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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Breakdown Of A Media Miscommunication

A weird satirical piece about alleged quotes from Obama's college thesis somehow got passed off as news. Link via LGF.

In comments I delved into the story, barely staying within character count limits. Given the site's seething Limbaugh Derangement Syndrome - Charles Johnson lashes out at Rush's handling of the story - I am not taking my commenting privileges for granted. My entire comment appears below.

After that comment I noted the date of Jumping In Pools' post: August 25. How did a nearly two-month-old post on an obscure blog make the news? I wonder if they have any tips for making my obscure blog more noticeable...

Note how the MediaMatters video concludes [link to MM post cited in LGF, link here]:

RUSH: I have had quotes attributed to me that were made up, and when it was pointed out to the media that the quotes were made up, they said, "It doesn't matter! We know Limbaugh thinks it anyway." Sort of like Dan Rather said, "I don't care if these documents are forged. I know that Bush did what he did at the National Guard. I don't care if the documents are forged." I don't care if the Limbaugh quotes are made up. So, I can say, "I don't care if these quotes are made up. I know Obama thinks it. You know why I know Obama thinks it? Because I've heard him say it."

Rush begins with a jab at MSM hypocrisy, opining that they'd never let him get away with employing the rationale of the race libelers and the Ratherites. Unlike those fake stories, Rush sez, the jumpingpools piece has an element of truth - Obama didn't write that, but he thinks that. Rush continues:

Again, 2001, FM radio station interview in Chicago when he was a state senator in Illinois.

OBAMA 2001: If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples so that, uh, I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and -- and order and as long as I could pay for it I'd be okay. But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.

RUSH: Now, he's talking about the Warren Court "never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth." So we've got a supposed piece from his college thesis at Columbia where he complains that the Constitution didn't talk about the distribution of wealth. So we know that it's on his mind. So even if he didn't say it, I know he thinks it. That's how it works now in the media. And I do know he thinks it because I just heard what I heard, and so did you. Let's see.

The conclusion of the segment also catches my eye:

RUSH: I'm also told that the blog containing the passage on Obama's thesis is a satire blog. [He's misinformed there - the post was satire, no the whole blog] So I shout from the mountaintops: "It was satire!" But we know he thinks it. Good comedy, to be comedy, must contain an element of truth, and we know how he feels about distribution of wealth. He's mad at the courts for not going far enough on it. So we stand by the fabricated quote because we know Obama thinks it anyway. That's how it works in the media today.

Once again Rush satirizes MSM journalistic standards (where emphasis is added).

One thought: isn't this a weird topic for satire? Good satire combines truth with outrageousness, like Doug Adams' Vogons. [For the uninitiated: Vogons] The part of the jumpinginpools quote I heard wasn't all that outrageous. Aren't all welfare statists miffed that the Founders didn't put redistribution explicitly in the Constitution? Doesn't the alleged quote sound like something a lefty academic would actually write?

Then I remembered something: I hadn't read the original blog post. It turns out to be a mixture of newsy-looking stuff and gems like this:

Entitled Aristocracy Reborn, this paper chronicled the long struggle of the working class against, as Obama put it, "plutocratic thugs with one hand on the money and the other on the government."

The title should have been a dead giveaway - leftist central planners would never identify themselves as aristocrats (even though they are). The "plutocratic thugs" line also seems too honest to be real. [I mean that the line too honestly reflects leftist perceptions, not that those the left perceives as "plutocratic thugs" really are plutocratic thugs.]

There's also a line about the "single mother of four working three jobs" - that should also have been a dead giveaway.

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