It’s hard to track a sleazy idea to its source. For instance, who started the rumor that Snapple supports the KKK, or that Hilfiger is a racist? We’ll probably never know.

But, thanks to a mea culpa in Slate, we can now trace one bad (but sticky) idea to its origin. Remember the notion, now widely mocked, that Barack and Michelle Obama’s fist-bump was a terrorist gesture? In this funny piece, Christopher Beam admits fault:

It’s often asked, “Where does stupid stuff on the Internet come from?” In this instance, I think probably it came from me. Although I didn’t originate the conceit, I’m pretty sure that I’m the one who put it in circulation. Er, sorry.

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