslim. He left Indonesia when he was 10 and returned to Hawaii to live with his mother’s parents.

Obama’s background re-emerged Sunday when former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, who had just endorsed Clinton, referred to Obama’s Muslim side of the family in an interview with The Washington Post. The remarks were part of a generally complimentary assessment of Obama.

“It’s probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim. There’s a billion people on the planet that are Muslims and I think that experience is a big deal.” Kerrey added, “He’s got a whale of a lot more intellectual talent than I’ve got as well.”

Heh. It looks like the AP has been talking back-channel to the Clinton machine. The problem with stories like this one, though, is that they give cover to a story about Obama’s church that does deserve scrutiny but isn’t getting enough of it, and that’s the racial beliefs of Obama’s pastor. Michelle hits that issue and several more in this clip.

If it’s fair to ask Mitt Romney about the LDS church’s racial attitudes up to 1978, why isn’t it fair to ask about Obama’s current pastor’s current racial attitudes?