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Friday, November 5, 2010

A Little Fact-Checking Goes a Long Way!

(VIDEO: Rachel Maddow explains about crazy people.)

Today's Right-Wing Meme of the Day goes something like this: Oh My God! Obama is going overseas and it's going to cost the taxpayers a gazillion dollars a day! Not only that, but we're sending the entire navy to protect him and half of Canada's navy, too!! OMG!! OMG!!

This latest nonsense began when the oh-so-lovely Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, aka The Queen of the Crazy Ladies, got on CNN and told a Paul Bunyon-esque tall tale to Anderson Cooper. She said that it would cost $200 million a day for Obama's trip. When Cooper challenged her on that comically large number, Bachmann defended herself by saying that the "the numbers have been coming out in the press."

Cooper: "And do you believe everything you read in the press?"
Bachmann: "Well, you're the press. Shouldn't I believe you?"
Cooper: "I'm not reporting that this trip is costing $200 million a day."

Of course, it took CNN about two seconds to do some fact-checking and determine that Michele Bachmann - true to form - was full of shit. But not before the story had spread to all the sleazy corners of right-wing world: Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, et al. confirming with each other that the story was, like, totally true.

Apparently the story had originated on some Indian website and was picked up by the very prestigious Drudge Report, which apparently was way too busy to find out if the story was actually, you know, true or not. Well, that was the cue for Right-Wing World to go straight into fake scandal mode - something they've become quite accomplished at - and start screaming hysterically that the world is coming to an end.

Well, of course the story wasn't true. For one thing, the government doesn't release the figures on presidential trips abroad for security reasons, so nobody knows how much money will be spent - certainly not some snake charmer in India. (A similar trip by President Clinton, however, cost about $50 million - for the whole trip, NOT per day).

The sane media needs to do a better job of policing these scoundrels and doing some serious fact-checking when they say stupid shit. Anderson Cooper often does a good job challenging his guests. He went straight after Bachmann as soon as she uttered her inanities. And of course Rachel Maddow, as always, does an excellent job exposing these frauds.

It's amazing to me that FOX News continues to perpetuate this fraudulent activity. Hasn't anyone told them that real journalists are supposed to check their stories before they publish or broadcast them? Don't politicians know that a little fact-checking goes a long way? It could actually save them from looking like a total ass the next day.


plawler said...

On the other hand, I have to nominate Keith Olbermann as a boob! He should have known better than to do what he did. He's always saying that he has higher standards than Fox News, and now look what he went and did. Sure it wasn't as egregious as Sean Hannity, but it was still wrong, he knew it was wrong, and he did it anyway. I'm so disappointed. :o(

Paul said...

Seems to me that political extremism makes those who stand for it blind to reality, no matter whether they be conservation of liberal.