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“Hey. Wait a minute. That Satan character looks like President Obama.”

Indeed, that’s what many viewers decided Sunday night during the airing of “The Bible,” History channel’s blockbuster miniseries. Speculative press coverage followed, and social media ran amok. A conspiracy? Not so, the network says.

“The History channel has the highest respect for President Obama. The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors. It’s unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. History’s ‘The Bible’ is meant to enlighten people on its rich stories and deep history,” the network said.

“This is utter nonsense. The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani, is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor. He has previously played parts in several Biblical epics, including Satanic characters long before Barack Obama was elected as our president,” says series producer Mark Burnett.

“Both Mark and I have nothing but respect and love our president, who is a fellow Christian,” added Roma Downey, executive producer. “False statements such as these are just designed as a foolish distraction to try and discredit the beauty of the story of the Bible.”


• 63 percent of Americans have heard about financial problems and cutbacks facing many news organizations.

• 48 percent say news coverage is less complete because of these problems and cut backs; 52 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of Democrats agree.

• 31 percent overall say there are fewer stories; 26 percent of Republicans and 36 percent of Democrats agree.

• 31 percent overall have stopped relying on a particular news organization because it failed to provide news and information they were “accustomed to”; 33 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism poll of 2,009 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 24 to 27 and Feb. 7 to 10; the results were released Monday.

Hue and cry to