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Sue-Ann Levy Implies That Barack Obama Is a Muslim, Incurs Twitter’s Wrath

The infamous Toronto Sun columnist implied something untrue about the American president on Twitter, then tried to undo the damage without apologizing.

The tweet that launched a thousand tweets.

Last night, during the broadcast of the third and final US presidential debate, Toronto Sun city columnist Sue-Ann Levy was on Twitter. As usual, her tweets were combative. Levy always espouses what most would consider to be a conservative point of view, and she’s not afraid of challenging those who hold different opinions. Most of the time, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Except on this particular occasion, Levy did what she periodically does: she wrote something misleading and ethically questionable, and then, when challenged, responded with ad-hominem attacks and attempts to change the subject.

The tweet that started it all is screencapped above. Note the hashtag, where Levy appears to imply that Barack Obama is a Muslim. This is a classic bit of far-right cant that emerged during Obama’s initial rise to prominence as a presidential candidate. It seems meant to characterize him as someone who doesn’t have America’s best interests at heart. (Because anyone who would believe it would also believe that all Muslims despise the US.)

In fact, it’s bullshit: Obama is a Christian.

When confronted with this information, Levy was her usual charming self. Within hours, she became the centre of a Twitter brawl involving several users, many of whom were Levy’s fellow City Hall reporters and newspaper columnists. She never admitted to being in the wrong, but did attempt to contain the damage in her own way. A Storify of some of the exchange is below.

We asked James Wallace, editor-in-chief of the Sun, if the paper will reprimand Levy for her tweets. He has said he’ll get back to us, and we’ll update when he does.

UPDATE: October 23, 2012, 5:00 PM And here’s a written statement from James Wallace:

Sue-Ann was on holiday watching the presidential debate and expressed her views in a tweet.

The tweet also included an inappropriate hashtag that could be subject to misinterpretation.

She did not intend the hashtag to appear racist.

Her views do not reflect the views of the Toronto Sun or Sun Media.

James Wallace
Editor-in-chief
Toronto Sun


Comments

  • Anonymous

    Well, she is certainly on the right system… I’ve always known her to be a Twit. Daily demonstrations of incompetence and inability to understand the world pass for ‘reporting’ in some universe (a universe where the Sun is angry)… No news here. ZZZZ.

  • vampchick21

    All I can do is shake my head. Is she that stupid? Really?

    • Lee Zamparo

      I don’t think she’s stupid, but she’s made a living out of being intentionally provocative; for goodness sake, she chooses to work for the Sun. As the author states, her work periodically transitions from predictably provocative, to offensive and mendacious. Copping to any of these transitions would imply that she intentionally drives her reporting towards the sensational and the questionably offensive to get attention, which would diminish her standing as crappy small-time blowhard. So she’s evasive, and responds to people who call her out on offensive BS with ad-hominem attacks. I’m surprised Stephen Harper hasn’t asked her to be his spokesperson.

  • http://twitter.com/johnsemley3000 John Semley

    Yes but is Obama really a Christian rrrrrrrreeeeeeeeaaaaaaaally? Oh wait yes he is.

  • Anonymous

    SAL aspires to infamy, but no one is paying attention.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Gnueswaran Waran Vaithilingam

    What can you expect from Toronto Sun and their affiliates, Pathetic bunch.

  • Anonymous

    Her circular, illogical, back-pedaling is despicable for someone who claims to be a journalist – and this is only one small example of the type of discourse she dishes out in nearly every one of her meandering, name-calling, entirely useless columns.

    Journalism is a profession with a commitment to truth and presenting factual representations of current events. It seems Ms. Levy is content to simply stir the pot and spout non-sensical, superlative, childish, and often downright hateful rhetoric.
    I would yield an ounce of two of respect for the Toronto Sun if she was formally reprimanded. Too bad her poorly articulated, attention-grabbing points attract attention to the tabloid and therefore are valuable to it.

    • Anonymous

      …and the Toronto Sun gets my two ounces of respect from officially distancing themselves from Ms. Levy’s ludicrous tweet via Twitter:

      “Sue-Ann Levy’s tweet on the U.S. presidential debate had an inappropriate hashtag. The tweet doesn’t reflect the views of the Toronto Sun.”

  • http://www.bitpicture.com Marc Lostracco

    Oh, that Sue-Ann Levy! #BadJournalist

    (I didn’t say she was a bad journalist! Stop putting words in my mouth. All I suggested was that bald-face lying may not be a quality of good journalism. If you want to presume more, your words, not mine.)

  • Anonymous

    @AnnCoulter SAL is biting your style #racistBS #spinelesscoward #lunatic

    • Anonymous

      Behold the beauty of the hashtag – my words not yours, of course (w/ apologies to Wente)

  • http://www.facebook.com/dirteafairyprincess Leona Peterson

    Sue-Ann Levy doesn’t know how to be responsible as a person when she cant control her actions as a reporter. Dysfunctional person that is not accountable for her actions.

  • http://twitter.com/unlimitednrg Christopher King

    Maybe SAL should remove any connection with Sun Media then from her twitter account. As long as the Toronto Sun is there as part of her bio then her views do count as part of the Toronto Suns and should be held accountable

  • workingMOM

    holy crow!
    thanks for the entertainment.
    as a PR practitioner – one with a strong media relations background – i’m just cringing at the tweet-timeline, repeating “oh no…oh no…”.
    as a journalist, she should know how to protect herself and why was The Sun’s PR department not stepping up to the plate as soon as this happened, calling her and telling her to remove herself from any devices connected to the internet and doing some crisis management of their own.
    NY Times just re-affirmed their social media guidelines and, i believe that after this, The Sun will be doing the same.
    good luck to them all!

  • Anonymous

    She right up there with the Ford brothers, in believing that lying about lying about lying, some how equals the truth. Hey Sue-Ann, it does, but only to moronic, fanatical, make believe christian conservatives.

  • Rob

    So a Jewish Lesbian Zionist tweets about Obama being a Muslim? Comedy gold.

  • Anonymous

    I live here in the US. I think she is on to something. His nose grew last night.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=607770406 Lucile Barker

    She must be a very unhappy person. Her negativity is drowning her in bitterness.

  • Anonymous

    The Toronto Sun removed itself from credibility when it left the Canadian Press council

  • Anonymous

    I already suspected that the Toronto Sun was further to the right than Fox News. Maybe if they want to salvage what little credibility they have left, SAL can get herself a gig at World Net Daily (the “news” site which continues to push the birther conspiracy).

  • OgtheDim

    I love the school yard behaviour of calling goldsbie names rather then dealing with the actual issue.

    It is soooooooooo Nunziataish.

    Are we sure she’s not running for council in 2 years?

  • Denise

    why is it a problem for people if he is associated with Muslims? His middle name is an arabic muslim name, Hussain. So what? get over it…Muslim or Christian, he is a great man

  • justintime

    His father was muslim, so in a way, I guess I can understand why people would think he is muslim. His entire name Barak, is actually Barakatullah, which is a muslim arabic name.

    In a way, I see him as a hope for a lot of people. Hope for blacks, hope for muslims, hope for christians, and everyone else. He can unite a country.

    I would believe most muslims are proud of him, even if christians claim him for themselves.

  • r m

    send Bath House Barry back to Kenya. Moochelle & brats too. Reggie Love, Kal Penn, other buddies soon to follow nudge,nudge.

  • r m

    “scores of known radical Islamists made hundreds of visits to the Obama White House, meeting with top administration officials.”
    http://www.investigativeproject.org/3777/a-red-carpet-for-radicals-at-the-white-house
    to learn more about Lyin’ Hawaiian click on site below.
    http://www.commieblaster.com/

  • Joe Allan

    These Jews stop at nothing to keep the money flowing to Israel. Their true allegiance is to Israel, not the country they reside in. When are people going to finally wake up and see this?

  • vampchick21

    Sue Ann Levy posts seem to bring out racists and the insane…….

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